THE “NO JERKS” RULE
Most of all, the Class of 2021 adheres to the school’s cardinal rule. “No Jerks” is a slogan around Scheller and I’ve seen my classmates along with the faculty exude this motto from the moment I stepped on campus,” explains Bill Mizell, an engineer-turned-consultant. “My classmates listen with intention and provide constructive feedback that has already impacted the way I plan to present myself in interviews and the workplace.”
By the numbers, the 86-member class is nearly identical to its predecessors. Like the Class of 2020, the new class brings a 681 average GMAT to Technology Square, along with a 3.3 GPA average. The percentage of women also held steady at 40%. The big difference? The percentage of international students jumped from 15% to 22%. When it comes to GRE scores, the class produced a 158 average in Quantitative and 160 in Verbal.
Another change? The largest segment of this class – 18% – previously worked in Engineering and Manufacturing. The category replaces Technology, which fell from 20% to 14%. The remainder of the class is broken into Consulting (11%), Consumer Products (9%), Government and Military (8%), Financial Services (8%), and Logistics (6%).
A HIGHLY-REGARDED FACULTY
The prospects also look bright for the Class of 2021. Last spring’s graduates earned $117,492 in base pay. Another 86% snagged bonuses, which came out to an additional $28,202 on average. According to Forbes, Scheller MBA pay is expected to rise by $56,700 over the next five years. Overall, 96% of the spring class landed jobs within 90 days of graduation. One reason: the alumni is highly involved with the school – and well-placed within top employers, writes Luke Wareham, a 2019 grad and P&Q Best & Brightest MBA.
“In my experience, no matter which company I was interested in speaking with, there was always a Georgia Tech/Scheller College alumnus available to help me make connections. Also, each of the Scheller grads whom I reached out to was extremely responsive and genuinely happy to help me get in front of hiring managers. Because of the power of the Scheller network, an aviation project manager with no finance, sales, or IT experience (me) was able to land an internship with Goldman Sachs and a full-time role in technology sales at Microsoft. Although I put in a lot of effort to get those jobs, the power of the Scheller network was a key enabler in my job search.”
Another strength is the program’s curriculum. Last year, MBA deans and directors surveyed by U.S. News ranked Scheller among the Top MBA programs for Information Systems, Operations, and Logistics. In a 2019 Bloomberg Businessweek survey, student respondents ranked Scheller among the ten-best for Developing Applicable Skills and Employing Inspiring Faculty. In a similar Economist survey last year, Scheller ranked among the Top 10 for Faculty Quality, Education Excellence, and Fostering New Career Opportunities – and #3 in the world for Career Services – according to students.
A TOP CAREER CENTER
“What I love most about Georgia Tech’s Jones MBA Career Center is how the staff operates as a team to help students navigate unique paths,” writes Jasmine Howard, a second-year and P&Q columnist. “Given the size of our program, our assigned advisors often connect us with their peer advisors for specific industry expertise or company interview insight. This ego-free flexibility means that students get individualized attention and custom coaching plans. All the one-to-one conversations at smaller schools often add up to post-MBA employment percentages that routinely rival, if not exceed, the levels that the big boys brag about.”
The Class of 2021 has been equally impressed by the team at the Jones Career Center. “The career counselors make an effort to get to know each of us individually, prepare us for how to make the next step, and then facilitate connections with alumni and supporters in our desired industries,” shares Abby Brenller. “From constant networking events to gaining impressive internship and full-time placements, the opportunities our career center provides really stood out to me.”
“The Scheller College of Business has the best career services team,” adds Vivek Girreddy, an investment banking analyst from Goldman Sachs. “After working with my career advisor over the summer months, I have come to appreciate the effort and passion of the entire Scheller team.”
What’s on the horizon at the Scheller College? This winter, P&Q reached out to Katie Lloyd, Assistant Dean of MBA Programs, to learn more about the program’s career services and tech-driven curriculum (along with new developments and underrated aspects of the program). Here is what MBA applicants and students can expect in the coming years in the full-time MBA program.
AN INTERVIEW WITH ASSISTANT DEAN KATIE LLOYD
P&Q: What are the most exciting new developments in your program?
KL: “One of the things we are looking forward to most is our new home in Midtown Atlanta’s Technology Square in the next few years. Thanks to the continued generosity of Roberta and Ernest Scheller, Jr., the MBA programs will move across the street from our current building into Scheller Tower, a new high-rise building constructed with our students’ needs in mind.
Around the time Scheller Tower opens, Scheller College will launch its revised curriculum. The planning process is currently underway to ensure Scheller remains positioned as the MBA program of the future. Faculty members, students, and program leaders are collaborating to develop a curriculum that provides cutting-edge knowledge to students, addresses critical skills employers are seeking, reflects Scheller’s distinct location in Atlanta’s Tech Square, and showcases our unique value proposition at the intersection of business and technology.”
P&Q: What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish prospective students knew more about?
KL: “Scheller’s strong ROI is often overlooked in the MBA exploration phase, but we know it is important to our students. With costs of about $30,000 for Georgia residents and $40,000 for non-residents and our top-ranked career outcomes, Scheller College of Business has one of the best returns on investment in graduate management education. And, you can expect the ROI to remain strong as post-MBA salaries continue to rise steadily and tuition remain comparably stable as Georgia Tech is committed to making education financially accessible.”
P&Q: Scheller is known for a technology-infused curriculum with a heavy dose of analytics. How does your approach differ, to an extent, from other programs?
KL: “Drawing from our heritage as engineering institute, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business has a rich tradition of technology-focused curriculum, experiential learning, and interdisciplinary opportunities. Unlike other MBA programs, we include core courses in IT management, digital strategy, and analytics in our students’ first semester. These offerings competitively position students to leverage data in internships across any industry of interest and set them up for success in our applied practicum classes.
Many MBA programs offer a single client-based capstone class, but we offer more than a dozen semester-long, project-based courses where students operate in a consultative manner for the sponsoring industry partners. These practicum classes range from traditional functional areas like Marketing and Supply Chain to more interdisciplinary areas like Business Analytics and Sustainability. Our most popular choice is the international practicum, recently offered in partnership with clients in China, Japan, Israel, and the Nordics.
Students also can earn a Master’s of Science in Analytics through a one-year interdisciplinary degree program that leverages the strengths of Georgia Tech in statistics, operations research, computing, and business. Other students choose to complete dual Masters and PhD programs at Georgia Tech in computer science, engineering, design, and other areas to complement their business education. By blending the strengths of these nationally ranked programs, graduates learn to integrate skills in a unique and interdisciplinary way.”
P&Q: Scheller maintains a career services center that ranks among the best in the world. What are some aspects of your career center that enables it to shine?
KL: “I asked my colleague, Dave Dieters, Executive Director of the Jones MBA Career Center, to weigh in:
“It’s true – Scheller MBA students enjoy remarkable success in landing their dream jobs. How, magic? Jedi mind tricks? The answer is simple: top-notch students work extremely hard with expert guidance, beginning the summer before orientation, to connect with world-class employers.
The year after year employment success of Scheller MBA graduates starts with the students. Scheller students do not enter the program with any sense of entitlement. They come in prepared with the ‘do the work’ attitude necessary to represent their best selves to employers. Our employment partners know this and eagerly engage with Scheller MBAs. Secondly, the Jones MBA Career Center is comprised of a talented team of advisors with a balanced mix of corporate experience across targeted industries and hands-on career coaching know-how. At Scheller, career coaching does not occur through AI-based automated tools for interview practice or resume refinement; rather, the career services team enjoys a rich student to advisor ratio (29:1) across programs, which enables personal, specific, and in-depth coaching. Finally, the Jones MBA Career Center at Scheller has built lasting and valuable relationships with marquee-name employment partners across key industries targeted by MBA students. Our employers enjoy a very high touch service from the career services team resulting in a productive and enjoyable recruiting experience.
Scheller Career Services ‘magic’ begins when students engage with career advisors the summer before they arrive on campus and does not stop until they ring the bell upon accepting an employment offer. Ringing the bell is not a proverbial reference, but an actual bell that represents one of the Scheller community’s favorite traditions. When a student accepts an internship or full-time employment offer, faculty, staff, classmates and family members gather to witness the ringing and celebrate the earned success. Our bell rings early and often!”