Practicum

The Cotsakos College of Business is pleased to invite eligible students to participate in a practicum work experience which simultaneously earns three credit hours of credit. The practicum work experience is one of an ongoing set of numerous professional enrichment opportunities and alternative pedagogical methodologies that the Cotsakos College of Business encourages all students to consider.


What is a Practicum?

A practicum is a guided work experience conducted within a group framework, where groups provide dynamic consultation to small businesses or other organizations, under the mentorship of a faculty sponsor.

Unlike internships, where students work on an individual basis in a structured work environment for an organization, Cotsakos College of Business practicum experiences involve group dynamics. Students, in small groups, under the mentorship of a selected faculty member, provide guided consultation to an organization/client and seek to explore a specific work related issue or practical business problem. The group proceeds, during the course of the semester, to provide updates to the client’s “point person” and the faculty mentor/sponsor.


What are the Major Benefits of Enrolling in a Practicum?

Students who enroll for a practicum will:

  • earn three credits towards their curriculum credit hour requirements,
  • gain hands-on experience employing group and team dynamics,
  • sharpen presentation and professional report writing skills,
  • experience a unique work opportunity in a semi-structured work environment,
  • become familiar with the actual decision making issues faced by organizations and learn how to integrate academic theory and technology with business practice,
  • develop an understanding of how business research is conducted,
  • work on an actual business project for a client,
  • experience the world of business consulting, and
  • develop business contacts and increase networking opportunities.

Simultaneously, the sponsoring organization benefits through the opportunity to leverage the student groups’ expertise and results to address the work issue or business problem that is being explored.


What Type of Consultation Might be Involved?

Student groups that participate in a practicum will become involved in consulting activities including, but not limited to:

  • small business start up and entrepreneurship,
  • development of marketing plans,
  • implementation and utilization of contemporary accounting systems,
  • financial consulting and investment analysis,
  • involvement in corporate strategic planning,
  • exploration into export markets and global business operations,
  • customer service issues and quality improvement.


What Are the Requirements for Completing a Practicum?

Requirements vary by work opportunity, but generally involve:

  1. Regular meetings with the client’s point-person. These meetings help familiarize students with the business world and provide insight concerning career development issues. Simultaneously, the student group provides updates to the client concerning progress on the work related issue or practical problem being studied, information that has been gathered, and results of analyses that have been conducted in support of the project,
  2. Employing group dynamics, and partitioning the workload that forms the basis for the practicum, between group members,
  3. Providing periodical updates to the faculty mentor, and
  4. Submitting a written report to the faculty mentor and the client, accompanied by a semester-end group presentation, where the end results of the group work effort and “consultation” are reported.


What Are the Eligibility Criteria for a Practicum?

To be eligible for a practicum, a student must:

  1. have a GPA of at least 3.0, both overall and in the major,
  2. have attained junior status by the beginning of the semester that the practicum is taken (58 credit hours earned), and
  3. have completed the following requirement(s) dependent on major or concentration:
    • Accounting – ACCT 2110 & 2120
    • Finance – FIN 3200
    • Financial Planning - FIN 3600
    • Global Business – either ECON 3700, FIN 4000, MGT 3090, or MKT 3160
    • Management – MGT 2000
    • Marketing - MKT 2100
    • Professional Sales - RPS 2050

For more information, please contact the Director of Experiential Learning, Dr. Giuliana Andreopoulos (AndreopoulosG@wpunj.edu or 973-720-3718), or the Assistant to the Dean, Dr. Martin Gritsch (GritschM@wpunj.edu or 973-720-2977).