Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics’ Business in Practice (BiP) Program uses experiential learning to help students transition into their careers after graduation. The program partners with business professionals to bring real-world scenarios to the classroom by challenging students to complete projects related to their industry.  

Krystal Hicks teaches “College to Career: How to Stand Out in Today’s Job Market”. Hicks founded her own business as a career strategist at JobTalk after serving as the Corporate Recruitment Manager for Lindt & Sprüngli for several years. In her class, Hick’s challenges students with what she calls “The Disruption Project”, which tasks them with researching a disruption in the industry they’re interested in pursuing and sharing what they’ve gathered on LinkedIn.  

Krystal Hicks talking with a student

“I wanted to try and provide a bit more insight into what those disruptive, real-time, changes were looking like so students would be more prepared when they graduated,” said Hicks. 

The Disruption Project was an essential learning experience for students, providing them with skills and an expanded network that gives them a competitive advantage over their peers. One of Hicks’ students, Zack Broder, an active honor student of PAUL and student-run investment group, Atkins, is ready to transition to a Sales and Service manager for BHB Pest Elimination. Much of his role depends on leading and training technicians and working in line with the Directors of Operation. The project led him to look beyond his position in the overall industry, and what pivots and investments companies were making to stay competitive.  

The pest control industry has positioned themselves to continue to be an essential aspect of life in urban and residential environments. Conducting these couple of interviews and researching the pest control industry has left me excited to one day join the industry and take on the everlasting challenges,” said Broder. Broder’s Linkedin project gained the attention of a national industry magazine, Pest Management Professional, and earned the business a PMP feature article about facing the challenges of the pandemic.  

“[BiP] is deliverable when it comes to feeling secure in your college career. I wanted to teach the class I wish I had as a student,” said Hicks. In adding real-world experience to the existing curriculum, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make an impact today.