University of Tennessee

Applied Learning

Professional MBA students learn strategic-level business concepts and gain valuable insight into their own industries and organizations through our applied learning format. The program is filled with case-based methods, simulations and practical examples and the curriculum ensures that the students will accelerate their business knowledge deeply and quickly.

Organizational Action Project

The thesis-level project is designed to give students a strategic view of their organizations and allow them to apply first-hand the concepts learned in class to the real world. The return on investment is significant for both the student and the organization.

Students pursue a different stage of analyses for the Organizational Action Plan, each semester. Each stage requires a different focus and access to different resources from their employers.

Semester 1: The World Outside the Organization
Students gain perspective on the variety of forces impacting their industry, delivering macroenvironmental, competitor, and market force analysis as well as target market definition.

Semester 2: Customer Value, Core Competency and Process
Students examine the relationship between customer value, product delivery strategy and shareholder value as well as their respective roles within the strategic planning process, delivering customer value and process analysis. They then select a process in their company to re-engineer and design its ideal future state.

Semester 3: Determining Project Value and Championing Change
Students present a financial rationale for their process re-engineering and learn how to manage the change process from a leadership perspective. They deliver cost/benefit, scenario planning sensitivity, and culture and change analyses.  

Example OAP


Global Immersion

Professional MBA students have the option to travel with faculty and classmates to an international location for a week of business immersion. The trip location varies each year. Past destinations have included the Czech Republic, Argentina and Chile.

Students meet with business leaders of local and multinational organizations, government agencies and international accounting, finance and consultancy firms, building a strong understanding of the global landscape. The concepts learned during this educational experience add value to every student and their organization, regardless of their organization’s global presence.

Sample Agenda:

· Meetings with executives and managers at the factories of leading manufacturers (local and multinational) to understand the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in that location for multinational manufacturers

· Discussions with executives of leading firms on the sources of their success to date, their involvements with foreign firms and the challenges and opportunities they see in their nations’ evolving relationship with the U.S

· Executives of leading U.S.-based multinationals speak about the unique challenges facing foreign-based firms and the opportunities they anticipate for U.S. firms resulting from the growing integrations of the economies.

· Officials of the governments as well as U.S. representatives discuss the governmental activities pertaining to the development of infrastructure, regulatory policies and international trade agreements.

Students participate in debriefing sessions and complete both written and oral presentations. Specific learning objectives for the residency are accomplished through a complex and interactive assignment involving a hypothetical international expansion effort.

2018 Residency: Santiago, Chile from March 17-24, 2018