Job placement and student satisfaction at Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business are both ranked No. 4 in the nation — a one-two punch unmatched by far at any other Top 50 MBA school in the U.S., according to Bloomberg Businessweek. In compiling the annual ranking, Bloomberg surveyed thousands of recent graduates and older alumni, and company recruiters.
"Scheller Career Services helped me a lot during my summer internship interview process, and their team is one of the main reasons why I chose to come to Scheller," says Brooke Adams, who graduates in May and will join Delta Air Lines as an MBA associate in the Operations, Analysis and Performance group.
"Delta was my top company, and attending Scheller gave me the connections and support I needed to reach my goal," she continues. "The individual attention you get from your advisor and the relationship you develop is unique to Scheller. Also, because you never know what will happen in the future, knowing that you get career services support for life is very comforting."
Our Process in Career Services
One of the reasons behind Career Services' No. 4 showing is that the job placement process begins during admissions.
"Our students have been hand-picked for career success," says Jim Kranzusch, executive director of Career Services. "There are people who look similar on academics, test scores and jobs, but after the admissions interview there's a noticeable difference in one over another in terms of the predictability of career success."
Career Services assigns an advisor, each of whom holds extensive business experience, to every incoming student three months before their arrival on campus. Advisors work with no more than 30 students per class, about half the ratio found at most MBA schools, according to Kranzusch.
Due to her "nontraditional" work experience, a strong and established career center was one of first-year student Ashwini Japtap's top criteria in choosing an MBA program.
"The Jones Career Center guides and supports students through every step of the job search process, from polishing our resumes and cover letters, finding and connecting with target companies, to refining our interviewing skills," she says.
Particular emphasis is placed on the development of solid interviewing skills, which is one aspect of a 35-hour Career Development Workshop that every student completes.
"We don't do mock interviews," Kranzusch explains. "We do practice interviews with our students tailored to the interview techniques used by the specific companies they want to work for either during an internship or after graduation.
"We consistently hear from recruiters that our students are the best prepared for interviewing," he adds.
Student Satisfaction Matters
Job placement is closely tied to the entire student experience at Scheller. One factor behind the No. 4 student satisfaction ranking is the Scheller MBA program's "immersive tracks" structure because it provides students with a great deal of academic flexibility, says Saby Mitra, Ph.D., Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Programs. "We have reduced our core curriculum requirements so they have many different, individualized pathways through the program by combining electives with hands-on practicum classes where students work on real-world company projects."
All MBA classes are taught by our best "research-productive" faculty who also enjoy teaching, Mitra notes, which is why "our teaching ratings are extremely high. Maintaining this balance allows our faculty to bring cutting-edge ideas into the classroom."
High student-satisfaction marks also stem from the program's small size — approximately 80 students entered the program this past fall, according to Mitra, who knows every one of them by name.
Small class size fosters a more personal learning environment, he observes, and promotes a camaraderie among students that is unusual among MBA programs.
"We intentionally create a community of students who will work well together, and help and encourage each other," says Assistant Dean Nancy Gimbel, Ed.D. "We don't accept students who come across as arrogant or cutthroat. We believe that students excel in an environment that Is cooperative rather than hyper-competitive."
Gimbel acknowledges the value of a competitive edge, "but we try to help students focus their competitiveness outward rather than internally toward each other."
Gimbel's position — assistant dean of Student Engagement — is not typically found at graduate schools; at Scheller, it underscores the college's commitment to an exceptional student experience.
"My goal is to keep my finger on the pulse of what students are thinking by being open and accessible to them through focus groups, liaison meetings and town halls," she says. "We intentionally partner with students to find solutions and launch new initiatives that directly contribute to increased satisfaction."
"My two years at Scheller were extremely fulfilling," says Brian Matthews, MBA 2016, a senior consultant with North Highland Consulting in Atlanta. "Scheller fosters an incredible community of faculty, staff, alumni and students that both supported me and challenged me to become a better businessman, leader and person. I made lifelong friends during my two years in the program, and I look forward to staying involved as an alumnus."