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Professional development

Professional Development Activities

Students in the Science BS/MBA Program have the benefit of numerous enrichment activities that foster professional development, self-presentation skills, initiative, and provide unique opportunities and personal attention.

BS/MBA students have ongoing interactions with program leadership from the time they join the program through degree completion and beyond. The BS/MBA Program Director oversees all aspects of the program and coordinates activities and initiatives that support student development and success. The Director of Academics is the lead faculty member who oversees the undergraduate degree and serves as the academic adviser for BS/MBA students. Smeal College of Business administrators support BS/MBA students through the graduate admissions process and completion of the M.B.A. program. Together, the BS/MBA Program leadership team serves as mentors to support academic success, professional development, and career readiness for BS/MBA students.


BS/MBA students receive regular mentorship from program leaders


BS/MBA students receive regular mentorship from program leaders

First-year BS/MBA students participate in a first-year seminar course (PSU 16) designed just for them, which includes exercises on leadership, group dynamics, presentation skills and business topics.

The BS/MBA spring seminar course (SC 306W) introduces fundamental business terms and concepts that will be useful for co-ops, internships, and the Smeal M.B.A. itself. BS/MBA students take this seminar course when they join the program, and they are encouraged to take it multiple times to deepen familiarity with key business concepts before starting the graduate degree.


BS/MBA students teach each other during PSU 16

The BS/MBA Program hosts various social activities to foster student connections and support:

At the New Student Orientation Program, incoming students select first-semester BS/MBA courses and learn about life as a Penn State student in the Eberly College of Science.

At a summer team meeting, first-year students come together to form a supportive learning cohort and upper-division BS/MBAs form mentor groups with first-year students to further build connection and offer assistance across the classes.

Throughout the academic year the BS/MBA Program holds numerous social events for students including informal dinners, cultural outings, and team-building events. Students across all class years form a tight and supportive cohort that enhances mutual motivation for academic success.

Certain special events for BS/MBA students, such as a luncheon hosted by then Penn State President and Mrs. Barron (pictured below) and interactions with Eberly College of Science leadership and alumni advisers enhance the student experience. 


Group photo from a luncheon hosted by President and Mrs. Barron for BS/MBA students


BS/MBA team-building day at the high ropes course


Students have formal and informal mentoring opportunities within the program: 

There is a formal mentorship program whereby upper-division undergraduate students and M.B.A. candidates serve as mentors to lower-division students.

In the fall, students meet to support one another in sharing best practices and experiences for securing undergraduate work opportunities. They learn from each other's experiences, share "tips and tricks" for finding undergraduate internships and co-ops, and network with each other to clarify and refine their career objectives.

In the spring, graduating M.B.A. students give brief presentations about their experiences in the BS/MBA Program. Undergraduates benefit from their insights and mentorship, learning from those who came before them.


Peer learning and mentoring

The annual Fall Symposium is a formal dinner with BS/MBA Program alumni and guests that provides students with networking opportunities, valuable career insights, and diverse perspectives from graduates in science-business fields.

Additional meetings and presentations by accomplished professionals in science and business enhance students' understanding of career options and further expands their professional networks.


BS/MBA alumni return to teach current students


Social dinner for BS/MBA students with program leadership

In the spring semester, the BS/MBA Program organizes a field trip to New York City, providing students with insights into the careers and lives of alumni and other professionals based in Manhattan. Students have learned from a wide range of professionals, including consultants at Deloitte, A.T. Kearney, and Ernst and Young; businesspeople at medical technology and pharmaceutical companies like Biotronik, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer; alumni professionals in Software as a Service companies such as Medidata and Salesforce; finance experts at Bank of America, UBS, and Dorilton Capital; and professionals in science-oriented public relations firms like Area 23 and 21Grams. Other diverse experiences include BS/MBA students visiting the New York Stock Exchange and learning about an alum’s career journey from a Penn State science undergrad to a Senior Vice President at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photo from the New York Stock Exchange.


BS/MBAs visit Bank of America


BS/MBAs visit Salesforce

Potential Employers

These companies have offered internships, co-op experiences and full-time positions to students and alumni of the BS/MBA Program:

A word cloud of potential employers.