The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder is trying out a whole new way of introducing its freshmen to college. First-year Leeds students will plunge into an intensive full-day program of action learning called “CoLab: Essentials of Collaboration and Innovation” on Aug. 25.
CoLab is designed to orient the Class of 2016 to what it takes to be a successful business school student, as well as what it means to be a successful business leader.
“We're on a drive to expand the definition of management education,” said David L. Ikenberry, dean of the Leeds School. “We've got to blend the flagship-quality academics of CU with development of professionalism and professional skills. This is all part of making Leeds grads exceptional performers in the work world. The world is changing and becoming hyper-competitive. We are going to make sure that Colorado and every Leeds grad is at the top of the class in global competition.”
Approximately 750 students will compete against each other in teams on the Norlin Quadrangle throughout the day. They’ll learn core business principles through hands-on projects under the guidance of faculty, alumni and corporate executives. Top companies including IBM, WhiteWave, Celestial Seasonings, ConocoPhillips, Phillips66, Western Union, Key Equipment Finance, Encana and DaVita will take part in the event.
The day’s designed to put into action business essentials such as teamwork, interpersonal communication, strategy and innovation. The event will culminate in a final competition in which student teams will develop a product, strategize its place in the market, build it, price it and try it out. Events like CoLab are customary at the master’s degree level, but the goal is for Leeds first-year undergraduates to receive a high-level learning experience before they even step foot in a business class, Ikenberry said.
CoLab ultimately connects to a package of ongoing co-curricular and program initiatives happening at the Leeds School.