Smart Learning at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

A business school after Aristotle’s heart

“What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing,” said Aristotle (384-322 BC). If the Greek philosopher chose to study business today, he’d feel right at home as an undergraduate at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management

Experiential learning, aka “learning by doing,” is at the core of  Whitman’s bachelor of science programs in accounting, entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, finance, marketing, management, real estate, retail management, and supply chain management. It’s not surprising, then, that internships, community service, and international experience related to the student’s program of study all are required (and not just options) for all undergraduates and are actively facilitated by faculty and staff.  In the classroom, experiences that at many business schools usually would be reserved for MBA students are the norm (think: real-life case studies, simulations, hands-on research and development projects, team efforts, competitions for seed-money prizes, and more).  

The Most Unique Thing

“The most unique thing about Whitman is its EEE457* class, in which students come up with an innovative product or service, write a business plan on it, and then present it to a panel of judges. "Tons of work," one graduate of the school’s top-ranked entrepreneurship program, reported on

“However, it was a great experience that enabled us to apply everything we learned in all of our other Whitman classes, as well as learn much more.” Ask a finance major about the most unique thing and you’re sure to hear about the Orange Value Fund**, a $1.1 million student-managed fund created with the objective of training Whitman students to become money managers. Through participation, students gain meaningful firsthand experience and a deep understanding of value investing. The program is housed in Whitman’s Ballentine Investment Institute, which was founded by alumnus Steven Ballentine (’83), to “bring the markets alive to the students.” 

For a close-up look at these and other unique learning opportunities, check out online video presentations by and interviews with Whitman students and alumni, as well as student news programs and more.

An Environment for Learning

To support all this teamwork- and technology-enhanced learning-by-doing, the Whitman School’s new 160,000-square-foot building, completed in 2005, is student-focused by design. It features 20 team meeting-rooms each for undergraduate and graduate students, all outfitted with the latest technology, and wireless Internet access throughout. Numerous conversation areas encourage casual interaction among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. There are 22 state-of-the-art classrooms, 74 faculty offices, a 100-seat café and 200-seat auditorium, an awesome three-story, 4,000 square foot Grand Hall, and a special events room with an outdoor terrace and a view of the campus and nearby Marshall Street below, with its many coffee shops and other favorite student hangouts.

Said Mlungisi Mabele ’06, “They thought about students when they designed the building—every resource a student needs to study, learn, and excel is right here: computer clusters, flat panel displays, lounging areas, the latest training software.” Whitman houses all the programs, centers and institutes mentioned above, and is home to the new Goodman Undergraduate Leadership Center, established in fall 2010.  

Last but certainly not least, the Whitman Undergraduate Office provides on-site administrative resources to meet the needs of the school’s nearly 1,800 undergraduate students and welcomes prospective undergraduate students as well. The web site also provides an information specifically for parents.

When asking questions about the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, why not consider Aristotle’s advice, and ask this:  As a student at Whitman, how can I “learn by doing” the things I most want to learn to do?  Chances are you’ll be inspired by what you find out.

*EEE stands for Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises.

**Why orange?  Because it is SU’s official color—and mascot

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A researcher, writer, and editor with a special interest in education, Lisa Warren is a featured contributor to SmartCollegeVisit. 


For more videos related  to our on-going series: Smart Learning™Smart See, Smart Do™, and CampusChat, please visit our SmartCollegeVisit video page on YouTube.


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