The McIntire School of Commerce welcomes global assistance and insurance leader Allianz as the newest sponsor of its hallmark undergraduate program, the Integrated Core Experience.
One of the world’s largest firms in the travel sector, Allianz works with thousands of partners, including travel agencies, airlines, resorts, websites, event ticket brokers, corporations, universities, and credit card issuers to provide travel protection and insurance solutions.
Student blocks collaborating on the project for the fall of 2020 will be tasked with integrating concepts, skills, and functional expertise from across their Commerce coursework. The unstructured challenge requires third-year students to conduct a thorough analysis report of the firm’s current business, followed by recommendations for new strategic initiatives for Allianz to create customer value in the wake of the impact of coronavirus-related uncertainty on travel and mobility.
Joe Mason (McIntire ’92), Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz and executive representative on the project, voiced his enthusiasm and optimism for a productive semester.
“The team at Allianz is thrilled to be participating in the Integrated Core Experience this year. The pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on the global economy, and we look forward to working with the talented students and faculty at McIntire to identify new solutions to serve our millions of customers. We have worked with the Commerce School in other capacities with great success, and we are committed to making this engagement equally rewarding. Plus, with our strong, long history of hiring McIntire students, this partnership will give us an opportunity to better showcase our overall business and dive deeper on our product, marketing, and analytics strategies,” says Mason.
One of six McIntire faculty members participating in the project, Commerce Professor Peter Gray is likewise excited about the partnership.
“My faculty team and I are delighted to be working with Allianz this fall,” he says. “We have been collaborating with leaders at Allianz to craft a terrific project that will challenge students to synthesize their learnings from all the important Commerce disciplines and come up with innovative solutions to a real-world challenge. This kind of sponsorship and support from senior leaders is invaluable in inspiring the students to apply all their learnings and create real business value.”
Student groups will present their findings and recommendations to Allianz and McIntire’s Integrated Core Experience faculty at various points throughout the semester, beginning in early October and concluding in late November. As a precautionary measure necessitated by COVID-19, presentations to the client will be conducted via Zoom.
The Integrated Core Experience, a requirement of all undergraduate McIntire students, provides a unique business education experience addressing problems in real time. A staple of the Commerce School’s highly ranked B.S. in Commerce for more than 20 years, the third-year program has been credited with broadening the horizons of generations of business students, empowering them with the vision and creativity to view cases from many perspectives and deepening their understanding the interconnectedness of business functions across industries.
“Having graduated from McIntire many years ago, I’m very eager to see how much the speed of learning, technology, and communications have changed over the years,” Mason says. “I can’t wait to get started.”