As a student in the Project Design and Analysis program at University of North Texas at Frisco, Iyke Ifeji had a chance to partner with Sam’s Club to improve the store’s customer experience.

Along with other students in his cohort, he looked at how shoppers engage with the store and what makes customers interested in Sam’s Club. Once the group identified what customers like about the store, they presented their findings to Sam’s Club employees. They highlighted what the store does well and recommended new ideas to improve the customer experience.

Experiences like these help students enrolled in the Project Design and Analysis program prepare for their professional careers. With this project-based learning model, students are able to practice what they’re learning in real time.

“I had so many experiences with taking what I learned in class and having to apply with real industry partners within just a few hours of learning it,” Ifeji said.

Students also gain confidence giving presentations and develop leadership skills.

“Each semester in the cohort one of us gets a chance to be the team lead so we will essentially be the manager for the project,” Ifeji said. “I've had my turn to do it ... it's a great learning experience overall.”

Nearly every project students work on in the Project Design and Analysis program is in collaboration with their cohort, so graduates are prepared to work well with coworkers in their careers.

“If you ask anyone from my cohort, or anyone who knew when I first got here, they would say that I have been able to consistently improve when it comes to being vulnerable and trusting my team,” Ifeji said.

Ifeji is in his third and final year of the Project Design and Analysis program and said he feels prepared for his career because of this experience. He had the opportunity to work as a summer intern with Fidelity, giving him tools for success after graduation.

“Being able to work with representatives or the founder of these organizations, you're able to learn a lot about how they were able to get into their positions,” Ifeji said. “Being able to learn and work with them motivated me to find what I like to do and pursue it with the knowledge of how to get there.”

Ifeji said he plans to work in project management or optimization. Students who graduate with the Project Design and Analysis degree are qualified for jobs such as:
  • brand manager
  • business analyst
  • project manager
  • social media marketer
  • solutions architect
  • user experience architect
“[In this program] you're going to be out of your comfort zone a lot,” Ifeji said. “It's going to be worth it in the end. You're going to gain so many skills and learn how to utilize them in real time. There were times that I learned a skill and I had to implement it in two hours. If you're willing to take that challenge on, you'll be rewarded as you do so.”

The Project Design and Analysis degree requires 120 hours and takes most students three years to complete. Individuals interested in applying can learn more about the program at

The above story was produced by Multi-platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.