BACKPACK TO BRIEFCASE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM

Professional Development is a critical component of business education. VSB’s Backpack to Briefcase (B2B) initiative engages students in professional development activities from first through senior year. B2B is an innovative program, integrating career 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 professionals.

FIRST YEAR

Assessing the Environment

INTRODUCTION TO CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

In the fall semester, professional development is embedded in VSB 1015 Business Dynamics, a required course for all VSB first year students. Students participate in and reflect on programs related to CliftonStrengths, choice of major, college planning, career exploration and professional skill building. In addition, all students are required to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) course, a self-paced e-learning program that provides an introduction to the financial markets.

VSB 0099: FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE

In the spring semester, all first-years enroll in this one-credit course. Course requirements include: (1) participation in a networking etiquette workshop (2) completion of an online tutorial on Handshake, the University's career management portal; and (3) development of a resume in collaboration with the Villanova Career Center..

  

SOPHOMORE YEAR

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 ethics. 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 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. 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 with feedback from business professionals.

Previous case studies: PepsiCo, Heineken, Amazon, Aston Martin Tesla Motors, Nestle's, Apple, Inc. Hot Chicken, Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World

*Harvard Business School Publishing

  

SENIOR YEAR

Capitalizing on Your Investment

CURRENT: CAMPUS PROGRAMS & RESOURCES

Seniors are encouraged to engage in career and professional development activities and utilize the resources offered by VSB, the Villanova Career Center and the VU Seniors program, as appropriate for their needs and interests.

FUTURE: VSB 4000 LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

This one-credit course, focusing on general leadership topics, will be piloted with VSB seniors on a voluntary basis during the spring ’21 semester. In the future, all VSB seniors will be invited to participate in a Leadership Academy with the opportunity to choose from sections dedicated to specific leadership topics, including communication in the workplace, leadership styles, negotiation skills, workplace diversity, and more.

The Clay Center at VSB/ O’Donnell Center for Professional Development
Bartley 1054
The Clay Center Team/O’Donnell Center Team

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Honors Program

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.

  

ENRICHING OUR STUDENTS