Experiential education is a core dimension of the Gabelli School of Business. If you think you'll just be sitting in a lecture hall, think again. Our students go beyond traditional classroom learning to test their skills and knowledge in national competitions, through internships with major business, nonprofit and governmental organizations, and in a variety of study-abroad opportunities. We bridge theory with practice via real-world projects and challenges in which our students become deeply involved as consultants, problem-solvers and valuable team members focused on learning and fostering the success of the organizations with which they serve.
National Collegiate Business Competitions
Through recent major investments in technology and facilities, the Gabelli School provides state-of-the-art financial, analytical and marketing training where students build technical and strategic skills that enable them to challenge themselves at several collegiate business competitions. Our students have increased their involvement in regional and national collegiate business competitions over the past few years, consistently finishing in the top 10. These are just a few examples:
- On the heels of becoming 2017 national champions, our Analytics Team followed up in 2018 with an impressive second-place win against the nation's best colleges in the American Association of Information Systems National Analytics Competition, where students crunch data sets and present solutions to problems facing real companies.
- Interdisciplinary teams compete each year in the National Student Advertising Competition, where students create and pitch a fully integrated advertising campaign and marketing strategy to real companies, such as Snapple and Tai Pei. In 2018, they took home a second-place national award.
- In the Federal Reserve Board's College Fed Challenge, student teams analyze economic and financial conditions, and present a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee, to a panel of experts in economics and monetary policy.
Center for Advanced Financial Education
The students in our Center for Advanced Financial Education (CAFE) program challenge themselves and their financial analytical skills in a competitive real-world market, managing two real-dollar portfolios in real time using an actual trading account. The CAFE provides hands-on training in securities analysis and portfolio management inside a recently renovated center designed to replicate Wall Street's analyst pods and trading rooms and equipped with cutting-edge Bloomberg and Moneynet.com resources, real-time, large-screen stock ticker, desktop workstations and tablets.
Through our unique RWU Community Partnerships Center, our students dive into community-engaged projects where they put their skills and knowledge to the test solving real-world problems with community partners. The CPC's mutually beneficial mission enables our students to act as business consultants to nonprofit organizations – building the real-world skills and experiences employers seek in our graduates, while serving communities who may lack resources to get projects off the ground. These are a few examples of the project-based work students have completed:
- Our students were tasked with creating a job training program for clients of Crossroads Rhode Island, a social enterprise non-profit which aims to combat homelessness. One particular challenge was to create a program which was financially sustainable and did not rely on Crossroads’ budget, but rather on grants and donations.
- An interdisciplinary team of Business, Historic Preservation, and Construction Management Students met with the Bristol Harbor Commission and Harbor Master to formulate a feasible renovation plan, cost estimate and management plan for re-use of the town's former Marine Armory into a public maritime center. Read about their project in "Partners on a Port of Welcome."
- Our students also created a business plan for re-imagining the abandoned Walley School in the Town of Bristol as a Community Arts Center. Read about how RWU and our students are partnering with Bristol's Arts in Common to make this a reality.
Nearly 100% of our students engage in one or more internships, many of them paid. Our students have access to an extensive range of internship experiences, and we consistently receive positive feedback from internship supervisors about their work. Internships provide additional credentials of distinction for students' first post-graduation professional opportunity, enhancing possibilities for positive career outcomes.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Through the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs, a substantial percentage of our students study abroad at some point, whether for a semester or the shorter timeframes offered by faculty-led programs in the summer, winter and spring breaks.