Whitman School of Business adopts the Hogwarts approach to professionalization

September 16, 2014

The Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University in New York is taking a page out of the Harry Potter series to help motivate its students. This week, the school will assign its undergraduate students into 4 “houses” for the year, with each being led by a faculty advisor. Students in each house will compete for points by attending optional lectures, obtaining extracurricular certificates, or by participating in other career-building activities. Students will report their progress using a smartphone app, and the house that wins the most points over the school year will be awarded a cup and get to attend a party with the school’s Dean. “Focusing particularly on soft skills and extracurricular experiences, our goal was to develop a program that would ensure our undergraduates leave Whitman with a sustainable competitive advantage throughout their lives and careers,” said Associate Dean Amanda Nicholson. The gamification program is described informally as the Potter Plan but is officially known as the Goodman IMPRESS program. BusinessWeek Whitman News Release