External Partnership Opportunities

The Strategic Design and Management BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) offers a diverse range of robust opportunities for start-ups, small and large corporations, civic and non-governmental organizations to engage with students around a particular challenge they face or an area of research they would like to investigate.

Undergraduates in the Strategic Design and Management BBA participate in dynamic courses that cover a spectrum of topics including: design, strategy, business, entrepreneurship, systems thinking, and research methods. BBA students develop a range of skills that can be applied across the design strategy spectrum in areas as diverse as brand strategy, market engagement, trend forecasting, research, experience design and organizational development for both established and startup businesses.


Senior Capstone Project

As a capstone project, seniors from the Strategic Design and Management BBA program work in teams of 3-4 to develop solutions to a given client challenge. The class provides an opportunity for the students to put into practice their skill-set applied to a real-world scenario.

Students have worked with a wide range of clients from startups and emerging companies to established companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Estée Lauder Companies, Nickelodeon and Design Within Reach. Non-proft organizations have included Harlem Stage, Sesame Workshop and Hot Bread Kitchen. Civic and NGO partners have included the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the United Nations Development Fund.

The starting point for each engagement is a creative brief that articulates a challenge the client would like to overcome. Students then apply a rigorous process over the course of fifteen weeks, which includes; research, strategy, development and prototyping. The final deliverable is a presentation that articulates the recommended approach along with a robust compendium of research and findings.

To download a PDF with more information click here.


Customized opportunities

The BBA is able to develop a customized program to meet partner needs provided that it can be tailored to the academic requirements of the students. The school is open to discussing a range of options to identify a mutually beneficial relationship.


BBA partnership contact

Mark Randall

Associate Director, Strategic Design and Management BBA



Other external partnership opportunities

In addition to partnerships with Strategic Design and Management, the school offers opportunities for engagement across Parsons School of Design as well as The New School university eco-system, bringing in multiple departments to build robust interdisciplinary teams to deeply address a given challenge. To learn more about these opportunities contact:


Deborah Gibb

VP Corporate Partnerships & Industry Engagement, The New School




How long is the engagement?

Engagements are based on the classroom scenario and average one fifteen-week semester. The timeframe for customized engagements will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


How many times do we have to meet with students?

At a minimum we require that you meet at the beginning of the semester to introduce the challenge, in the middle to review their initial work and at the end for the final presentation. Each engagement is approximately two hours and takes place at the school. We also ask that you provide us with whatever background information that you have to aid the students in their research. In addition, over the course of the semester we may e-mail you questions. Beyond that, we encourage you to be as involved as you are able for co-creative workshops and allow students to conduct observations, focus groups and interviews with various stakeholders.


What types of services can BBA students provide?

The BBA in Strategic Design and Management educates students in the entrepreneurial and strategic aspects of design and in the design aspects of business. Seniors in the fourth year of the program have a beginner’s understanding of all design strategy methods and tools. Download the PDF for a list of student skill sets.


Can I use the ideas that the students come up with?

It depends on the outcome, for concepts around strategy, yes, for the development of a marketable product or service the New School and the Parsons School of Design supports the Intellectual Property Rights of its faculty and students in materials which they create or otherwise author related to academic work. As such we review each relationship on a case-by-case basis.


Will your students sign an NDA?

Yes, our students understand the proprietary nature of working with sensitive and protected information. At the end of the project if possible, the students would like the flexibility to include samples of the work in their portfolio.


What are the benefits of working with students?

Strategic Design and Management students are thoughtful and rigorous in their approach to solving problems. They bring an international perspective and Millennial viewpoint. The research, materials and prototypes produced are up to industry standards.