MBA program takes students beyond the books

When Taria Dees enrolled in the MBA Strategic Management course at Aurora University, she didn’t anticipate learning about community goodwill. However, her experiential course project took her in that direction.

Taria and some of her classmates worked with a life-long resident of Aurora who wanted to help address the lack of housing for those who are at or below the poverty level. Through a series of meetings with her client, Taria helped create a strategic plan in support of the mission to provide quality affordable housing along with educational and support services to families who qualify for Section 8 vouchers and want to improve their quality of life.

“When we started the project, we were excited about the opportunity to help the community by applying the skills we were learning in class,” said Taria. “We quickly discovered that there was a lot more involved to starting a charitable organization.”

Collaboration was key to the plan of establishing a nonprofit. Taria worked with residents, city government officials and other organizations with similar missions. She even started the 501(c)(3) application paperwork needed to create a nonprofit.

“I’ve enjoyed my MBA experience at AU immensely,” said Taria. “I’ve been able to work on projects with my peers and members of the local business community. As a result of these hands-on experiences, I’ve learned how to manage projects efficiently and effectively.”