Posts by Alanna Shaffer

Sep 15, 2017 by

Howard University Hosting Mandela Washington Fellowship Students

Howard Hosting Mandela Washington Fellowship

For the fourth consecutive year, the Howard University School of Business has partnered the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, hosting 25 up-and-coming African leaders for a six-week intensive beginning this week.

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Sep 14, 2017 by

The Boston vs. Washington DC Full-Time MBA Battle

MBA in Boston or Washington DC

Choosing the right city for your MBA program can be a bigger choice than it seems: given the connections and opportunities an MBA typically provides, the city where you pursue your degree will likely be the same city where your career begins and grows.

Even if you’ve narrowed down your business school search to the east coast, you’ve still got a number of top metros to choose from. So regardless if you’re looking south to Washington, D.C., or north to Boston, both metros will likely offer a number of benefits for up-and-coming business professionals.

Both D.C. and Boston offer a number of exceptional full-time MBA programs, giving a prospective MBA a lot to think about. Below, we’ll break down some of the biggest differences in location, programs, and job placement for each metro.

Location

As long as you can deal with snow, Boston is a multicultural hub of business that covers a variety of industries, from startups to high tech and the creative economy. Massachusetts is home to 30 Fortune 500 companies, with massive corporations like General Electric and Liberty Insurance Group centered within Boston. However, as the city continues to grow and improve, the cost of living is also climbing, with Boston ranking eight overall as the most expensive city in the United States.

If you are looking to use your business acumen in a government setting, there are few places better to go than the nation’s capital. With fifteen companies making the Fortune 500 list in the Washington DC metro area, there are a number of opportunities for MBAs to put their business skill to work, even outside of government agencies, with companies like Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobile leading the list. However, DC even outranks Boston for cost of living, ranking as the third most expensive city in the United States.

Washington Full-Time MBA Programs

The Washington DC metro has more than 35 higher education institutions with post-bachelor programs for business students. Featuring some of the top ranked MBA programs in the country, many of the DC programs focus on professional integrity and ethics, attempting to reflect its location in the country’s capital. Many of the MBA programs here also focus on placing business within a global context, encouraging students to gain real-world experience outside of the classroom to gain a better understanding of the global business community.

Full-Time MBA Programs in DC Include:

Boston Full-Time MBA Programs

The Boston metro features some of the top ranked and oldest business schools in the world, which focus on placing students within the global economy and encouraging study abroad opportunities that allow students to get hands-on experience in international business. Given Boston’s reputation as a growing business hub, many of the top jobs in the city may require an MBA.

Full-Time MBA Programs in Boston include: 

Cost of MBA Programs

Cost can be an important consideration when choosing a degree program. The average tuition costs of the Washington DC programs mentioned above is roughly $82,090, though the number may be slightly less for local students. In Boston, the range may be slightly higher. Harvard Business School can cost up to $122,000 per year, but other quality programs in the Boston metro can also be found as low as $91,040.

Job Placement and Salary

The cost one is willing to spend on an MBA is often largely determined by the potential salary that can be made after obtaining the degree. Given that both Boston and DC are among the U.S. cities with the highest cost of living, salary may be an important determination in selecting a city to start your career. Thankfully, both cities offer the chance for high earning potential. According to PayScale, Boston MBA graduates can earn anywhere from $53,725 on average to $173,940. In Washington DC, where there is a slightly higher cost of living, salaries can range from $58,402 to $147,715.

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Sep 13, 2017 by

Gupta College of Business to Partner with Prospanica

Dallas Gupta college Prospanica

A new partnership has been recently announced between the  University of Dallas – Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business and Prospanica—the Association of Hispanic Professionals. Together, the two institutions hope to better prepare all students at the university to enter a diverse workforce and serve in a range of specialties and fields.

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Sep 13, 2017 by

Robinson Opens Georgia’s First Business School-Based Fintech Lab

Georgia State Opens Fintech lab

A new fintech lab has opened at the Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, covering topics of finance, real estate, data analytics, risk management, insurance, and more.

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Sep 8, 2017 by

Smith MBA Students Get Right to Business with PepsiCo Challenge

umd smith pepsico

This summer, the University of Maryland R.H. Smith School of Business hosted the third annual MBA Orientation Live Case Competition, challenging almost 100 full-time MBAs to develop their first real-world business solution.

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Sep 7, 2017 by

What Employers Do and Don’t Look for In An MBA Graduate

what employers look for mba

Earning an MBA can often be a huge boost for graduates entering the job market, from opportunities for upper-level management roles to increased salaries.

But securing that job post-graduation can still be an uphill climb. Even with an MBA, students often find themselves struggling to understand how they fit within a changing job market. As the market continues to shift, understanding exactly what employers are looking for in their MBA applicants—and what they aren’t looking for—can be crucial for graduates as they search for and apply for their perfect job.

Thankfully, a recent survey from the Financial Times looked at the job market from the perspective of employers: what they are in need of in terms of MBA job seekers, and how MBA applicants can be more realistic regarding for the roles for which their new degree will qualify them. Unfortunately for many MBAs, the survey results may come as a surprise when they reflect on what skills they hoped their degree would offer in the first place. Yet, a critical understanding of what employers are and aren’t looking for can help job seekers re-frame the way they understand themselves and their prospective careers.

What Employers Want

The survey looked into the most important skills that employers look for in new MBA talent. Perhaps surprisingly, the five most important skills determined by the survey were actually not core MBA subjects. “Soft skills,” such as the ability to prioritize (desired by 72 percent of employers), the ability to work with a variety of people (76 percent of employers), and the ability for employees to effectively manage their time were the most desired and difficult to find, according to the survey.

The most difficult skills to recruit—the skills companies are sorely in need of—were most commonly named as the ability to use social media for the business’ needs, financial forecasting, big data analysis, brand storytelling skills, and the ability to train others.

The five most important skills, according to the Financial Times survey.

What Employers Don’t Want

The least important skills for an MBA, according to the survey, were those most often thought of as “hard skills,” such as specialized skills in marketing, finance, programming, or complex statistical skills. Similar skills were mentioned as the least difficult skills to recruit—the ability to solve complex problems and specialized marketing skills are often seen as common fare among MBA graduates and therefore a candidate with such skills won’t necessarily stick out.

Many surveyed employers said that past experience with MBA-holding employees had left them disappointed, with the degree-holder having difficulty turning concepts into practice. Many employers said that, while an MBA degree may be a nice bonus for a job candidate, the overall hiring decision is more based on the individual’s industry qualifications, rather than their degree.

These skills may be less necessary than MBA grads anticipate.

What Do You Need To Do?

So far, the results of the Financial Times survey may be disappointing for MBAs who have worked hard for their business education. No need to get concerned just yet, however. The employer response may have less to do with the idea that the skills of an MBA grad aren’t necessary in a company and more to do with a perception gap; the belief that business schools will not teach students the skills they need, and therefore that they do not need MBAs at their company.

Most of the work in convincing a skeptical employer your degree is worthwhile is simply convincing them that the skills learned as part of your degree are the same ones they desire. Many business schools are attempting to change the way MBAs are perceived and the type of skills that are associated with graduates. Julie Morton, Associate Dean of Careers Services and Corporate Relations at Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has already set half of her team to the work of promoting the value of MBA-holders in the workforce. Overall, much of the work will fall on business schools to market their graduates as holding the skills most desired by recruiters.

On a more individual level, however, the survey results also indicate that MBA grads can be more judicious in the roles that they apply to and the way they market themselves to potential employers. By focusing on the skills desired most—and the hardest to recruit—and ensuring that employers know these are the exact skills an MBA education offers, both employer and employee can benefit.

You can read the rest of the Financial Times survey here.

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