Business in Practice program director Neil Niman and industry partner Stephanie Lawrence discuss their innovative collaboration at the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics that provides students with real-world learning experiences.
Expert-Led Experiential Learning
Making Business in Practice a Reality
Neil Niman: [0:15] There are a lot of business schools out there, and everybody offers a marketing major or a finance major. We were looking at what's our value proposition as a business school, and how could we set a Paul College graduate apart from other business school graduates?
[0:35] With Business in Practice, we feel that we're giving our graduates a leg up in the market. They're career ready. They're ready to make a difference for their employer from day one. The employer doesn't have to make them aware of the latest tools or techniques.
[0:57] We're trying to give our students experiences where they're working with their core knowledge, where they're working with everyday industry tools, so that when they go on an interview it's not just basically saying, "I've got this skill, but I've put this skill into practice.
"[1:15] Let me tell you about this experience I had in this program, and how it prepares me to be successful in your company." That's the big difference.
Stephanie Lawrence: [1:26] It's very important for students to understand how what they're learning in the classroom applies in the real world. In the case of product licensing or brand licensing, many students don't know that this type of business and career path even exists.
[1:45] I have found it very difficult to find anyone who comes with experience, particularly at the entry level positions. To be able to expose students to what they're learning, and marketing what they're learning in basic accounting, basic business, how that applies in the real world, and how they can take their passion, whether it be horror movies, or surfing, or horses, whatever that is.
[2:11] There's a licensing application to it that they can make a great career in. Selfishly, I use the opportunity to pay it forward, and cultivate new talent into the licensing industry.
Niman: [2:27] A lot of companies come to us. They want to partner with us, and support the Business in Practice program because it gives them early access to our Paul College students. It enables them to see which students have the potential to be successful in their organization.
[2:50] It also enables them to get a better understanding of which students might thrive in a particular career, or are specifically interested in working for a company like theirs. In terms of developing a talent pool, and identifying an early stage, prospective candidates, our corporate partners have found it a very valuable opportunity.
Lawrence: [3:23] If given the opportunity to have a conversation with a business school dean, I would highly recommend tapping into their network to look for professionals that they are connected with, and explore how their expertise, their talent, their career can enhance and enrich the program that they oversee.
Filmed by Jack Bouchard at the University of New Hampshire Paul College of Business and Economics in Durham, April 2021.