Hands-On Learning

The Carlson School’s signature “In-Action” courses prepare students to succeed in the real world. These hands-on courses challenge students to apply what they learn in class to launch their own business, pinpoint solutions to business problems, or devise approaches to new opportunities. Most In-Action projects are sponsored by real corporations and nonprofits.

In-Action Course Outcomes

  • Discover how your past courses intersect and apply knowledge across disciplines
  • Get practice addressing real-world business challenges
  • Make recommendations to real companies
  • Receive mentoring from Carlson School faculty
  • Practice project management and critical thinking skills
  • Build collaboration, public speaking, and leadership skills
  • Navigate the complexities you’ll encounter in the business world

In-Action Courses

The Carlson School offers four In-Action courses. Students in their junior or senior year may choose one course that best aligns with their interests and career goals. Additional courses are in development now.

  • Entrepreneurship in Action: Conceive, launch, and operate your own business. Learn about all aspects of shaping a startup including strategy, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, operations, human resources, and information technology. Over 11 years, the Entrepreneurship in Action course has launched 25 businesses, generating more than $400,000 in revenue.
  • Finance in Action: Determine the value of a publicly traded company, then develop an investment recommendation for a client organization. First, students learn how to build financial models by studying real-world organizations. Then, student teams to develop a “live” financial analysis and risk/reward investment recommendation, and present their findings to a real client organization.
  • Marketing in Action: Develop recommendations for real-life marketing problems. Topics may include analyzing business models, sizing new markets, developing a brand promotion plan, pricing a product, forecasting product adoption, and more. The course will conclude with a multi-week, interactive simulation in which students compete in groups as they manage a product.