Backpack to Briefcase

Students

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT is a critical component of business education, and with Backpack to Briefcase (B2B) students participate in professional development activities from freshman through senior year. B2B is an innovative initiative, integrating professional development into the core business curriculum throughout the four-year academic program, supplementing students’ participation in traditional academic courses and providing holistic preparation for success as business professionals.

B2B is our vehicle for advancing professional development, beginning in students’ first business class—Business Dynamics—in the fall of freshman year. Each year of the B2B program, students will gain practical strategies and skills for professional success.

FRESHMAN YEAR

Assessing the Environment

VSB 1000: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

In the fall or spring semester, VSB freshmen enroll in a one-credit online course designed to increase students’ ability to utilize spreadsheets as a tool for business decision-making. Students are also required to earn Bloomberg Certification by completing Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC), a self-paced e-learning program that provides an introduction to the financial markets.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPONENT

Each semester, students participate in and reflect on professional development activities related to exploration of majors, college planning, career exploration and professional skill building. Critical written communication techniques are developed. Additionally, each student crafts a professional resume and participates in a networking etiquette workshop, “The Art of Mixing and Mingling.”

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Defining & Implementing Your Strategy

VSB 2000: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR

In the fall or spring semester, VSB sophomores participate in a required one-credit seminar focusing on career exploration, internship and job search strategies, developing your personal brand, conducting an informational interview, and honing your interviewing skills. Throughout the semester, students are presented with opportunities to interact with alumni and employers, and to practice skills critical to success in the career development process.

JUNIOR YEAR

Gaining a Competitive Edge

VSB 3000: BARTLEY BRIEFCASE CHALLENGE

In the fall or spring semester, VSB juniors enroll in a required one-credit course that provides preparation for and culminates in an internal case competition. Students work in small groups to analyze a case and present their findings and recommendations to a panel of company executives and faculty. Written and verbal communication skills, analysis, team dynamics, and leadership are integrated throughout the course, and students submit an executive summary of the case. This course also provides a wide array of networking opportunities; students interact with and are provided feedback from business professionals.

Previous case studies* include:

PepsiCo, Profits and Food: The Belt Tightens
Tesla Motors
Apple, Inc. in 2015

*Harvard Business School Publishing

SENIOR YEAR

Capitalizing on Your Investment

UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTER & VU SENIORS PROGRAM

VSB partners with the University Career Center and the VU Seniors program to provide a series of social, professional and spiritual activities designed to unify the senior class, while preparing them for life after graduation.

Villanova School of Business Briefcase Challenge

The Clay Center App

Download The Clay Center at VSB App!

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