First-Year Experience

From "day one," Lindner students are immersed in an environment dedicated to project-based learning and experiential education that prepares them to solve real-world business problems.

African American Chamber of Commerce-1

Through Project Strategy, classes of first-year students are paired with one of Lindner's company partners and then separated into teams to conduct a semester-long project.

Throughout the First-Year Experience — sponsored in part by Cintas Corporation — students receive 360-degree support via their learning community, where they are placed in groups of less than 20 to explore the first-year business curriculum. Students benefit from the friendships formed with the members of their tight-knit learning communities as they drive each other to identify their strengths and develop new skills.  

All first-year students take a section of the Essentials of Business course, which introduces them to foundational business principles and functions through activities such as Project Strategy and Project Innovation. Essentials of Business also exposes them to Lindner’s curriculum philosophy based on the principles of PACE — professionalism, academics, character and engagement.

Project Strategy


Students present the findings from their SWOT analyses to company representatives to culminate the semester.

Through Project Strategy, classes of first-year students are paired with one of our company partners. Students are then separated into teams to conduct a semester-long project that allows them to foster relationships with industry professionals representing our partner organizations and to test-drive their developing business problem solving skills.

The semester begins with students researching their assigned business and meeting with company representatives at Lindner Hall. Over the course of the semester, students will:

  • Attend presentations from company representatives.
  • Visit the offices of their partner organization.
  • Conduct a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.
  • Present their findings to company representatives.

After completing the experience, students should:

  • Be equipped with professional communication skills and behaviors.
  • Have a foundational knowledge of core business functions.
  • Apply relevant leadership skills in the context of project management.
  • Feel confident connecting with business leaders and professionals from across industries and job functions.
I really appreciate how at Lindner every single first year gets to work with real companies and that every single first year gets to have these growth experiences.

Trisha Chidambaram, BBA ’27

Current employer partners include a wide range of companies and iconic brands from the Greater Cincinnati region. We strive to provide our students with exposure to a diverse array of businesses representing different industries, company sizes and functions, from local nonprofits to multinational corporations.

  • 84.51
  • Acorn
  • altafiber
  • Ameritas
  • Beechmont Automotive
  • BM2 Freight
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
  • Cintas
  • Coldwell Banker
  • Deloitte
  • Eastern Personnel Services
  • Enerfab
  • EY
  • Fastenal
  • FC Cincinnati
  • Fifth Third
  • Forvis
  • GE
  • Graeter’s
  • Great American Insurance Group
  • IKEA
  • Isotoner
  • Johnson Investment Counsel
  • JB Hunt
  • KAO Brands
  • Kept House
  • Kolar
  • KPMG
  • Kroger
  • LaRosa’s
  • Loth
  • Motz
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Paycor
  • Pep Promotions
  • Perfetti Van Melle
  • Phillips Edison
  • Plante Moran
  • P&G
  • Prospiant
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati
  • Sibcy Cline
  • Skyline
  • State Farm
  • Taste of Belgium
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Terracon
  • The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce
  • The Kleingers Group
  • TQL
  • Uber Freight
  • Valley Interior Systems
  • Woody Sander Ford
  • YWCA

Our valued employer partners are the cornerstone of Project Strategy’s success. They help us to immerse our students into the Cincinnati business community from the very beginning of their college experience.

Furthermore, our employer partnerships ensure that we are preparing our students to solve real-world business problems while equipping them with the skills most relevant to today’s employers to ensure a well-prepared future workforce.

As they go into the co-op program, I think recognizing that there aren’t simple, short answers and solutions to the problems that they’re going to be exposed to is very helpful.

Greg Eling, BBA ’75, Group Vice President, Cintas

Headshot of Anita Ingram

Anita Ingram

Director, First-Year Experience, and Assistant Professor-Educator of Management

3306 Lindner Hall


Project Innovation

Students will also engage in Project Innovation, a portion of the First-Year Experience that emphasizes entrepreneurial skills.


First-year students present their innovative ideas at the Center for Entrepreneurship's 2023 IQ-E Pitch Competition.

At Lindner, we believe there is an entrepreneur in everyone.

Project Innovation builds on this belief and encourages students to hone their creativity, innovative spirit and entrepreneurial skills. 

Over the course of the semester, students will:

  • Create a concept for a product or service.
  • Conduct market research.
  • Develop financial models.
  • Create a full business plan to launch their concept.

Project Innovation is more than a class assignment; it's a real-world opportunity to determine the feasibility of an actual business. Many students go on to bring their ideas to life and enter their business plans into pitch contests to receive funding.

Past projects have included:

  • CollegeLeaseMe, a student furniture and equipment exchange.
  • Why Wait, a restaurant wait-time app.
  • Koned, portable meals served in a cone.
  • Deoscreet, a portable, organic deodorant for women.
  • College Compas, an on-campus navigation app.
  • Flavor Your Day, a flavored-water dispenser.

Become a Business Problem Solver

Experiential learning is what Lindner is known for, and it’s what we do best. Your First-Year Experience will introduce you to the broad opportunities within business, allow you to apply what you're learning immediately to real companies and finish your first year strong with a deep understanding of what is expected of you as you progress through the remainder of your degree program and pursue co-op opportunities. Request more information, schedule a visit or start your application today.