5 Reasons the University of San Diego Has One of the Best MBA Programs in California

Monday, July 2, 2018

Entrance to Olin Hall at the University of San Diego
begin quoteWe have enthusiastically worked to condense the myriad reasons our MBA students love our programs into five key highlights.

Confession: listing five reasons why the University of San Diego School of Business is one of the best business schools in California was no easy feat. Not because USD doesn’t offer some of the best MBA programs in California—or the world, for that matter. But because, well, how on earth are we supposed to limit it to just five reasons?

But alas, we are professionals, and so we have enthusiastically worked to condense the myriad reasons our MBA students love our programs into five key highlights, which, we are proud to say, are each firmly rooted in our student-centric commitment to developing ethical leaders with the global acumen to conduct business around the world.

  1. Providing Professional-Level Training in Line with Market Demands

At USD, our faculty of researchers, business owners and industry experts are not just professors, but authorities in their respective fields. This diverse perspective inspires a curriculum that is both academically rigorous and contextually relevant to the demands of the global economy. In fact, we have a dedicated group of advisors from the business community consistently auditing our curricula to ensure coursework is directly applicable to the current job market.

This includes instilling in our students the skills needed to conduct business globally through the availability of hands-on international learning experiences – about 27 offered each year, for that matter. Students studying global supply chain, for instance, have the opportunity to observe a company’s chain of production from the plant floor of its Hong Kong manufacturing facility. These types of experiences, offered to both graduate and undergraduate students, help to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom, while also providing the international business acumen employers are seeking from candidates in an evermore global market.

Our commitment to preparing students for the global marketplace includes developing socially responsible leaders who share in our commitment to sustainable business practices, with the hope that these values will be embedded into their future endeavors. We talk a lot about ethical decision-making and leadership in business at USD, but what sets us apart is the actual implementation of these principles across our curricula. Just ask one our students.

“The program frequently found a way to remind the students that the new skills and acumen that we were learning could be used for the ultimate good,” said Jeremy Sebastien, a 2018 USD MBA graduate. “I’ve definitely felt inspired to make a real change for those in need.” 

  1. Making International Education Accessible and Affordable

Perhaps the strongest pillar of USD’s institutional values is our belief that business schools can help to change the world for the better, which is why we strive to make our MBA programs accessible to as broad and diverse a student base as possible. From the flexibility of our degree formats to abundant financial aid and tuition support, USD provides ample opportunities for students to accelerate their careers with an accredited MBA.

Each year, our Ahlers Center for International Business distributes an average of $40,000 in scholarships specifically for studying abroad, as well as significant tuition discounts, to enable students of all backgrounds to participate in our international degree programs. Additionally, students entering our programs count on merit scholarships and various other sources of financial support made available by gracious donors. We also provide dedicated housing support across the duration of our programs, from the time students arrive in San Diego to the time they touch down in Madrid, or China, Brazil, Germany, the Dominican Republic—wherever your international studies at USD may take you!

  1. Flexible Degree Programs Complemented by Small Class Sizes

As part of our commitment to providing education that is accessible, USD has designed a number of MBA programs to fit the varying needs of our students, with intimate class sizes to optimize the overall learning experience. Currently, we offer two distinct degree programs:

  • Full-Time MBA: The two-year traditional MBA for students with the desire and ability to dive into the comprehensive program full force and pursue an internship in an industry of interest.
  • Part-Time MBA: A part-time program for working professionals who wish to pursue an advanced degree while maintaining employment. The part-time MBA, which can be completed in as little as two years, is available in two formats—evening and hybrid (blend of on-campus and online coursework)—for added flexibility.

While we do structure our degree programs to align with the specifications of each student profile, this does not mean that each MBA cohort is isolated from the others. Our small class sizes and intimate cohort format for core classes facilitate the opportunity for collaboration and networking across the entire USD School of Business. All MBA students also take their elective coursework together.

  1. Alumni Outcomes: Post-Graduation Employment

The likelihood of finding gainful, gratifying employment quickly after graduation is often a leading factor in the decision to pursue any university-level degree. With business schools, this return on investment is even more important, as students often look to our degrees as a catalyst for career advancement.  

Of the 2,745 students enrolled in our degree programs at the USD School of Business:

  • 93% of undergrads have a job within three months of graduation, with the highest compensation in the San Diego area
  • 71% of MBA graduates accept a job offer within three months of graduation

When it comes to optimizing our degree programs for the post-graduation success of our alumni, we equally consider both the current job market, as well as the booming entrepreneurial landscape. As many of our alumni can attest, USD is committed to helping our self-starting students realize their ambitions of establishing their own businesses—and empowering them with the tools to achieve continued growth. Here are just a few of their stories:

The 'Shark Tank' Superstar

Stephan Aarstol, USD MBA alumnus and founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards, used his class assignments to develop his business plan. After pitching his big idea on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Mark Cuban, Tower was named the #1 fastest growing company in San Diego in 2014.

“I went to grad school for the networking effect,” said Aarstol. “The people I met were my early mentors.”

Learn more about Aarstol’s experience at USD and how it helped him secure an investment from one of Shark Tank’s most high-profile investors in his Alumni Spotlight video.

From 'Yes Man' to Serial Entrepreneur

USD School of Business alumnus, Nathan Resnick ’16, has become a powerhouse in the entrepreneurship community. Only a few years after graduation, Resnick’s company, Sourcify, won Connect’s 2017 Most Innovative New Product Award. Resnick, the youngest entrepreneur ever nominated for the award, quickly found himself brushing shoulders with some of San Diego’s most prestigious innovators. 

“On a weekly basis, the Entrepreneurship Club provided me with insight to start and grow my own business”, said Resnick. “My favorite memory has to be the V2 competition. This opportunity is very special to USD and enabled me to showcase the business I had been running at the time.” 

Read more about Resnick’s experience at USD in his Alumni Spotlight.

Wine Spritzer Gets 'Shark Tank' Investment

Jayla Siciliano started her career at Diesel as a product developer. She raised $500,000 dollars while earning her MBA to launch her own company, Bon Affair. Siciliano met all of her company investors through USD School of Business connections. After graduating, she appeared on Shark Tank and Mark Cuban invested in her company. Bon Affair is now sold in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada, and is even being shipped to Taiwan.

“During the MBA program, I wrote the business plan for Bon Affair, and when I started raising money while I was still a student, I knew I was on to something,” she said.

For more inspiration, visit our Alumni Hall of Honor.

  1. Quality of Student Life

Picture a lush, sprawling campus situated at the heart of San Diego, just minutes away from beaches, art, food, culture, nightlife—all the things that have earned our city the distinction of America’s finest.

We are highly conscious of the fact that where you study is where you live, and to get the most out of your academic experience, you really should enjoy your surroundings. And what better place to live and study than at USD’s exquisite 180-acre campus? (Which, by the way, was recently named the most beautiful in the nation by The Princeton Review.)

Physical atmosphere aside, we would be remiss if we didn not share perhaps our favorite bit of feedback from students: that USD’s faculty and staff, in addition to being esteemed educators and administrators, are an approachable, welcoming team of mentors, cheerleaders, and friends helping to ensure your academic experience is as enjoyable as it is enriching.

To learn more about USD’s leading MBA programs, or to apply now, visit www.sandiego.edu/business/graduate/mba.


Renata Ramirez
(619) 260-4658