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The School of Business Administration’s ACHIEVE program equips students with knowledge, skills, and competencies for personal and professional success, while inspiring and coaching students to thrive and make an impact in their chosen field.

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Woven through a series of three required courses exclusively for OU’s undergraduate business students, the award-winning ACHIEVE program uses a hybrid delivery model that includes professional development workshops, online learning modules, and authentic engagement with industry volunteers. Students participate in mock interviews and networking experiences, coaching on resumes and personal brand development, and professional practice with communication, professionalism, critical thinking, equity and inclusion, and ethical decision making.

Named a best practice by the AACSB-International accreditation board, the ACHIEVE program is fully supported by the Oakland University School of Business Administration faculty and administrators. Its goal is to help students ACHIEVE their competitive advantage as professionals in the business world.


Welcome to Oakland University's School of Business Administration! Located in southeast Michigan at the center of the automotive industry, the ACHIEVE program partners with leading employers who call Oakland University their favorite place to recruit new talent.

I'm excited to introduce you to the ACHIEVE program. All business undergraduates must complete ACHIEVE, a series of three courses based on the NACE core competencies including communication, networking, professionalism and DEI. The ACHIEVE program has a rich history since its inception in 2008, setting a benchmark for similar programs and modeling a history of success.

The mandatory and cost-free delivery for all business students levels the playing field promoting equity and ensuring universal access for every student.

ACHIEVE collaborates with a broad range of major industry partners from the local community. The program currently has over 90 active volunteers, giving more than 500 hours a year to coaching ACHIEVE students. ACHIEVE's commitment to continuous improvement keeps it in sync with industry demands and responsive to student and employer feedback.

In recent years, the program smoothly shifted to online learning, with over 50% of its classes now fully online, incorporating AI enhanced and self-guided learning experiences to accommodate various learning styles and needs.

Employers praise ACHIEVE as a best practice citing its comprehensive approach to skill development, emphasis on real world applications, and the positive impact it has on students' readiness for the workforce.

We're excited for the future of the ACHIEVE program as we continue to grow the collaboration between business students and industry partners.

ACHIEVE is bridging the gap between classroom learning and the real world business environment. Together we are achieving greatness!

Program Structure

Courses in the ACHIEVE program are a hybrid format, designed to offer flexibility for various student needs. Students select from options for in-person or virtual workshops when registering for ACHIEVE courses (SBC 1990, 2990 and 3990). Students may be required to self-schedule additional activities and assignments as indicated in the syllabus and participation requirements for each course.

SBC 1990

Eight-week course taken during the first year of enrollment at OU

Mandatory Workshops:

  • ACHIEVE A Connection: Getting involved at OU; practice with communication and engagement
  • Navigate to Graduate: OU advising resources and steps to graduation
  • Money Management: Financial successes, presented by OU Credit Union partners

Online Modules:

  • Getting Started with OU Resources: Introduction to School of Business, Career Services and student organizations
  • CareerLeader: Identifying skills, interests, and motivators as a business professional
  • Equity and Inclusion I: Introducing cultural competence
SBC 2990

Eight-week course that prepares students to declare their major and begin looking for professional experiences

Mandatory Workshops:

  • Success By Design: Thinking about personal career goals and planning a professional path
  • Networking with Professionals: Practicing a two-minute pitch with industry volunteers
  • Job Search Essentials: Thinking about career goals and planning a professional path

Required Activities:

  • Resume Coaching and Development: Participation in a coaching session with feedback to develop and submit a professional resume

Online Module:

  • Equity and Inclusion II: Growing as an inclusive business professional
SBC 3990

16-week semester course deepens development for early career
Students are required to complete ACC 3990 or ACS 3990 or ECN 3990 or FIN 3990 or MGT 3990 or MIS 3990 or MKT 3990 or ORG 3990 or POM 3990 as part of their major program.

Mandatory Workshop:

  • Business Ethics: Required co-registration in an SBC 3990 workshop

Required Activities:

  • Mock Interview: One-on-one interview practice with an industry volunteer
  • Equity and Inclusion Event: Featured speakers and networking events highlighting diversity, equity and inclusion in business

Online Modules:

  • Professional Etiquette: Developing professionalism and confidence for professional events
  • Career Analysis and Personal Development Plan: Understanding the job market and planning for goals and growth after graduation
Important Policies for Students

ACHIEVE courses are Pass/Fail courses, and a grade of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will appear on the student’s transcript.

While failure of an ACHIEVE course will not affect GPA, it can affect eligibility to be named to the Dean’s list or Financial Aid awards.

Completion of the three ACHIEVE courses is a graduation requirement for all SBA majors.

School of Business Administration
232 Elliott Hall
475 Varner Drive

ACHIEVE Program Team

Michelle English
ACHIEVE Internship and Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Troy Nelson
Director, ACHIEVE Program
[email protected]

Natalie Iscaro
ACHIEVE Office Assistant
(248) 370-4192
[email protected]


ACHIEVE program earns bronze at 2023 QS Reimagine Education Awards

2022-2023 Program Impact

681 students enrolled in SBC 1990

534 students enrolled in SBC 2990

393 students enrolled in Major 3990/SBC 3990

91% Successful pass/completion rate for 2022-2023

31 Financial education workshops delivered by Oakland University Credit Union sponsor

502 Volunteer hours from industry partners 

80% of surveyed employers and recruiters indicated that ACHIEVE students are more competitive and better prepared to enter the workforce

93% of students in ACHIEVE I agree that the class supported them to reflect on their skills, interests, goals and planning steps to graduation

96% of students in ACHIEVE II agree that the class made them more confident in their networking pitch and prepared them to seek out professional opportunities

Students in ACHIEVE III listed Career & Self Development (66%), Professionalism (63%), Communication Skills (55%), Readiness for Interviewing and Networking (75%), Readiness for Ethical Decision Making (54%), and Developing Equity & Inclusion (65%) as the most meaningful impacts of the ACHIEVE Program

"I work with a lot of different campuses and none of them have anything like ACHIEVE. I feel like it is very valuable for the students to learn these things that they might not normally learn in the classroom, but are still great lessons for them to know in their professional careers." ~ ACHIEVE Volunteer and Industry Recruiter

2021-2022 Program Impact

808 students enrolled in SBC 1990

682 students enrolled in SBC 2990

408 students enrolled in Major 3990/SBC 3990

643 Resume Review sessions completed

253 students participated in ACHIEVE events featuring Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

408 students participated in ACHIEVE workshops for Business Ethics

354 students completed Mock Interviews with ACHIEVE industry volunteers

497 total volunteer hours from our industry partners

“With ACHIEVE, I was able to begin preparing for life after college in my sophomore year. ACHIEVE helped me focus on what I needed to do to prepare for a career.”
~ ACHIEVE Student Survey

Sponsorship of the ACHIEVE program helps Oakland University prepare business students with the skills and experience to be successful in the professional world.

ACHIEVE Premier Sponsor
Oakland University Credit Union

For information about ACHIEVE sponsorship opportunities, contact Alexandria Salvaggio at [email protected].

School of Business Administration

Elliott Hall, Room 427
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)