About Butler

Live Cases and Projects

Gateway Capstone

The Butler MBA combines theory with practice, providing you with opportunities to apply what you are learning. It's a nationally ranked Indiana business school that's locally connected. We do this through live cases with local companies that are infused throughout the curriculum.  Both inside and outside of the classroom, you will work with local companies and organizations, helping them solve real business problems. Below are just a few examples.

Gateway Experience 

Butler MBA students kick off their graduate coursework by participating in a one-day immersion experience with a local business.  The Gateway Experience gives students an initial exposure to the experiential, hands-on learning process in the MBA program. Students work in competitive teams to develop the best solution to a problem currently faced by a partner organization. 

In the morning, students meet with company executives and are presented with a business problem. The student teams are then taken to a site location for several hours of data collection.  The teams return to campus in the afternoon, develop recommendations and then present their ideas to company executives at the end of the day. 

The Gateway Experience sets the tone for the experiential, hands-on nature of the Butler MBA program.  It also kicks-off the self-discovery process for our MBA students. The Gateway Experience gives students a frame of reference for future coursework and in many instances, helps students realize how much they have to learn.  

Gateway Partners Have Included:

  • Steak n Shake
  • hhgregg
  • Aero Technologies
  • Adidas
  • E2 Innovative Solutions
  • City Market
  • Kroger
  • Simon

Capstone Experience

The Capstone Experience is the final course in the MBA sequence and serves as the bookend to the Gateway Experience.  The Capstone Experience provides students with yet another opportunity to apply what they've learned by working on a semester-long project for a local organization. 

The Capstone partner organization presents the class with an actual business problem or opportunity that encompasses several functional business areas.  Student teams meet with partner company representatives throughout the semester, participate in site visits, conduct research, analyze data and present recommendations to executives and faculty at the end of the semester.  Students are expected to follow a detailed consulting process to completion. The Capstone Experience pulls together everything the students have learned throughout the MBA program into a practical, applied, consulting project.

Capstone Partners Have Included:

  • Roche Diagnostics
  • Thomson Consumer Electronics
  • Finish Line
  • Rolls Royce
  • Second Helpings
  • OrthoIndy
  • Mike's Car Wash
  • City Market

Partnership with Inside Indiana Business and Ice Miller

The Butler MBA partners each year with Inside Indiana Business and Ice Miller on the annual executive survey, The State of Our Business. Butler MBA faculty design the survey and collect the data each year.  The objective of the project is to identify the key issues of Indiana's business leaders and establish a baseline to track these issues over time.  Key issues include:  the general challenges of doing business, Indiana's economic climate, the role of government in economic development, human resource and diversity issues, Indiana's educational system, and planning, managing and accessing information technology. 

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Butler MBA

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) partners with the Butler MBA, providing students in the Perspectives on Leadership class with a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes at the symphony.  During an onsite visit to the ISO, symphony leaders discuss their personal approaches to leadership and share organizational opportunities and challenges with students.  The MBA students examine the unique leadership role of the conductor by participating in and leading a drum circle, as well as interacting with a wind ensemble on stage at the Hilbert Circle Theatre.  


Working on real business problems and cases out in the field allows students to hone their problem-solving skills in a relevant and practical way. I have been impressed with the recommendations the students have made to us during the Gateway Experience.
Andy Giesler
Vice President of Finance, hhgregg

The Butler MBA has strong ties to the Central Indiana business community.  It consistently partners with area organizations to bring live cases into the classroom, providing students with a relevant platform for enhancing their problem-solving skills and abilities.
Bill O'Donnell
Former HR Consultant with Mercer

By partnering with local companies, Butler affords students the opportunity to learn from the best and take away experiences that are remembered well beyond a simple lecture on the subject.
Christopher Wickman
Sales Engineer, Carrier Corporation