Race: European / White
Work Experience: 4.5 years in Management Consulting
GPA/GMAT: In line with W&M averages
The criteria most important to me when selecting my business schools were:
- Curriculum with the flexibility to customize my learning journey
- Good standings in major rankings as well as a positive trends on those
- Class size of 100-200 students for a personal, yet selective experience
- Diverse cohort with the majority of students being American
- Career opportunities and network
I also used other criteria and developed a balanced scorecard for about 60 schools in the States. I reached out to my ten highest scoring MBA programs in person and eventually had the best feeling with W&M. I spoke with two different members of the Admissions team, the Head of Career Services, as well as one Alumni. I was pleased by the effort they made to connect me with other people so that my questions and concerns were address in the best way possible. It became clear after speaking to several schools that W&M is the place I want to study. The personal fit seemed right for both sides. Coming to W&M was one of the best decisions I ever made. Here is why...
About professors, classes and curriculum
The Professors are some of the best I ever had. Not only do many of them have a track record in both business and academia, but most of them are excellent teachers too. I have found this to be a rare species of professors in the past. Moreover, most professors are very approachable connecting students with their business contacts. I was surprised by the strong bond students, and professors have here at Mason Business School. The Bloomberg ranking rewarded this with the #1 learning experience in the country (Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/business-schools/2018/william-and-mary-mason)
As a member of the MBA Class of 2019, I am the first generation of the new curriculum. Key elements of this curriculum are its four sessions (each semester is divided into two sessions), sprint weeks, and integrated career management classes. Especially the sprint weeks are a great value add, as we get the opportunity to apply taught content from the previous semester to solve issues that are affecting today's businesses over the course of one week. It is basically an agile, hands-on team project. These are probably the most intense but at the same time most rewarding weeks of the program. In sum, the new curriculum very progressive. It provides me with a lot of flexibility in customizing my journey to my needs. About 60% of the curriculum consists of electives.
Another thing I came to appreciate is the class size. While every graduating year has about 110 students, no class is bigger than 60 students at a time. Professors often teach the same class twice a day so that the learning atmosphere is more intimate and in-class discussions can be held. Besides, the cohort is very diverse with 40% international students and about 10% having a military background. Especially the latter groups provided me perspectives I might have never considered otherwise.
About job placement process
One thing you got to be aware of when coming here is that the closest major job market is Washington D.C. This means that recruiters are not your neighbors. So you won't randomly run into a Fortune500 recruiter in one of Williamsburg's bars. But would you really in other places?! Anyway, every week, we have several recruiting and career events with companies from the East Coast. The Big4 are here almost daily. But then we also have companies such as IBM, Allianz, CBRE, Booz Allen, FedEx, Continental, to name a few, speak to us frequently. Also, the school provides every student with a travel stipend, so they get reimbursed for personal job seeking activities such as visiting a career fair.
Career Services is super engaged, and I used to meet with my career counselor (yes, everyone gets assigned to one) about once a week. She helped me in creating a good resume, appealing cover letters, and revamp my LinkedIn profile. She also regularly forwarded me job posts that are aligned with my career interests and connected me to Alumni from companies like Cisco and American Express that have led to referrals and interviews. Don't expect them to get you a job, but to prepare you so well that you stand out as a candidate.
Another important fact about the school I want to bring up is the rankings. When I researched Business Schools, I did not just look into the current ranking but the trend over the past few years to understand whether or not the school is improving. I don't care about the rank today, but about the schools rank when I graduate, five, and ten years after graduation. That's when rankings count! When I decided to go to W&M for my MBA, the steady improvement in the rankings was a key factor in my decision. Today, W&M is ranked as follows (as of February 2019):
- Financial Times Global Ranking: 100 (first time in this ranking)
- Bloomberg: 30 (Steadily improved over the past few years)
- Wall Street Journal: 27 (The WSJ resumed the ranking again this year after a 12-year intermission)
Bottom line: The William & Mary MBA Program is what I call a Hidden Champion amongst the Business Schools in the States. The fact that it is climbing the ranking steadily makes it a really interesting option to look at when researching MBA Programs.
Overall BSchool experience
Strengths of the program:
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Executive Partner Network
Best fit at this program:
Can be improved:
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