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MBA to the Rescue

Need help growing your business? Go back to school.

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This story appears in the June 2006 issue of Start Up.

Believe it or not, business students might actually have a lot to teach you. MBA programs such as Pepperdine University's Education to Business (E2B) Applied Learning Program offers candidates the chance to act as consultants, resolving business problems for participating companies for free. E2B program director Doreen Shanahan explains, "It's a way of connecting the learning methodology and concepts being taught in the classroom with the real world of business," rather than of just applying them to historical case studies.

Formally launched in 2002, Pepperdine's E2B program has had no shortage of participating businesses with challenges to address. "Companies benefit from the infusion of talent and insight they might never get [otherwise]," says Shanahan. With class sizes at the Malibu, California, university of about 20 to 25 students, five competitive teams are formed to work on aspects of the businesses needing attention. The teams ultimately provide resolutions or recommendations to the businesses.

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