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What It Means To Attend The Best Business School In The US For Innovation

Arizona State University has developed a reputation for innovation, but what does that mean for students?

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Tue Oct 17 2023

BusinessBecause
Today’s business students recognize that innovation is crucial to any business school curriculum. Employers are no different—56% of corporate recruiters consider innovation a skill that will only become more important for business graduates. 

Creative problem-solving, uncovering new ways of doing business, and adapting to change are all hallmarks of innovation, and business students want to attend programs that prioritize these skills.

One business school in Arizona is developing a reputation among business schools in the US for its innovation. Arizona State University has been ranked the best school for innovation by US News and World Report for nine years. But what makes ASU such a hotbed for innovation?

“We are agile and adaptive: we are responsive to changes in the market and technology landscape,” explains Luiz Mesquita, associate dean for graduate programs at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business.

We spoke to Luiz about what studying at an innovative university means for the student experience.


Experiential learning opportunities

To develop an innovative mindset at business school, opportunities to interact with real-world business problems are paramount.

In the W. P. Carey School of Business, MBA students get paired with a senior executive from a real business for the entirety of the 21-month program. This Executive Connections program brings students and professionals together for ‘lunch and learn’ sessions and personal coaching, allowing them to complement their classroom learning.

The Executive Connections program currently has 40 mentors with a combined 1,000 years of corporate experience across roles such as finance, supply chain management, and business transformation.

Experiential learning is also crucial to masters programs at W. P. Carey. In the Master of Science in Innovation and Venture Development, students learn through hands-on classes that focus on every step of the startup process, allowing them to test their ideas in real-time during the degree.

Luiz explains that every class at the business school has been designed to incorporate collaborative group work, which Luiz calls the ‘let us solve this problem’ component.

Instead of traditional teaching lectures on a specific business subject, these practical classroom experiences empower students to discuss problems and work together.

“Students gather around a specific challenge, assign team responsibilities, create a safe and collaborative environment, and capture ideas from multiple angles,” Luiz describes.


Getting a career boost

W. P. Carey’s innovation focus also extends to career opportunities for students. Most notably, the school has recently opened the Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship School, which enables students to explore elements of innovation such as startup management and idea generation.

“Many of our classes involve industry speakers, the networks of which help students build a bridge for later career networking and engagement,” Luiz adds.

The school also invests in innovative ways for students to gain career experience. For example, W. P. Carey has partnered with the Flex Program, a network of research labs that develop technology for organizations such as NASA and the Department of Defense.

"Through this partnership, our students have access to intellectual property on an experimental basis and, should a startup rise from this, obtain contractual licensing to pursue a new venture,” explains Luiz.


A program that’s constantly evolving  

‘Forward Focus’ is the motto of W. P. Carey’s flagship MBA program, and Luiz explains that the school has threaded this desire to adapt programs to the future through every degree in the business school.

"Our teams keep track of programs that are doing well, programs that are growing in demand, as well as programs that are probably going out of touch with societal needs," he says.

As part of the ‘Forward Focus’ mindset, the business school also regularly evaluates programs and modules in terms of how entrepreneurial they are and obtains outside advice on curricula from local entrepreneurs.


Networking with the best

Innovation also happens outside of the classroom at W. P. Carey School of Business. The school has links with Entrepreneur Organization (EO), a non-profit that supports new and existing entrepreneurs in Arizona.

This large chapter of the EO community is located directly in Phoenix, meaning students pursuing their MBA in Arizona have plenty of opportunities to meet other experienced entrepreneurs.

W. P. Carey also makes an effort to connect students to companies during their studies. Most recently, students in the Master of Science in Business Analytics got the opportunity to work directly with local companies on data projects.

“In the end, we had an open fair with all projects presented and company representatives visiting,” Luiz says of the project. “Many of our students ended up receiving offers for continued collaboration.”


Immersed in innovation

The innovative mindset that underpins the W. P. Carey School of Business is present in all of its activities, according to Luiz, and this means students are immersed in creative problem-solving and strategy from the start of their degrees to the end and beyond.

“We foster an entrepreneurial mindset not only among students but also within,” he says. 

“The faculty and staff think of ourselves as an ‘excited bunch,’ that is, a group of people engaged in embracing innovation to solve complex business problems.”

Student Reviews

W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University

Sophia

Verified

2/11/2023

Blended

Hands on Experience, labs

I love that that this school is known all over the world and the education is of high quality. It's been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as No. 1 for best online bachelor's in business programs

Student

Verified

30/09/2023

On Campus

Amazing Start to Your Career in Social Sciences

I had a great experience at ASU as a Political Science student. ASU is one of the biggest universities in the U.S., offering a wide range of studies. The student body was diverse and overall great to study with. ASU is rich in both academics and student life. There are many clubs, student organizations, amenities, and activities you can join. One thing I would recommend is invest in a lot of sunscreen and good walking shoes. Due to it's large campus you'll be doing a lot of walking which is great but can be a bit of a struggle during the very hot summer months.

Jessica

Verified

26/07/2023

Online

Great MSW program!

Arizona State University has an amazing online Master of Social Work Program. Even though it was an online program, I feel that I developed great connections with professors, co-instructors, and peers. Finding an internship placement was stress free because of the high level of support the program offered. I would definitely choose to go back to ASU if I decided to further my education in future.

Alan

Verified

18/06/2023

On Campus

Long lasting friendships

I have been able to have incredible experiences and make connections that will live long in my memory. I've had the chance to start my career here in a way I never thought I would. I love how the university lets you choose your major and minor and take classes with a lot of freedom.

Student

Verified

20/05/2023

Blended

Continuous Support

Opinion Arizona State University has many great opportunities available to students. All of the departments are very helpful and really care about student's succeeding. What's there to like? One think I like about ASU is their Education program. They really ensure that students will receive useful information that is directly applicable to their career. One thing I dislike is, nothing! It is a high ranking university but one notable thing is that the school is located in Arizona; where temperatures reach well over 100° throughout the entire Summer. Would I reccomend ASU? I would certainly reccomend Arizona State University for any students who are looking to learn and gain meaningful experiences throughout finishing school.

Dan

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

Arizona State University

ASU is a wonderful university with so many educational opportunities. Its professors are friendly and approachable and were always willing to help or give advice to students whenever their help was needed. It also provided students with many opportunities to meet people outside the classroom for example clubs and other social events hosted within the university. ASU offers great education and I loved the campus and faculty

Dawud

Verified

5/12/2022

Blended

Practical Lecturing

The amazing features about Arizona State University would not allow me to write less when it comes to recommending the second to none university to the public! Life on Arizona State University campus is an intriguing possibility! Here is where dreams are realized due to the immense support from lecturers academically as well as fascinating large lecture halls with modernized appliance that makes learning easier. Goals are realized with ease as students who need support are given chances

Student

Verified

27/11/2022

Blended

University program

The university offers a lot of options for students, particularly in terms of integration and extracurricular activities including involvement in several student organizations. However, I am dissatisfied with the quality of the information offered and the degree of practice skills needed for success in a professional position. Fantastic university location

Student

Verified

26/11/2022

Blended

ASU infrastructures

Without a doubt, I would suggest this university. There is a highly educated personnel with an exceptional commitment toward teaching. The highly developed infrastructure and technology is another significant plus.

Sophia

Verified

2/11/2023

Blended

Hands on Experience, labs

I love that that this school is known all over the world and the education is of high quality. It's been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as No. 1 for best online bachelor's in business programs

Student

Verified

30/09/2023

On Campus

Amazing Start to Your Career in Social Sciences

I had a great experience at ASU as a Political Science student. ASU is one of the biggest universities in the U.S., offering a wide range of studies. The student body was diverse and overall great to study with. ASU is rich in both academics and student life. There are many clubs, student organizations, amenities, and activities you can join. One thing I would recommend is invest in a lot of sunscreen and good walking shoes. Due to it's large campus you'll be doing a lot of walking which is great but can be a bit of a struggle during the very hot summer months.

Jessica

Verified

26/07/2023

Online

Great MSW program!

Arizona State University has an amazing online Master of Social Work Program. Even though it was an online program, I feel that I developed great connections with professors, co-instructors, and peers. Finding an internship placement was stress free because of the high level of support the program offered. I would definitely choose to go back to ASU if I decided to further my education in future.

Alan

Verified

18/06/2023

On Campus

Long lasting friendships

I have been able to have incredible experiences and make connections that will live long in my memory. I've had the chance to start my career here in a way I never thought I would. I love how the university lets you choose your major and minor and take classes with a lot of freedom.

Student

Verified

20/05/2023

Blended

Continuous Support

Opinion Arizona State University has many great opportunities available to students. All of the departments are very helpful and really care about student's succeeding. What's there to like? One think I like about ASU is their Education program. They really ensure that students will receive useful information that is directly applicable to their career. One thing I dislike is, nothing! It is a high ranking university but one notable thing is that the school is located in Arizona; where temperatures reach well over 100° throughout the entire Summer. Would I reccomend ASU? I would certainly reccomend Arizona State University for any students who are looking to learn and gain meaningful experiences throughout finishing school.

Dan

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

Arizona State University

ASU is a wonderful university with so many educational opportunities. Its professors are friendly and approachable and were always willing to help or give advice to students whenever their help was needed. It also provided students with many opportunities to meet people outside the classroom for example clubs and other social events hosted within the university. ASU offers great education and I loved the campus and faculty

Dawud

Verified

5/12/2022

Blended

Practical Lecturing

The amazing features about Arizona State University would not allow me to write less when it comes to recommending the second to none university to the public! Life on Arizona State University campus is an intriguing possibility! Here is where dreams are realized due to the immense support from lecturers academically as well as fascinating large lecture halls with modernized appliance that makes learning easier. Goals are realized with ease as students who need support are given chances

Student

Verified

27/11/2022

Blended

University program

The university offers a lot of options for students, particularly in terms of integration and extracurricular activities including involvement in several student organizations. However, I am dissatisfied with the quality of the information offered and the degree of practice skills needed for success in a professional position. Fantastic university location

Student

Verified

26/11/2022

Blended

ASU infrastructures

Without a doubt, I would suggest this university. There is a highly educated personnel with an exceptional commitment toward teaching. The highly developed infrastructure and technology is another significant plus.