Business opportunities at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business

The University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business (Daniels) is known around the world for being a pioneer among business schools, for upholding the belief that a high-quality, rigorous business education should delve into more than the functional business disciplines

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Founded in 1908, Daniels was only the United State’s eighth business school. Its three areas of interdisciplinary collaboration are at the core of its programmes, and that which make the college unique are as follows:

Ethics – Ethical leadership has been an integral component of the curriculum at Daniels since 1989, when the college received an $11m challenge grant from cable industry leader and the college’s namesake, Bill Daniels, to revamp its graduate business curriculum. The changes made at Daniels were decades ahead of those being called for in business schools today.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Daniels provides numerous entrepreneurial opportunities to students through an entrepreneurship minor, case competitions, a new-venture challenge and many different social entrepreneurship initiatives, projects and courses.

Globalisation – The Daniels College of Business has long been committed to training business leaders who understand the interdependencies of various business functions and the cultures in which they exist. Its interdisciplinary curriculum, international partnerships and hands-on learning in countries around the world teach its graduates that every decision has multi-faceted ramifications and all must be taken into account.

Daniels believes that business schools can have a profound impact on corporations, which can foster positive change in the world. The college develops programmes that teach ethical business practice and inspire students to consider its greater role in the world. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelors in Accountancy, five MBA programmes and seven specialised masters programmes have produced more than 30,000 alumni around the world who are living examples of its mission: Ethical practice; thought leadership; global impact.

The Compass curriculum
Daniels teaches students the fundamental business disciplines, but also focuses on values-based leadership, teamwork, sustainable development, innovation, ethics and corporate social responsibility. This commitment is reflected by the Daniels Compass, the core curriculum that is the foundation of all 14 Daniels degree programmes. The Compass is more than a set of courses – it is representative of the college-wide commitment to ethical leadership.

The Compass includes courses to build modern, ethical leaders as well as two experiential learning courses: Leading at the Edge Weekend for graduate students and the Ethics Boot Camp Weekend for undergraduates. The curriculum prepares students to navigate complex business situations and consider the economic, ethical, legal, political and environmental implications of business decisions.

Partnerships with corporations
Daniels knows that students learn best by doing, so it partners with many national and global organisations to offer students unique opportunities to learn on the ground. From its Voices of Experience speaker series to the Corporate Partners Program, Daniels offers a variety of programmes that allow students to build mentor relationships and engage in consulting projects with seasoned business professionals and executives. Daniels finds that these partnerships not only benefit its students, they give organisations access to Daniels’ talented students, alumni and faculty.

One example of a mutually beneficial collaborative effort is the long-time partnership between Daniels and Newmont Mining, one of the world’s largest gold producers. Since 2007, Daniels students have travelled to countries such as Ghana and Peru to explore with Newmont the economic, social and environmental challenges of operating gold mines while engaging with key stakeholders. Newmont’s former chairman, Wayne Murdy, serves on the Daniels Executive Advisory board. Newmont has also turned to Daniels to develop its leadership talent through a customised executive leadership programme.

Real-world experiences
Daniels programmes are rooted in globalisation. Since the early 1990s, professors have taken students around the globe for experiential-learning and exchange programmes and have taught at universities such as Renmin University, University of Manchester, Queensland University of Technology, Kuwait University and Liaoning Normal University, gaining knowledge and experience that informs the teaching at Daniels. The University of Denver’s Cherrington Global Scholars programme allows students to study abroad at no additional cost beyond the price of a term at the university, and nearly three-quarters of the university’s students study abroad.

Graduate students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world organisations through programmes like Global Opportunities (GO-MBA and GO-International MBA), in which students are immersed in international cultures to study global business, corporate social responsibility, sustainable development and other business issues at real organisations. Through GO and other international travel programmes, Daniels graduate students have worked with organisations and companies in countries such as Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, India, Mongolia, Vietnam, Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Poland, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Peru and China.

Producing talented world leaders
Daniels has earned a reputation for producing knowledgeable, socially responsible, globally aware graduates who are capable of developing unique solutions to complex challenges. While the college takes pride in its accomplishments and partnerships, Daniels also appears to understand well that the world of business is ever-changing. To maintain its position as one of the world’s greatest business institutions, Daniels continually innovates.

As the college builds upon its legacy, Daniels believes now more than ever that it is important to take a holistic approach to business education. Tomorrow’s leaders must do more than drive shareholder value. They must be well-rounded thinkers and leaders capable of leading an organisation to triple-bottom-line success, measured by social, environmental and economic performance.

Daniels graduates go on to do extraordinary things. Take Jargal Dambadarjaa (MBA, 2002), who returned to his native Mongolia armed with a Daniels MBA and a plan to help capitalism succeed in the struggling country, or Reid Husmer (BSBA, 1996), founder of an eco-friendly junk hauling company, or Julie Markham (MBA, MS, BSBA, 2010), who as a student, travelled the globe to learn about microfinance and make her mark, and later earned the 2011 United States Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest award for youth.

These examples of alumni doing good through business is exactly what the college is about. Daniels is proud of the successes of its alumni, and as the college moves into its next century, Daniels knows that its graduates will continue to add value to their communities and have a lasting impact on stakeholders around the world.