Inside USD

Evening MBA Program Ranked Again in Businessweek’s Top 20

Monday, November 25, 2013

Getting to the top is hard. Staying there is even harder.

USD’s Evening MBA Program has done both. The program continues to be one of the top 20 in the country, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest ranking earlier this month.

A jubilant group of faculty and students gathered Nov. 13 to toast the occasion. “Go tell them we rock,” was the message from School of Business Administration Dean David Pyke delivered by Manzur Rahman, associate dean and director of Graduate Programs in the school.

USD was first ranked in the top 20 in the 2011 rankings and included on the list for the first time in 2009 by Businessweek, which publishes the rankings every other year. “Our consistently strong performance in Bloomberg Businessweek’s MBA rankings is proof that the excellence of our program is being widely recognized,” said Pyke.

USD’s program ranked 9th in student satisfaction, a clear sign that “we are meeting the needs and objectives of our students,” he added.

Indeed, recent graduates from this year’s Evening MBA program were hired by a number of leading firms including Amazon, Cymer Inc., Life Technologies Corp. and McKinsey & Co.

USD’s program “provided a fantastic background for understanding the framework and analytics in which business decisions are made,” said Steve Kling, who graduated this spring and completed the program while serving as a Navy lieutenant stationed in USD’s NROTC unit.

Hired as a consultant by McKinsey, Kling analyzes complex problems for its clients and provides insights and recommendations on how to solve them. “The career services team was very helpful in getting me ready to enter the business world,” he said.

Like its full-time counterpart, USD’s Evening Program emphasizes a personalized learning experience, an academically rigorous and relevant program, study abroad opportunities and connections to industry professionals.

“One of the major selling points for me when I was looking at the MBA programs was having the opportunity to study abroad,” said Maria Brown, who continues to work as a business learning analyst at ViaSat Inc. after graduation. “I went to Shanghai, China in January 2013  and it was easily one of the top three most relevant experiences of my entire MBA because I got to put into practice a lot of the theory I had learned about consulting.”

USD has “the same commitment to our part-time program as our full-time program, which isn’t always the case at many other schools,” Rahman (pictured back row, third from left) explained. The same faculty teach in both programs, helping to ensure that the requirements for the evening program’s courses are just as rigorous as the full-time options.

The school’s long commitment to an MBA program with a focus on international business — it first offered a master’s in international business in the mid-‘80s and now has both an International MBA and an international business track in the full-time program – make it well-positioned  to provide the kind of management education relevant to today’s global economy.

All the part-time students are required to take a course on Globalization and the Manager and another one on Sustainable Business Model Design. Strong elective offerings include courses in Corporate Governance; Global Entrepreneurship for Social Change; Management of Global Supply Chain and Values, Ethics and Corporate Culture.

“Taking classes in Management Consulting and Global Innovation developed my skills in not only solving problems but also breaking them down and brainstorming to develop solutions and recommended courses of action,” Brown said. Now  that she’s graduated, “I’m a lot more sophisticated and business-savvy and I’ve been enabled to bring more value to the organization.”

Like any good business model, USD is always looking to improve. “We strive continuously to search for our weaknesses and build upon our strengths and cannot afford to rest on our laurels,” Rahman said. “In fact, the day after our celebration of our rankings, I was in a town hall meeting with representatives from our student body, hearing and learning from them about the areas of concern and needs for improvement.”

–  Liz Harman

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