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Today’s businesses grow and succeed for a myriad of reasons. Studying the likes of Apple, Exxon Mobil and General Motors — some of the most meteoric and enduring firms in this era — two common factors stand out. Each has a CEO with an MBA, and they all embrace innovation.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one university has developed a well-rounded program that nurtures future-proof leadership and an innovative mindset. The Thomas Jefferson University School of Business is home to the Innovation MBA (iMBA), heralded by The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Wired Magazine as a degree that caters to the varying needs of top firms.

To create experts, the program is taught by experts who remain active in their respective industries. It focuses on global learning, teamwork, collaboration and industry projects to develop well-prepared business leaders, equipped to take on the global marketplace. Another perk? International exposure. The iMBA offers an optional, unique International Innovation Trip, where a part of the curriculum will be taught abroad at various locations.

What’s more, it’s a program open to any and every career interest. The iMBA is one of very few to integrate an innovation core and specialized concentrations such as analytics, accounting (CPA preparation), biopharmaceutical commercialization,cannabis business,  finance (CFA preparation), fashion business, leadership, real estate development, and marketing. Industry projects are essential to all, ensuring students are career-ready upon graduation.

Both international exposure and industry experience are what convinced Brianna Giarraputo, from Medford, NJ, to pursue a Jefferson iMBA. Before completing her BS in Fashion Merchandising and Management at Jefferson, Giarraputo was able to study in China, intern for Ann Inc. in New York and later for QVC in West Chester, PA; and she was determined to keep exploring.

With this hands-on knowledge and individualized attention from small class sizes, Giarraputo plans to break into the luxury fashion industry before eventually pursuing a PhD to teach fashion business to college students. As she approaches graduation, she is confident she will achieve these goals. “I think that my experience at Jefferson has taught me to adapt and adjust. From moving classes online to working in teams on intensive projects, I’ve learned the importance of shifting gears and working in a fast-paced environment,” she says.

For students with a passion for fashion like Giarraputo, Jefferson’s MS in Global Fashion Enterprise is a solid choice. This program was specifically designed for professionals planning to pivot into the dynamic industry. It focuses on global fashion development, providing learners with a deeper understanding of apparel ecosystems.

What sets this program apart is the suite of experiences it offers. Students get to work in teams to innovate new products and systems. They begin with research and conclude by creating a solution for their findings. These projects allow them to work directly and network with industry leaders – connections that often translate to internships or employment opportunities.

Across programs, flexibility and employment opportunities abound. Some prominent regional employers include the likes of Comcast, Vanguard, QVC, Verizon, PWC, SAP, Amtrak, JP Morgan Chase – amongst many more. Lucrative positions await them — according to recent US News and World Report, Jefferson graduates rank among the top 10 in the nation for starting salaries.

Eager to fast-track an illustrious career? At Jefferson, degrees — fully accredited by Middle States and ACBSP — can be earned at a competitive price and in just 12 months. Additionally, the Advanced Standing option is given to students with prior professional experience and a strong, relevant academic background in the field they’re looking to excel in. What’s more, you could take them on however you wish – online, in the vibrant city center, or at the expansive East Falls campus.

Thomas Jefferson University

Source: Thomas Jefferson University

Knowledge, connections and hands-on experiences

At Jefferson’s School of Business, these outstanding graduate outcomes are ensured – made possible by a keen emphasis on experiential learning and industry knowledge. Jefferson has links in every sector, making it the ideal destination for students looking to grow and excel among leaders, and to become leaders in their chosen fields. It’s a plus for students and definitely a plus for organizations.

“We have had students partake in a design challenge with our COVID Shelters and to imagine what our company might transition to in a new product challenge. It was beneficial to our organization by giving us quite a few fresh sets of eyes, a better understanding of the issues that the next generation is focused on, and what problems they feel need to be addressed,” shares Solomon Abraham Rosenthal, CEO of Jefferson industry partner Aluminum Shapes LLC.

These experiences give students a taste of the workplace, while rigorous academics give them the upper-hand to stay ahead. Rosenthal confirms this. “I would say what sets them apart, having gone through the program, is the preparation and the skill set they leave the institution with. Jefferson graduates have proven they have already successfully found balance and succeeded. As long as the Jefferson curriculum remains a challenge, those successfully completing the course will set themselves apart.”

A unrivaled student experience awaits in Philadelphia

Across 10 colleges, 63,000 have graduated, and 8,500 students are well on their way. Ask them about their time at Jefferson and each will tell a story with a smile on their face. The city of Philadelphia – where founding fathers have walked, and industry leaders have been nurtured – is one that inspires achievement.

The East Falls campus is just 10 minutes away by car from Philadelphia’s center city and its vast array of vibrant offerings. From stellar museums to Instagram-worthy industrial spaces –– students spend their time outside the classroom taking in these splendors. For those eager to explore further, they can head to bustling neighboring cities such as New York City and Washington D.C.. Jefferson’s ideal location is not just aesthetically-pleasing to the eye, it also opens doors to a broader range of real-world projects and networking opportunities.

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