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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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College of Business, United Prairie Bank join in new program

Integrated Business Experience

New class lets business students develop, run an organization.

By Kaaren Grabianowski, United Prairie Bank marketing director [United Prairie Bank-Mankato news release, 1/6/2012]

The College of Business at Minnesota State University, Mankato and United Prairie Bank in Mankato will work together on a new Integrated Business Experience program in spring semester of 2012.

The program gives students real-world experiences in running a business. The experience includes developing an organization, securing financing and delivering a product or service. All profits, combined with volunteer work, will be donated to a local charity.

“The IBE is an innovative program designed to mesh traditional learning with real-world thinking,” said Joseph Reising, chair of the Finance Department. “In the classroom the students will learn what they need to succeed just in time to apply it to their business. That application will reinforce their learning and provide them with a deeper understanding of the intricacies of business.”

The student-run company will include managerial, operational and financial roles, among others. Students will present a business plan to obtain a loan from United Prairie Bank in Mankato and then will manage the business and pay back the loan. If the business is a success, the net profits will be donated to a local charity.

“We are very excited to be working with the College of Business and assisting the students in a hands-on experience in developing and running a business,” said Michael Laskey, market president for both United Prairie Bank Mankato locations. “In addition, our company and employees support a variety of charitable organizations in our communities and are pleased to see this program teach students on the importance of giving back to their community.”

The program is available to students enrolled in the College of Business at Minnesota State Mankato. Students must meet certain criteria to be in the program.

Those who want more information about the program may visit

Minnesota State University, Mankato's College of Business is an AACSB-accredited business school with undergraduate programs in accounting, finance, international business, marketing, human resources management and general management. The college offers an MBA program in both Mankato and Edina, Minn., that has been consistently recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the nation's best.

Those who want more information about the college may visit

United Prairie offers a full line of banking, insurance and investment products for personal, agricultural and business needs in 15 locations throughout central and southern Minnesota. Those who want more information about United Prairie and the communities they serve may visit

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