Backpack to Briefcase

Students

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT is a critical component of business education, and with Backpack to Briefcase (B2B) students participate in professional development activities from freshman through senior year. B2B is an innovative initiative, integrating professional 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 business professionals.

B2B is our vehicle for advancing professional development, beginning in students’ first business class—Business Dynamics—in the fall of freshman year. Each year of the B2B program, students will gain practical strategies and skills for professional success.

FRESHMAN 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 freshmen. Students participate in and reflect on programs related to 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: FR EXPERIENCE

In the spring semester, all freshmen enroll in a one-credit course, VSB 0099 B2B: FR Experience. Course requirements include: (1) participation in a networking etiquette workshop, "The Art of Mixing and Mingling"; (2) completion of an online tutorial on Handshake, the University's career management portal; (3) development of a resume in collaboration with the University Career Center.

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Defining & Implementing Your Strategy

VSB 2000: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR

In the fall or spring semester, VSB sophomores participate in a required one-credit seminar focusing on career exploration, internship and job search strategies, developing your personal brand, conducting an informational interview, and honing your interviewing skills. 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 a 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 feedback from business professionals.

Previous case study* subjects include:

PepsiCo, Heineken, Amazon, Aston Martin
Tesla Motors, Nestle's
Apple, Inc. in 2015

*Harvard Business School Publishing

SENIOR YEAR

Capitalizing on Your Investment

CURRENT: Campus Programs & Resources

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

FUTURE: VSB 4000 Leadership Academy (1 credit)

The Leadership Academy will be offered for the first time during the 2019-20 academic year focusing on general leadership topics. There will be future Leadership Academies that address specific areas of leadership including Communication in the Workplace, Leadership Styles, Negotiation Skills, Workplace Diversity, etc. Seniors are encouraged to enroll.

Villanova School of Business Briefcase Challenge