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Poole Business
25th Anniversary Interdisciplinary by Design

Interdisciplinary by Design

To go from the drawing board to the boardroom, you need interdisciplinary teamwork. So that’s exactly what we teach.

student presenting final course workAt the Poole College, students prepare for the modern business environment by teaming up with their peers in other fields.

In our Product Innovation Lab, for example, we task graduate students with real product development challenges by having them team up with their counterparts from other fields.

“Each team is a mix of MBAs, designers, and engineers, so everyone gets exposed to all three areas,” says Jon Bohlmann, professor of marketing and innovation. “But it’s more than mere exposure. This is about the hard work of devising an innovative solution to a market need.”

“It’s rewarding to see students realize the importance of working with people from different disciplines and pulling together — just like in real life.”

—Ola Harrysson, Edward P. Fitts distinguished professor
of industrial and systems engineering

The teams enjoy access to the resources of three NC State colleges, including a cutting-edge prototyping lab that’s helped to create everything from animal prosthetics to devices that aid patients with asthma. Many of those concepts have gone on to attract significant venture capital. Jusk ask London White, a Jenkins MBA student who’s launched three companies during his time at Poole College, including one that sprung from the Product Innovation Lab.

White also took part in our Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization (TEC) concentration, where MBA students collaborate with graduate students from other disciplines — including scientists, engineers and designers — to build a high-growth startup. White teamed up with graduate engineers to turn a shelved medical patent into a method for better preserving red blood cells.

Poole College fosters multidisciplinary academic partnerships like these because they make collaborating with other professionals second nature for our students. Other partnerships can be seen in our collaborative faculty research, in the interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students within the Entrepreneurship Clinic and in our partnership programs such as Financial Mathematics and Global Luxury Management.

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