An Interview with John T. Delaney, dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business

Describe the faculty at your school. What areas of academics/research have become the “hallmarks” of your faculty? What level of interaction do professors have with their students?

Our faculty provide an appropriate balance of academic excellence and industry experience. Collectively, their knowledge spans all business units: accounting; decisions, operations, and information technology; finance; organizations and entrepreneurship; and marketing and business economics. Our faculty is widely published in top research journals, they act as consultants for businesses and government agencies, and they are widely recognized as expert sources in the media.

Our faculty stands apart for several reasons. First and foremost, they are actively engaged in the creation of new knowledge. This is beneficial for our students, because it ensures that they are receiving an education grounded in the latest trends in business.  Secondly, many faculty members pride themselves on being accessible to students. Our students find that it is both easy and intellectually enriching to interact with faculty inside and outside the classroom.  It is not uncommon for professors to become mentors to students, and to provide guidance as graduates’ careers mature.

Do you offer thesis and non-thesis graduate degree options at your school?

The Katz MBA does not require a thesis. However, our rigorous curriculum does conclude with a management simulation course that encompasses the learning from all different business units.

Do you offer a study abroad program, and do you require proficiency in a second language? 

Katz does not require that students study abroad, however we strongly encourage that our students expose themselves to global business experiences. We offer an array of international experiences for students. We offer Global Research Practicums, which are for-credit trips to Asia, Europe, or South America, where students visit with companies and complete a research project. Our International Business Center offers Global Business Projects, which enable Katz students to team up with MBA students from other colleges and universities to work as a consultant for a company in a foreign country.

Our school also has reciprocal partnerships with business schools across the world: Euromed Management (Marseille, France), European Business School (Oestrich-Winkel, Germany), University of Augsburg (Augsburg, Germany), and University of Federico Santa María (Valparaíso, Chile). Furthermore, the European Business School offers a three-week summer program for Katz students.

Describe the typical internships among your students, and the full-time career placement mix in terms of types of employers and jobs. What is the geographic diversity of your graduates across states and countries?

Our Career Services team is a conduit between students and employers. They build strong relationships with employers to ensure our students have excellent opportunities for internships and employment. Meanwhile, Career Services stays closely connected with MBA Academic Advisors and students to help them develop and meet their employment objectives.

Full-time students typically complete an internship in the summer between their first and second year. In 2011, 97 percent of students completed an internship. Our students work for a cross section of industry, for businesses large and small.

In 2011, 90 percent of full-time students received job offers within 90 days of graduation. Some of the world’s most recognizable companies hire Katz students: Deloitte, KPMG, PNC Financial Services, Bank of New York Mellon, Crane Co., IBM, FedEx, Westinghouse Electric, Texas Instruments. While students enter all industries, the most popular ones are consulting, financial services, and manufacturing.

What is the average starting salary of your graduates? How has that changed over time?

The average starting salary of our graduates is $80,000. We expect that it will continue to rise, as Katz is a school on the move. We are aggressively hiring new faculty and implementing career-driven MBA programs. Salaries of our students in strategy, operations, management information systems, finance, and marketing are among the school’s highest.

What kinds of need and merit-based aid is offered by your school and what’s the percentage of students who receive financial aid and scholarships?         

Tuition scholarships are the primary source of financial assistance for incoming full-time Katz students. These merit-based scholarships are awarded in various dollar amounts and are directly applied to tuition charges. Nearly three-quarters, or 74 percent of our students receive some time of scholarship.

Tell us about your highest achieving alumni.

Singling out specific alumni for their achievements is difficult—we have 23,000 living in 92 countries worldwide, and many are outstanding business leaders. Our ranks include more than 1,000 CEOs, presidents, and board chairs. We also have many alumni who successfully started and grew their own businesses.

Katz graduates are part of an exclusive club. They find that no matter where their career takes them, they are never far from someone with a Katz or Pitt connection. Those networking opportunities open many doors.

Speaking to the qualified students comparing your school to your top peer schools, what are the key advantages of your school?

The Katz MBA is remarkable because it prepares you to contribute to your company on day one. We get our graduates ready to make an immediate impact because of our focus on experience-based learning. Our school also stands out because of the high return on investment if offers. If you look at the quality of education, reach of the alumni network, and enhanced career potential, Katz stands in a league of its own.