Master degrees in Business Administration (MBAs) seem like they're a dime a dozen. And if you look at any compiled list of colleges and universities that offer MBAs, it certainly looks like it. But there are a small number of schools that can boast their MBA return on investment (ROI) are "among the best in the country with affordable tuition and competitive base salaries". Wouldn't it be awesome if you could say you got your MBA from a school that ranks in the top 25 public universities by US News, or in the top 100 MBA programs by the Financial Times, or in the top schools by Forbes Magazine and Business Week?
UCONN's Graduate School of Business is in that small percentage of schools that can confidently say their students come out of their programs with a much greater sense of purpose, knowledge, and confidence to pursue their careers in business, with a sweet return on investment to top it off. They're also located in downtown Hartford, so for anyone who works or lives in the area, you'll have easy and direct access to the campus and the myriad resources for all their students. At this location, they offer an assortment of degrees and certificates:
- Dual Business Degrees - In conjunction with an MBA, you can pursue a specialized MS in one of the following: Accounting, Business Analytics & Project Management, Human Resource Management, or Financial Risk Management
- Certificates - For those who need a little bit of an edge in their respective fields, graduate certificates are a great way to get ahead without the time and financial commitment of a traditional MBA program. UConn offers the following: Accounting, Business Analytics, Corporate & Regulatory Compliance, Digital Marketing Strategy, Global Risk Management, Health Care Analytics, Health Care Finance & Insurance, Human Resource Management, Information Technology Audit, Long-Term Health Care Management, or Project Management
- Ph.D. in Business with a concentration in one of the following: Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations & Information Management
In talking to Meg Warren Director of the Full-time MBA program,and Laine (pronounced 'LYE-NAH') Kingo, Senior Admissions Officer for the UConn Graduate School of Business, we discussed the different MBA programs they offer, as well as some information not well-known to the general public.
The Full-time MBA program has been recognized as one of the top 30 programs from a public university. This recognition is based on the student's return on investment. This means the cost to participate in this program is reflected in the salary offered after graduation.What's special about the full-time MBA program at UConn, apart from any other program, is the community-based structure, or cohort, surrounding the curriculum. The cohort allows all 60 students of the program class to learn from each other more intimately as they work with each other consistently throughout the first year. Students come from all over the world, which offers another unique perspective that you don't always find in similar programs.
Another unique piece of this program is the required work experience. You must have at least 2 years of work experience before you can apply. What's interesting, though, is that they've seen an average of 5.8 years of work experience in their students, which is much higher than the required. They've seen that having work experience enriches the conversations and learning for all students. After the first year of the program, students then branch off into their concentrations of interest and start to work with smaller groups of their program class. They also start to work with other graduate students in different fields, which fosters networking, diversity in skills sets, and a broader sense of business in the world as a whole. This program works best for people who are able to not work during the 18-month time frame.
After the first year of the Full-Time MBA, students are encouraged to find internships, to put into practice what they've learned. Having linked with many great member associations, job/intern fairs are held to support their students. Additionally, there are many resources within UConn's Hartford campus that help students practice their interview skills and work on resumes. Small businesses in the Hartford area can link up with these students for pro bono work, which allows the business to get the skills needed to succeed at little to no cost, and allows the student real-life opportunities to practice their skills and test their knowledge.
The part-time program offers the same classes and concentrations as the full-time program, but because the program is more self-paced, the idea of a cohort does not work as well in this environment. The international viewpoint also lacks here as it is harder for foreign students to obtain visas for part-time education. However, it's not to say this program lacks diversity. This is UConn's most popular MBA program as it is more flexible for those who want to continue to work as they pursue their MBA.
The Executive MBA program caters to those seeking leadership roles within their organizations. The curriculum is slightly different than that of the full- or part-time programs as it provides local and global perspectives and is geared more towards those wishing to pursue or to better themselves in leadership positions. This is a 20-month program and works for those who want to continue to work.
If you're ready to take the next step, but are unsure where to go next, UConn's Graduate School of Business offers multiple options! For Full-time MBA prospective students, there is an open house held twice a year. The next one is Wednesday, March 1, from 5-7:30, at their Hartford campus. You can learn more and register here.
For information on all of the graduate business programs available, there are monthly infosessions. To learn more and register, click here. They also host monthly webinars (currently available through April), where you can log onto a web conference and ask questions directly to Meg or any one of the staff in the Graduate of Business office. You can also get more hands on, and try sitting in on a class, or a one-on-one meeting with a current student. UConn's Full-time MBA Program has their own MBA Ambassadors to link up with prospective and current students, to provide information and guidance as needed.
Don't forget, you can get scholarships! UConn offers merit-based scholarships, but they also offer Graduate Assistantships! If you are lucky enough to be accepted as a GA (only ~20 are given out per program class), in exchange for about 10 hours a week of your time, you get some great benefits, such as waived tuition, a stipend, and health insurance for you and your immediate family.
Suzanne Hoyer volunteers on the Personal & Professional Development Committee and works for UTC.
If you're ready to take the leap or want more information, go to their website. You can also email Meg Warren or Laine Kingo to learn more. Thanks to Meg and Laine for all of the great information!