UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

What We Do

Offer Hands-On & Action-Based Learning Experiences

UNC Kenan-Flagler offers opportunities for companies and organizations to solve complex business problems through the STAR (Student Teams Achieving Results) program. STAR formally began in 2006, but has been offering a hands-on, action-based, experiential learning experience to undergraduate and MBA students for decades. 

Our students take on the role of consultants to real companies in order to develop consulting skills for their future careers in business.  Each year STAR selects some of the brightest undergraduate and MBA students to participate in the STAR Program among the three options: STAR USA, STAR Global and STAR Virtual.

Inspire Collaboration of Students & Corporations

Star Teams are comprised of UNC Kenan-Flagler undergraduate and MBA students, as well as an expert faculty advisor, all working together as one team to support a corporate partner. These corporations range from Fortune 500 multinationals to North Carolina-based nonprofit organizations and are identified as organizations interested in engaging with creative, outstanding students to address some of the companies’ current and complex business challenges. 

Together, from January to May, STAR teams of five to six full-time students work under the skillful guidance of our tenured or clinical/adjunct professors with significant business and consulting experience. The STAR teams collaborate with the corporate partner sponsors for ongoing dialogue in a similar manner as a consulting engagement.

Recruit & Train Well-Prepared & Highly Motivated Students

STAR students are specifically selected based upon their experience and interests and are highly prepared through coursework in leadership, global business studies, sustainability, marketing, consulting and finance.  In advance and at the onset of the program, they have received innovative TEAM FOCUS training, a proven methodology that enhances team performance and productivity. This framework for business problem-solving establishes critical success factors for performance within a team and couples that with hypothesis testing and data-driven analyses. 

While these students receive course credit for STAR, they are inspired to incorporate their academic insight with dynamic and current research to offer creative recommendations.  STAR includes about 150 students who commit 10 hours per week for this semester-long course experience.  

MBA and Undergraduate students receive 4.5 credit hours for the spring semester from January to May.

Engage Dynamic & Innovative Corporate Partners

Each year, the STAR leadership team reaches out to many organizations within North Carolina, the U.S. and across the globe to be potential STAR corporate partners. The list of professional companies that partner with the STAR program varies each spring. Over the years, STAR has had multiple repeat “clients” seeking new ideas and research around the challenge of the day.

Recent examples of STAR partners include NASCAR, Bayer Crop Science, ESPN, Lenovo, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. STAR has also served various industries including medical, pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies along with consumer goods, retail, energy, financial services, agriculture, entertainment, education, nonprofit, technology and food services.

Produce Professional Presentations Called “Deliverables”

STAR deliverables include research findings, a narrative to place findings in full context, and a final presentation that lays out both achievable recommendations and next steps; ranging from a business plan to sustain a hospital in Africa to growing demand for Christmas trees here in North Carolina. Recently, corporate partners have also engaged STAR to identify creative ways to reach the millennial audience or to expand into other new markets. STAR covers branding, marketing, sustainability, strategy, operations, human resources and international market opportunities. 

Since 2006, STAR has created 325 final deliverables that offered fact-based recommendations among very diverse and complex business challenges.

STAR: Student Teams Achieving Results

Student Benefits

STAR gives students the:

  • Opportunity to apply coursework to real-world business challenges while earning credit hours
  • Experience to work as part of a small diverse team that includes undergraduates, MBAs and faculty
  • Exposure to dynamic organizations and their current business challenges
  • Introductions that help in selecting and securing outstanding post-graduate careers
  • Experiential, project-based learning around teamwork, problem-solving and leadership

Corporate Partner Benefits

STAR corporate partners receive:

  • Delivery of high quality, data-driven and actionable recommendations from an external perspective on a business challenge
  • Recommendations with extraordinary value from exceptional students and highly qualified faculty at a fraction of the cost of comparable consulting firm services
  • Exposure to the world’s best and brightest MBAs and undergraduates and the opportunity to build your brand and students
  • Philanthropic means of supporting the education of future leaders by providing them with a valuable real-world business project