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Joined: Mar 23, 2013
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This review is for UCSD
Program Full Time MBA
Class of 2016
Speaking from the full-time MBA program experience:
It really depends what you are looking to do after the MBA to determine whether UCSD's Rady School of Management is the MBA program for you or not. After graduating from the full-time program, from seeing what my classmates have done with the MBA after the program, below are the types of applicants who will either enjoy and be successful at Rady, or disappointed and even bitter with Rady:
Students who enjoyed the program and feel successful after Rady: Primarily looking to either work at a start up or be an entrepreneur with his/her own start up business, build his/her network in the immediate San Diego area (and somewhat in the San Francisco bay area), or find a marketing/business development/analytics/operations job after the program in the San Diego area if he/she is a career path changer.
Students who were disappointed with the results at Rady and have expressed resentment towards the Rady program: Wanted the usual/typical post MBA employment seen from the top 30 ranked MBA schools (new position that provided higher pay or a promotion compared to his/her job role prior to the MBA), expected an MBA experience both inside AND outside of the classroom heard from friends attending other MBA programs, expected to place in a finance or consulting industry, expected to build a network at least outside of San Diego, and a strong alumni base.
The full-time cohort is pretty small with about 50-60 student as the entire cohort. So far, about half and up to 70% of the cohort are international students, which does bring the diversity. While the diversity is great and can bring different experiences and perspectives to the classroom, unfortunately due to the small cohort size, this does not work in Rady's favor, since then there's only about 25-30 students that are domestic and bring valuable connections to companies that they worked for. In the student lounge and social events, the separation between international and domestic students had a larger presence due to the lack of interaction (many international students in the lounge spoke their own language and didn't really provide their perspectives in the classroom due to the limited English knowledge). As a domestic student, I tried numerous times to include all of my classmates in social events or discussions around Rady, but many of the international students were reserved and would rather stay in their bubble. Some of the students were government sponsored and were going back to their own companies after the MBA anyways, so they did not have much motivation to network or help the rest of their classmates inside and outside the classroom. These lost opportunities to network and enrich the experience outside of the classroom were some of the most disappointing aspects of the experience at Rady.
Inside the classroom, the professors were top notch and have some really impressive educational and work experience backgrounds. Their course materials, content delivery, and genuineness about the care for their work and the students were some of the best aspects of Rady. I enjoyed working with them on projects outside of the classes as part of my independent studies.
The careers department is trying to help the students succeed, but they have a few major tough hurdles to overcome: (1) H1B visa restrictions causing many international students (who want to stay in the US post MBA) to find companies who will sponsor them, (2) the limited Rady brand (many times I heard from employers who know Rady's name as part of the children hospital, but not the business school, (3) many students want to stay in San Diego after graduation, therefore limiting the alumni network reach across the country, (4) initiative of classmates to take the job search seriously and early on. Unfortunately these factors have cause the careers department to miss their targets and causing the post-MBA placement %s to decrease year over year with declining post-MBA average salaries. In turn, this has hurt the Rady with the popular US News ranking (we've skidded down from ~60 to now 82 in 2017, with ~50% of MBA graduates finding employment by graduation).
Luckily, I came to Rady with a good work experience and making my primary goal to find a great job post-graduation. I worked towards that goal from day 1 and found success. However, reaching this goal could only be done if you are very self-motivated and know that you have to find those opportunities, since they're not going to be provided to you so easily as it may be at the top 30 MBA schools. Therefore, my biggest recommendation is that you cannot consider your potential experience at Rady to be similar to a student at any of the higher ranked MBA schools, because, while Rady has been around for 10+ years, it can still be a new school that is trying to build its reputation and, more importantly, trying to find a student body, identity, and system that brings growing success.
Overall BSchool experience (3.0)
Schools contribution (2.0)
Classmates rating (3.0)
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Career opportunities provided by school