BACKPACK TO BRIEFCASE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM
Professional Development is a critical component of business education. Backpack-to-Briefcase (B2B) embeds professional development in the core business curriculum throughout a student’s four-year academic program. B2B supplements students’ participation in traditional academic courses, providing holistic and thoughtful preparation for success as professionals.
Each component of the B2B curriculum presents students with opportunities to learn and develop personally and professionally.
Assessing the Environment
INTRODUCTION TO CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Professional development requirements are embedded in VSB 1015 Business Dynamics, a required course for all VSB first-year students. This component connects students with campus career and college planning resources, as well as provides professional skill development opportunities and guidance on business writing. Students participate in, reflect on, and write reports about activities related to college planning/choice of major, career exploration, and professional skill building.
VSB 0099: FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE
All VSB first-years enroll in this zero-credit course. Course requirements focus on professional skill-building; they include (1) development and refinement of a resume in collaboration with a career coach; (2) participation in training regarding the networking process; and (3) completion of an online tutorial on Handshake, Villanova University’s career management portal.
Defining & Implementing Your Strategy
VSB 2000: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR
In the fall or spring semester, VSB sophomores participate in this required one-credit seminar focusing on self-assessment, career exploration, personal brand development, internship and job search strategies, interviewing skills, networking, and professional values. 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.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
VSB 3000: BARTLEY BriefCASE CHALLENGE
In the fall or spring semester, VSB juniors enroll in this 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 during a day-long competition. Written and verbal communication skills, analysis, team dynamics, and leadership are addressed 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 with feedback from business professionals.
Previous case studies*: Amazon, Aston Martin, HTD and Virtual Reality, Apple, Inc., Hot Chicken Takeover, Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World, Café Kenya, Roku, Bodega Aurrera, Voice War, Mastercard
*Harvard Business School Publishing
Capitalizing on Your Investment
Seniors are encouraged to engage in career and professional development activities and utilize the resources offered by VSB’s O’Donnell Center for Professional Development and Centers of Excellence, student business societies, the Villanova Career Center, and other campus sources, as appropriate for their needs and interests. Additionally, a one-credit course focusing on leadership topics is being piloted with seniors on a voluntary basis.
The Honors Program at Villanova is a rigorous, comprehensive program of challenging seminars, research opportunities, service projects, and cultural and social events designed to bring together exceptional students and dedicated faculty.
The Clay Center offers comprehensive information to help you know what is needed to pursue your degree at VSB.
AP and IB Credits for Class of 2027
AP and IB Credits for Class of 2026
AP and IB Credits for Class of 2025
AP and IB Credits for Class of 2024
Access the Syllabus Archive Database
VSB Undergraduate Handbook