Student and professor in the Bloomberg Lab

Advancing Career and Education (ACE)

The Advancing Career and Education (ACE) Program at Stuart School of Business is a unique, innovative part of the graduate curriculum designed to prepare students for professional internships and careers after graduation.

In today’s competitive job market, rigorous academic preparation is not enough. To succeed, students also need business competencies, including communication and interpersonal skills, relationship-building, and networking. Stuart’s ACE Program helps students develop these skills through early exposure to real-world professional environments.

ACE is designed for first-year graduate students with little or no work experience in the United States, and focuses on building professionalism and providing opportunities to participate in business culture early in the student’s graduate studies. These experiences give students a competitive edge in applying for internships and jobs.

Partnerships with Businesses and Organizations

More than 100 Chicago-based organizations have worked with the Stuart School through its ACE Program to accomplish their organizational goals. The students’ work at partner organizations, combined with a classroom component, reinforces key professional and communication skills.

Examples of ACE assignments include:

  • A team of Stuart students worked on marketing initiatives at PNC Bank targeting specific Chicago neighborhoods.
  • At Environmental Design International, students assisted in the accounting and environmental department and another student helped with data modeling assignments
  • Students helped the American Medical Association enhance its web presence by developing profiles and sharing information through social media.

The ACE program is a degree requirement for all master’s-level programs at Stuart School. Participation in ACE does not earn academic credit, but successful completion is required for graduation and will appear on student transcripts. ACE is optional for students with six months of business-related U.S. work experience.

ACE Director

Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Student Success Curt Allee serves as director and teaches courses in the Advancing Career and Education Program (ACE).

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Ambika Sahay Verma

ACE to Internship to Career Launch

“I interned at Intuit as a technical program manager (M.B.A. intern),” says Ambika Sahay Verma (M.B.A./M.P.P.A. ’22). “The career readiness classes offered by Stuart—ACE Foundational Career Competency Development and Career Competency Experience—really helped me prepare for the application and interview process.”

Ambika’s internship led to a full-time job offer at Intuit, where she began working right after graduation.

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Stuart School of Business

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