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Meet Michigan State’s MBA Class of 2018

Members of the Class of 2018 at Michigan State University's Broad College of Business

Members of the Class of 2018 at Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business

Michigan isn’t nicknamed “The Wolverine State” for nothing. Here, the University of Michigan tends to grab the headlines. Make no mistake: Michigan State is the bigger school. It is easier to gain admittance there and less costly there. Oh, it doles out more financial aid too. Still, it remains in Ann Arbor’s shadow. Look no further than its sports teams. Fans still swoon over Michigan’s “Fab Five,” yet forget the plucky Spartan team that actually won a championship a few years later. You don’t think that Big Blue is paying Jim Harbaugh $9 million dollars a year after dropping seven of the past ten games to Sparty, do you?

This dynamic extends to the full-time MBA arena, where Ross ranks with Haas and Darden as the top public programs. This obscures the growing stature of Michigan State’s Eli Broad College of Business, which finished 27th in the new Poets&Quants MBA ranking. Broad also placed 27th in the 2016 Bloomberg Businessweek ranking, scoring in the top 25 among recruiters. More impressively, it ranked 36th in the world with The Economist, buoyed by Broad graduates ranking first in increasing their pre-MBA earnings after graduation. The Class of 2015, in particular, saw their starting pay jump to $117,326, with over 90% landing work within three months of graduation at top employers that included Amazon, Apple, Dell, Ernst & Young, General Motors, and Intel.

FEW SCHOOLS IF ANY DO SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT BETTER THAN BROAD

"Sparty"

“Sparty”

Among Broad’s four concentrations, supply chain management is undoubtedly its signature program, attracting 52% of the 2015 Class. In the most recent U.S. News academic survey, Broad’s MBA supply chain and logistics program ranked second in the world (along with placing 11th in production and operations).  The program as a whole — graduate and undergraduate — ranked first in the 2016 SCM World University 100, which is based on a survey of leading supply chain practitioners. In particular, the program boasts an IBM-sponsored Supply Chain Laboratory, where students can model, simulate, and analyze all relationships from one end to the other, enabling them to build faster chains at a lower cost.

Such experiential learning opportunities are the hallmark of the Broad experience. Over two years, students take time out for several immersions, where they partner with firms like General Motors or Procter & Gamble to develop solutions to some of their toughest issues. They can also participate in labs devoted to leadership and teamwork or financial analysis, with the latter including state-of-the-art trading desks and modeling capabilities enjoyed by the top Wall Street firms. The school’s study abroad program is so popular that nearly a quarter of its MBA students head overseas to learn. And Broad is one of the few MBA programs to partner with the CFA Institute to offer the intensive support that students need to earn their Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, a Wall Street staple that involves a more rigorous examination process than the more popular CPA.

You can also trace Broad’s employment output success to its Career Services Center, which ranked among the top 20 MBA centers according to a 2016 student satisfaction survey conducted by The Economist. The center’s motto is “Nobody works with students more than we do” — and it is more of a credo than a tagline; The center works tirelessly with students, early and often, on identifying strengths and interests, job search tools and planning, interview and internship preparation, and networking and alumni outreach.

CLASS INCLUDES AN OLYMPIC MARATHONER

Paul North, MBA Director

Paul North, MBA Director

Culturally, according to first year Kevin Jackson, Broad sets itself apart by fostering “an environment that embraces creativity, communication, and teamwork.” The result, he says, is students who are marked by their “leadership, innovation, and quality performance.” Paul North, director of the school’s full-time MBA program, has witnessed these exact qualities in the 2018 Class since they arrived on campus this summer. “The Class of 2018 includes a unique blend of backgrounds, from budding doctors and attorneys to scientists, from veterans and Olympians to entrepreneurs and economists. This class is as diverse as the world around us. One common thread that weaves itself through this class is the mindset of “innovation and creativity”. We expect the Class of 2018 to be on the forefront of innovation and leadership in the world of business.”

To call the class “unique” is almost an understatement. Virginia native Nanci Kapoor is a baker and world traveler who speaks five different languages. Nicolas Umuhizi, a lover of all things new, co-founded the Rwanda Underwater Hockey Club. Mohamed Hrezi was the student speaker at his university commencement and also competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics Marathon. Forget the Amazon drone. China’s Weifei Zou once got a message by elephant.

They also arrive in East Lansing with a diverse range of business backgrounds. Umuhizi launched a social enterprise that provided seed and fertilizer to small farmers on credit to help them increase their yields. Jackson was part of a team that developed the Michigan Lottery Online, which has poured millions of dollars into Michigan schools. And Sung Y. Hong, a U.S. Army captain, helped the Afghan army professionalize their operations by guiding the development of their human resources systems.

GMATS UP SIX POINTS

The numbers are also ticking up at Broad for the incoming class. The school received 446 applications during the 2015-2016 cycle, accepting 149 and ultimately enrolling 69 students. Average GMATs climbed from 664 to 670, with median GMATs following suit, going from 690 to 700. Overall, GMAT scores ranged from 597-733 in the mid-80% range. GPAs also held steady at 3.3.