Stewart McHie is Director of the Master of Science in Business, a 9-month Master's program designed for liberal art and STEM majors to gain practical business skills. Below, Stewart discusses the Field Team Study projects that students lead in the second semester of the program. Students consult for companies big and small, and the program has worked with companies like Microsoft, Amtrak, and the Architect of the Capitol.
What are some examples of student projects positively impacting business growth locally and beyond?
"The Master of Science in Business program has conducted almost 50 Field Team Study projects in its' ten year history. These have included large enterprises such as Microsoft and Amtrak and The Architect of the Capitol to entrepreneurs and startups; many of which are successful businesses today. To me, the mark of a successful project is often measured by whether the organization found value in the work and engaged our teams multiple times. This has been the case with Microsoft, the DC government, World First and Tempus foreign exchange companies, Carly Fiorina Enterprises and several divisions of CUA itself, to mention a few. In other cases we have solved an immediate business problem for a small company that led to a breakthrough moment. On a number of occasions, job offers have resulted from the energy and talent of the students. But regardless of the eventual outcome of the projects, the most important reason for doing this work is so that our MSB students can put all the practical skills they acquired in the program to use in a real live business situation and leave with the confidence they can compete for most any job in the marketplace."
In what ways is the Busch School's location advantageous, especially in terms of the MSB program?
"We are so fortunate to be located in the DMV area where we can draw on successful leaders and businesspeople from all walks of life; Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, start-ups, government agencies and the important not for profit world including the church and higher education. Every speaker we invite to our infamous Thirsty Thursday events brings a unique perspective to share with the students. Their career path, their values, the trials and successes they enjoyed in their careers, are all interwoven into a fabric of success our students can seek to emulate."
How is the MSB program at Catholic University unlike any other MSB program in the country?
"The MSB program has developed a wide network of business relationships throughout the DMV area; primarily through four different pathways. We provide interns for many businesses, some of which lead to Field Team Studies or full time jobs upon graduation. We invite guest lecturers and speakers from a variety of enterprises which expand our graduates network. I think the beauty of the program is that we have created opportunities for organizations of all sizes and descriptions to engage with our students in a practical way that benefits both parties. Business is often thought of in terms of huge multinational companies that are household names. In fact, most jobs created today come from small and medium enterprises. When you think about it, there is hardly anything you can do in life that doesn't involve business on some level. Our responsibility, to our students and the world at large, is to form the next generation of business leaders with the skills and values that make them a force of good in our communities."