Presented by the University of Illinois Gies College of Business

Imagine being able to put some of the University of Illinois’ brightest young minds to work solving business challenges or exploring new subject areas. And now imagine that by doing that, you’re also building relationships and introducing those individuals to your corporate purpose, values, and culture – and making your company an attractive career destination.

That’s exactly what organizations all around Illinois are doing in coordination with the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business. By working with the College’s Magelli Office of Experiential Learning, corporate leaders are engaging with undergraduate and graduate business students on projects like strategy & growth, data & technology, financial modeling, and market analysis.

It’s all part of Gies Business’ commitment to giving students access to what’s known as experiential learning – or “learning by doing” – an area in which Gies is nationally recognized as a pioneer. And what makes the Gies program unique is the scale at which experiential learning is offered. Every undergraduate student gets to participate, and they’re doing so in small teams of six to eight students working on unique client projects. Each team and each project are different, giving our students the most valuable experience possible.

Research shows that students learn best when they take what they learned in class, apply it to real business problems, reflect on that experience, and then repeat it again. That’s the model we take across all of our experiential learning programs.

Did you know?

  • 100% of Gies undergraduate students participate in experiential learning
  • 300+ experiential learning projects are completed by Gies students each year
  • 80% of projects are for companies based in Illinois

“While experiential learning has always been a focus for us, it has really become core to everything we do over the last five to six years,” said Andrew Allen, Assistant Dean of Strategic Engagement and Experience at Gies. “Experiential learning helps students land great jobs, and it also provides millions of dollars in value each year to the state’s economy. It’s a win-win for both clients and students.”

Client projects provide an invaluable experience for Gies Business students and real, tangible benefits for companies:

Receive a great return
The business landscape is changing rapidly, and your team of highly talented, motivated students can bring fresh thinking and an outside perspective to your organization. Through Action Learning courses alone, our students provide the community an average of 80K hours of pro-bono work per year. Using a billing rate of $100/hr, that’s $8 million that Gies provides in in-kind services to the community and state every year.

Strengthen your talent pipeline
Student projects create a try-before-you-hire approach to recruiting. In a climate where hiring and retaining top talent is harder than ever, this gives students an inside look at your company and helps build brand awareness for your organization on campus.

The Magelli Office of Experiential Learning works with clients on hundreds of students projects every year – the majority of which are for companies based in Illinois. These projects support many of the University’s Diverse Supplier companies and many local small- and medium-sized businesses.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get involved, visit us at The Exchange at Soldier Field or head to our website.

Learn how to get started!