Boost Your Business Degree With a Concentration in Activist Marketing, Law, and More!

While our Business Administration major teaches students to become effective business leaders and decision makers, these 11 exciting concentrations allow them to dive into their areas of interest and customize their degree for growing fields.

The Champlain community joined activists from around the world for the Global Climate Strike.

1. Activist Marketing 

“Companies and brands play a unique role in the culture and in the lives of consumers, and collectively can be a force for positive change within society,” says Jay Curley, Global Head of Integrated Marketing at Ben & Jerry’s.

In Champlain’s Activist Marketing concentration, students learn how businesses, nonprofits, and activist movements can reach people effectively, make business more purposeful, and advance social change. It builds their marketing savvy from an activist perspective, preparing them for rewarding and world-changing careers.

Brand activism, which originated right here in Vermont with Ben & Jerry’s, “deploys traditional business marketing tools, techniques, and channels to advance social change—not just sell more stuff,” says Curley. The Stiller School of Business, with its strong ties to Ben & Jerry’s, has a powerful social mission of doing business for good. Over the years, Champlain professors have collaborated with Ben & Jerry’s to build classes for their Core Academy. Beyond the Job, Activism Academy, Leadership with Purpose, and Social Equity all teach positive leadership skills.

Champlain students and faculty meet with Ted Castle, owner and President of Rhino Foods, a Certified B Corporation. With refugees making up 30% of their workforce and a commitment to improving social and environmental conditions, Rhino Foods doesn’t just aim to bring about positive social change, it’s doing it.

“I’m very excited to be able to offer a course in Activist Marketing,” says Dr. Elaine Young, Professor of Digital Marketing, Appreciative Advisor, and Lead Faculty in Champlain Online’s Marketing Communication B.S. “It seems even more important than ever to think critically about the role of business in change making. Our students will investigate different brands and their history of activism to answer the question: ‘Can brands really be activists if their ultimate goal is to sell a product?’” Dr. Young’s Activist Marketing class is the first run of a course that will anchor the Activist Marketing concentration.

Champlain’s Center for Service & Sustainability provides numerous opportunities for students to build a better community and take on important leadership roles—both on campus and in local organizations.

2. Business Analytics 

Mind boggling amounts of data are generated across industries every single second: How many minutes did someone linger on a web page? Which features of an app are tapped most often? How many likes, comments, and shares did your Bernie Smittens post receive? Learning how to interpret and analyze data has become an essential skill for everyone who works in business. With today’s standard of technology, almost any business can harness countless data points from its software and online tools. With Champlain’s Business Analytics concentration, students learn how to read and derive meaning from available data to make informed business decisions.

Students in Dr. Elaine Young’s Digital Marketing Analytics and Advanced Digital Marketing classes analyze data and run campaigns for real-world clients like Champlain’s very own marketing department and Conference & Event Center.

The introductory Business Analytics course brings together the best of statistics, the best of business, and the best of computer programming. This class gives students a really robust, full review of what Business Analytics is—and the power of data in a business context.

Dr. Kylie King, Assistant Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship

3. Business For Good 

What if business could help end hunger? Or homelessness? The next great business idea may help solve an issue you’re passionate about. Through the Business for Good concentration, students investigate the far-reaching impacts a company has on its community and environment. They explore the interconnectedness of business and social movements, understanding how the two can—and must—work in tandem. 

Students in this concentration will intern with a certified B Corporation—a company that cares for people and the environment, not just profit. Students have worked with Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, and Seventh Generation, to name a few. Vermont has the largest number of Certified B-Corps per capita in the country, and currently there are 36 B-Corps in the state ranging from the venerable 230-year-old King Arthur Flour to the publicly owned utility, Green Mountain Power (in 2019, 94% of its energy supply was carbon free and more than 63% renewable).

I love how the entire Stiller School embraces the idea that business can be a force for good. Most business schools ignore this idea and just graduate moneymakers. At Champlain, we really believe business can make the world a better place—we believe this to our core.

Dr. Cyrus Patten, Stiller School of Business Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor

4. Business Law 

You don’t have to be a lawyer to help an organization advocate for its rights and maintain legal compliance in its operations. Upon completion of Champlain’s Business Law concentration, students will become experts in their industry’s legal issues and are prepared to handle the legal aspects of a company. They’ll graduate equipped with knowledge of laws, contracts, and federal and local legal systems, which is an immeasurably useful and highly in-demand skill set for any office setting. 

Professionally focused clubs—like Stiller Women in Business, Women in Technology, and the Cybersecurity Club (to name just a few)—give students plenty of opportunities to connect with classmates and network with industry leaders at conferences and events.

5. Computer Science 

A background in computer science will be an asset for business students entering any field. They can launch a tech startup or provide knowledgeable guidance to any organization—their blend of business acumen and programming experience gained in the Computer Science concentration will prove to be boundlessly versatile over time.

“Champlain grads have an entrepreneurial spirit. They’re innovative. They’re risk-takers. But above all, they learn by doing. That’s not the typical approach of most colleges,” says Donna Carpenter, Burton Snowboards Chair of the Board and Owner.

6. Cybersecurity 

In the Cybersecurity concentration, students gain hands-on experience in a field that’s in high demand. Every business and nonprofit needs to take measures to protect its systems and data, and this concentration can help students shore up those defenses and guide their organizations safely through the inevitable cyber threats they will experience.

Since 2006, Champlain has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Information Assurance by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, Champlain was named a 2020 “Most Innovative School” in the North by U.S. News & World Report.

Senator Patrick Leahy visits Champlain’s Leahy Center for Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity, a learning laboratory where undergraduate students work alongside industry experts to offer world-class cybersecurity and digital investigation services to government, business, and nonprofit clients.

7. Global Business

“With the Global Business concentration, students obtain knowledge and skills that empower them to take full advantage of career opportunities in a constantly globalizing world,” says Dr. Scott Baker, Dean of the Stiller School of Business. “From understanding the global economic, political, and cultural factors that may impact their organization to preparing them to work internationally, the Global Business concentration will give them an advantage come hiring time and make them key players on international teams.”

One of Champlain’s goals is to ensure that all students graduate equipped to be global citizens and leaders. According to the prestigious Institute of International Education Open Doors Report, Champlain ranks #15 in the country in semester-long study abroad programs. Since 2013, the Freeman Foundation has financially supported approximately 150 Champlain students interning in Shanghai, China. Due to its extraordinary success, Champlain and the Foundation expanded the program to Kyoto with the goal of adding other Japanese cities in the near future.

Stiller students have a tremendous number of opportunities to gain a global business perspective. They can study and intern abroad at our satellite campuses in Montreal, Canada, or Dublin, Ireland, or nearly anywhere else in the world through our third party options.

8. Human Resource Management

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports Human Resources (HR) is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. With a concentration in Human Resource Management, students can become HR experts and help organizations adapt to complex and rapidly changing laws, cultures, social conditions, and employee expectations. Champlain College is currently the only Vermont college that offers campus-based HR credentials.

“Recently, researchers identified eight industry certifications that are most impressive to recruiters. First on the list were certifications in Human Resources,” says Joseph O’Grady, Professor of Business in the Stiller School. “These professional certifications can advance careers in two ways: 1) as Door Openers to help new graduates launch their careers; and 2) as Career Escalators to boost upward mobility for more experienced workers.”

Stiller’s Human Resource Management concentration supports students to prepare for entry-level certification as an Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) through the Human Resource Certification Institute.

We focus not only on providing the best, most relevant business education, but also on helping students succeed in the field after graduation. Champlain’s dedicated Career Coach, Pat Boera (above, right), works with Stiller students to find internships and job placements, and forges relationships with industry employers resulting in many students getting job offers before they even graduate. A phenomenal 98% of 2019 Stiller graduates are employed in career-relevant jobs just six months after graduating.

9. Information Systems & Technology 

Information Technology exists to support organizational functions; businesses depend on information to survive and thrive. The Information Systems & Technology concentration allows students to explore the relationship between a business and its networks of information gathering and storage. Their background in this field will be invaluable in an economy that relies more and more on data and information systems.

10. Innovation & Entrepreneurship 

Be a driver of change in a changing world. In the Innovation & Entrepreneurship concentration, students learn how to incorporate innovation and creativity with business expertise. They discover how to develop creative ideas and solutions that benefit their organizations, and become resourceful, flexible, and adaptable thinkers.

Dr. Kylie King (above), Assistant Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship, is the Academic Director of Champlain’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE promotes entrepreneurial and innovator mindsets and is a thought-leader in entrepreneurship research. It provides a unique opportunity for student entrepreneurs to get help starting or launching a new business, or to enhance an existing business idea.

11. Management

Good management is a hallmark of any successful organization. Effective, responsible management of people and resources can mean a world of difference to employees, communities, and the bottom line.

Champlain’s BSBA concentration in Management provides students with the skills and tools to navigate business challenges and create positive outcomes.

Dr. Lindsey Godwin (pictured above) is the Academic Director of Champlain’s Center for Appreciative Inquiry, which helps individuals and organizations learn how to create positive change through identifying and leveraging their strengths. The Stiller School of Business incorporates appreciative, strengths-based practices into the way we teach business and advise our students.

The Stiller School of Business is an ideal place to explore the world of business, nurture an entrepreneurial mindset, and connect with community mentors. Our students gain important practical experience, building proficiency that make them invaluable to any organization they join or create. 

The Stiller School of Business is recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) for providing a student-centered, premium business education that equips students for tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges in the global marketplace. 

The Stiller School’s strengths-based business education, with a focus on social responsibility, ensures that students graduate with the skills to do well—and to be a force for good throughout their careers. 

The Robert P. Stiller School of Business Mission Statement

The Stiller School of Business develops the strengths, integrity, expertise, and entrepreneurial mindset of aspiring and innovative professionals to create positive change in their lives, workplace, communities and the world.

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