The story began in the early 2000s, at the start of BYU-Idaho.

Elder Bednar was the president of Ricks College as it transitioned to BYU-I. Elder Bednar laid the foundation for the Integrated Business Core class, and since then it has molded and expanded.

At the beginning of each semester, eight to nine companies form from scratch. There are 14-18 students in each group. They apply their accounting, marketing, operations and finance skills to build a successful company. They gain experience and learn through application.

Outside of the Smith Building, the location of the IBC.

Outside of the Smith Building, the location of the IBC. Photo credit: Olivia Grayson

“At the core of IBC is actually disciple leadership,” said Scott Pope the director of the IBC program. “The power of the program is that people learn to work with other people and lead other people as an aspiration and the way the Savior would.”

In the first five weeks, each group gets ready to launch their company. At the end of the five weeks, each company will have students fill leadership positions. Those positions include the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief marketing officer, human resources, research and development and technology officer, among others.

Each company then goes through three rotations: finance, marketing and operations. They build a website, create a marketing plan and learn to work together.

Mac Dad, a Mac-N-Cheese IBC company this semester.

Mac Dad, a Mac-N-Cheese IBC company this semester. Photo credit: Olivia Grayson

Once the company is launched, each week they’ll close their books. They’ll see what their revenue and net income is. The company has board meetings every three weeks to report to the Board of Directors the results and progress of the company.

“As faculty, we don’t view that as the measure of success though, this is a learning experience,” Pope said. “So it’s much more about, are they learning to be disciple leaders are they learning from mistakes?”

At the end of the semester, usually, the company is shut down and its assets are disposed. However, often there are one to two students who buy the company so they can continue the business on their own.

“It’s not an actual company,” Pope said. “It’s not incorporated or anything. It’s a class but what someone will do is buy the assets. Sometimes it’s students, sometimes it’s a local resident here. Sometimes it’s just some random person from somewhere else.”

The Fro Zone IBC company.

The Fro Zone IBC company. Photo credit: Olivia Grayson

Any student in any major can take the nine-credit class. Including students from different programs adds to the learning experience by allowing team members to share different perspectives. Pope recommends taking IBC sometime between the end of sophomore year and the beginning of junior year.

“There are now thousands of alumni of IBC out there in the world and we believe more than ever that this thing, it works and it differentiates our students and is really core to them being disciple leaders and to be really honest, it’s one of the only things they’ll remember about college,” Pope said.

To learn more about IBC visit its website.