Today’s businesses grow and succeed for a myriad of reasons. Studying the likes of Apple, Exxon Mobil and General Motors — some of the most meteoric and enduring firms in this era — two common factors stand out. Each has a CEO with an MBA, and they all embrace innovation.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one university has developed a well-rounded program that nurtures future-proof leadership and an innovative mindset. The Thomas Jefferson University School of Business is home to the Innovation MBA (iMBA), heralded by The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Wired Magazine as a degree that caters to the varying needs of top firms.
To create experts, the program is taught by experts who remain active in their respective industries. It focuses on global learning, teamwork, collaboration and industry projects to develop well-prepared business leaders, equipped to take on the global marketplace. Another perk? International exposure. The iMBA offers an optional, unique International Innovation Trip, where a part of the curriculum will be taught abroad at various locations.
What’s more, it’s a program open to any and every career interest. The iMBA is one of very few to offer specialized concentrations such as analytics, accounting (CPA preparation), biopharmaceutical commercialization, finance (CFA preparation), fashion business, leadership, and marketing. Industry projects are integral to all, ensuring students are career-ready upon graduation.
Both international exposure and industry experience are what convinced Brianna Giarraputo to pursue a Jefferson iMBA. Before completing her BS in Fashion Merchandising and Management at Jefferson, Giarraputo was able to study in China, intern for Ann Inc. in New York and later for QVC in West Chester, Pennsylvania; and she was determined to keep exploring.
With this hands-on knowledge, Giarraputo plans to break into the luxury fashion industry before eventually pursuing a PhD to teach fashion business to college students. As she approaches graduation, she is confident she will achieve these goals. “I think that my experience at Jefferson has taught me to adapt and adjust. From moving classes online to working in teams on intensive projects, I’ve learned the importance of shifting gears and working in a fast-paced environment,” she says.
For students with a passion for fashion like Giarraputo, Jefferson’s MS in Global Fashion Enterprise is a solid choice. This program was specifically designed for professionals planning to pivot into the dynamic industry. It focuses on global fashion development, providing learners with a deeper understanding of apparel ecosystems. What sets this program apart is the suite of experiences it offers. Students get to work in teams to innovate new products and systems. They begin with research and conclude by creating a solution for their findings. These projects allow them to work directly and network with industry leaders – connections that often translate to internships or employment opportunities.
Knowledge, connections and hands-on experiences
At Jefferson’s School of Business, outstanding graduate outcomes are ensured – made possible by a keen emphasis on experiential learning and industry knowledge. Jefferson has links in every sector, making it the ideal destination for students looking to grow and excel among leaders, and to become leaders in their chosen fields. It’s a plus for students and definitely a plus for organizations.
“We have had students partake in a design challenge with our COVID Shelters and to imagine what our company might transition to in a new product challenge. It was beneficial to our organization by giving us quite a few fresh sets of eyes, a better understanding of the issues that the next generation is focused on, and what problems they feel need to be addressed,” shares Solomon Abraham Rosenthal, CEO of Jefferson industry partner Aluminum Shapes LLC.
These experiences give students a taste of the workplace, while rigorous academics give them the upper-hand to stay ahead. Rosenthal confirms this. “I would say what sets them apart, having gone through the program, is the preparation and the skill set they leave the institution with. Thomas Jefferson University graduates have proven they have already successfully found balance and succeeded. As long as the Jefferson curriculum remains a challenge, those successfully completing the course will set themselves apart.”