IBE Honors Students Excel in Challenging Environment

Posted: May 26, 2021

Overcoming challenges is the name of game for Integrated Business Engineering (IBE) Honors students at Ohio State. Since 2014, students in the IBE program have been using the entrepreneurial mindset to solve real-world business and engineering problems. Using the knowledge and skills they obtain from the curriculum, they propose solutions to judges and industry sponsors at a series of signature events.

Co-managed by the College of Engineering and the Fisher College of Business, IBE is an interdisciplinary program that equips students with an entrepreneurial mindset to become leaders at the intersection of business and technology. The program has produced highly sought-after graduates beginning their careers at top firms across a variety of industries.

IBE Alumni Mentors

This year, 36 first-year students worked together to build unity in a socially distanced and remote world. Dr. Patrick Herak of the Department of Engineering Education at Ohio State led the first-year IBE students through the freshman cornerstone project. Describing the semester, Herak stated “The students all wanted to meet in person and the instructional team wanted to give them the best experience possible.  The students not only persevered but excelled in this challenging environment.” To further build the community and provide additional support for students during this challenging academic year, alumni from the program came back to offer mentorship throughout the semester and formed the IBE Alumni Council [pictured right]."

After a semester of socially distanced in-person courses, IBE students presented their work at the annual IBE First-Year Business Design Competition [students pictured]. Select industry partners, as well as members of the alumni council, were present to judge the teams as they presented their business plans. Bill Baumel, a judge from the Ohio Innovation Fund, was clearly impressed and said, “The ideas, content, and presentations were truly better than 90 percent plus of what we see from founders pitching their startups.”

IBE Students at final presentation in spring of 2021

As the program continues to grow, the program welcomes community support and encourages students interested in the program to apply. The skills and networking opportunities this program offers are unique and treasured. 

Prepared by Aaron D. Kempa | Department of Engineering Education