The combined resources of the MBA program and the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership are delivering real-world business lessons to Clemson University classrooms across all educational disciplines on campus.

The MBA program in Greenville is leveraging its connections in innovation and corporate circles to assist the Spiro Institute in launching an Executive Experience Program that will connect faculty and students with successful business leaders from a wide array of industries.

“The Spiro Institute will serve as brokers, or matchmakers of sorts, in connecting successful Clemson alums, and others, to professors wanting to incorporate real-world business experiences into their curriculum.” said Matthew Klein, the institute’s director.

Klein foresees the program bringing up to 100 industry experts into classrooms annually.

“When you combine the corporate and entrepreneurial connections the MBA program and the Spiro Institute bring to bear, you are talking about a vast web of business leaders and successful entrepreneurs who are passionate about educating the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders at Clemson.”

Greg Pickett, College of Business senior associate dean and director of MBA programs, said the Executive Experience Program will supplement classroom curriculum by bringing together the best of academe and the business world, something faculty have been asking for to complement their curriculums.

“These executives are fully vetted and very qualified to speak as business experts to the classes that they will be matched with,” Pickett said. “Our connections to the corporate world are vast and we are capable of connecting nationally recognized industry leaders with our faculty and students.”

Klein said the Spiro Institute has already begun filling Executive Experience Program requests. He said one example of the level of talent the collaborators can deliver is Frank Bishop, retired CEO of Invesco, a global investment management company with over $1 billion in revenues and 6,500 employees.

“The Spiro Institute’s Advisory Board and Founder’s Society is capable of casting a very wide net of experts to share their experiences with undergrad and graduate students. When you add in the MBA program’s corporate connections, we will be capable of providing classrooms with successful business executives who have been there, done that and have the ability to speak with authority on many subject matters.”

Christina Kyprianou, assistant professor of management, is a new faculty member and an early adopter of Executive Experience Program’s resources.

“These guest lecturers have been especially helpful in my introductory entrepreneurial classes. Students hear directly from entrepreneurs and investors on the upsides and downsides of their experiences,” she said. “Exposing students to the realities of business is a strong complement to the concepts taught in the classroom. Connecting students with the business community also has the potential to create relationships that will develop beyond the classroom.”

To request an Executive Experience Program, instructors are asked to fill out a request form on the Spiro Institute’s web site.

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