Business Competition Practicum

This is a 3-credit course offered twice a year in the fall and spring semesters for the advanced-entry MBA students, the second-year MBA students, and other GSIPM students with special permission from the course instructor. The course is designed to center the exciting and enriching academic experience on one or more business competitions, and to provide unique opportunities for students to integrate true-life knowledge application and contemporary career skills development.

While traditional classroom learning remains essential, it is inefficient, slow, and even constraining to knowledge acquisition in today’s open-source, hyper-networked, and complex world. We need to strengthen our ability to process data, information, and knowledge from numerous sources and to generate actionable insights in whatever context we may encounter. Such true-life knowledge application requires students to embark on a journey to discover, create and validate new and useful knowledge, a superior way to knowledge internalization as well as development of contemporary career skills, such as ideation, pattern recognition, and complex communication.

Well thought-out and organized business competitions attract students from leading business schools to participate and learn every year. Over the last few years, the Fisher MBA student teams have entered and won some of the top competitions in the world, including the MBA Investment Case Study Competition by The Economist, the Business for a Better World Case Competition by Corporate Knights, the Aspen Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, and the Hult Prize, the planet’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest problems. Having served as advisors to most of the MIIS teams, the instructors believe strongly that business competition may be an effective approach to intensive experiential learning and hold tremendous academic value. This practicum is set up so that more students can benefit from similar experiences.

Students enrolled in the course must commit themselves to actively participate in one or more business competitions that MIIS signs up for every fall or spring, and to attend the preparation and debriefing sessions that the instructors may organize. The primary goal for the course is academic learning and career skills development. Students are encouraged to motivate themselves and each other to win the competition and find joy and satisfaction in the process. It is a Pass/Fail course based on student effort as individual and a member of his or her competitive team.

Interested students must enroll and be placed on the waiting list first. In addition, they need to email a copy of their resume to the instructors at smdow@<a href="">


8:00am-10:30am on Sunday, Friday, Saturday at (Mar 10, 2017 to Mar 12, 2017)
8:00am-10:30am on Sunday, Friday, Saturday at (Apr 7, 2017 to Apr 10, 2017)
12:00pm-1:50pm on Friday at MGWN MG99 (Feb 24, 2017 to Feb 24, 2017)
4:00pm-5:50pm on Monday at 400PAC D100 (Mar 13, 2017 to Mar 13, 2017)
6:00pm-8:50pm on Tuesday at MGWN MG99 (Apr 11, 2017 to Apr 11, 2017)
Middlebury Institute, CA Campus: MGWN MG99 (McGowan), 400PAC D100 (400PAC), MGWN MG99 (McGowan)