The University of Kentucky: A Real World, Hands-On Graduate Business Education at the Gatton College of Business and Economics
With immersive programs encouraging hands‐on learning, UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics prepares students for real world business challenges. The college’s innovative curriculum is designed to give students authentic experiences, enhanced by first‐rate teaching. Partnering with esteemed faculty and successful businesses, Gatton students graduate as world‐ready, business‐savvy professionals.
Gatton’s unique experiential approach extends across its program offerings including its one‐year accelerated MBA program and dual degree programs that combine the master’s in business administration with an engineering, law, internal commerce, or medical degree.
“This integrated methodology allows students to understand how principles of marketing, strategy, and finance come together to make a business run better,” explained Gatton’s Director of MBA Programs, Harvie Wilkinson.
Gatton’s Project Connect program has redefined the internship experience by integrating it into the MBA program’s immersive curriculum, providing students the opportunity to experience business processes in real time. Over 32 weeks, student teams are each paired with a different company to work side‐by‐side on two projects of importance to the corporation. The teams identify issues and develop solutions in multiple areas, including marketing and supply chain management. Each project culminates with deliverables including a presentation to the company’s management team.
Most recently, a group of Gatton students partnered with a company on a marketing project which involved selling its products in Brazil. “Students were able to experience the entire process from inside the company, which makes for a far more engaging lesson than simply discussing it in the classroom,” highlighted Mr. Wilkinson.
“UK MBA students are known for their strong team building skills and their ability to work from a cross‐functional perspective,” said Director of Gatton’s Graham Office of Career Management, Sally Foster. “They are prepared to be team players as well as significant contributors to their businesses.”
To create this exceptional hands‐on experience, Gatton relies upon its strong network of regional business partners and looks to broaden those opportunities on a global scale. To that end, the school is investing in a brand new USD $65 million building which will include cutting‐edge technology and advanced computing centers, creating a real world look and feel..
While Gatton is rooted in practical application of business principles, it is also known as a center for academic research. The school’s internationally recognized Center for Poverty Research focuses on the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty and inequality. This is extremely useful not only to the US, but to other countries examining poverty issues such as Brazil, which faces similar class disparity concerns.
It is not all work and no play for the Gatton community. The University of Kentucky’s Wildcats are the number one college basketball team in the country where basketball was born. The Wildcats often make it to the final rounds of the March Madness national university basketball championships, and attending a game at world‐famous Rupp Arena is an experience like no other for Gatton students.