Spotlight On U.S. MiMs: The Master Of Science In Management At Gies College Of Business

Q&A with Nerissa Brown, associate dean of graduate programs and professor of accountancy at Gies College of Business

Nerissa Brown, associate dean of graduate programs and professor of accountancy at Gies College of Business: “The ability to collaborate is key in any management program, and we look for students who are going to be great team members. A demonstrated ability to work well with others is paramount”

P&Q: How is this program different from other MiMs on the market today?

Nerissa Brown: One area in which we provide a unique and important benefit is that we offer the option to stack your master’s in management into our online MBA. We recognize that right now a master’s in management might be all someone wants, but that later in their career, they think an MBA would be beneficial. Upon completion of a Gies MSM, learners can apply those 36 credit hours toward our 72-credit-hour online MBA, and they will already be halfway done!

We also offer the flexibility for learners to choose a residential or online option. The online degree, or iMSM, offers the benefits of flexibility, highly engaging online classes with expert faculty, and a diversity of peers that includes working professionals living all around the world. Our on-campus MSM is believed to be the only one on the market with two built-in experiential/client consulting projects within a one-year timeline.

Learners also have the ability to customize their study plan with foundational classes in over nine different areas and then select from a flexible set of specializations and electives– either in business or other interest areas – not an entirely lockstep curriculum like most other MiMs.

What exactly are you looking for in a candidate/applicant?

We are looking for well-rounded applicants with or without a professional or educational business background. Those individuals with some work experience who are new to business or looking to transition into management roles are a great fit for the online iMSM. Those who can reflect on their own professional success and failures tend to excel in the admissions interview process.

The on-campus MSM is designed for those coming from a non-business education background with some or no work experience. As a full-time program, it can be perfect for a new graduate just finishing their undergraduate career or for someone who wants to pivot their career after a couple years in the workforce.

What are three or four things that are really core to your program, and how can an applicant best make his or her application express those things?

The ability to collaborate is key in any management program, and we look for students who are going to be great team members. A demonstrated ability to work well with others is paramount. We highly recommend that this experience is featured in your personal statement and/or reference letters as well as discussed in your interview.

Further, our programs seek out learners who are open-minded and who are passionate about exploring and applying new business concepts to their future or existing career fields.

In what ways can a Master in Management provide an advantage over an MBA? 

A master’s in management is typically shorter and more cost-efficient, which can lead to a faster return on investment. With this shorter program, learners will gain a solid foundation in management that can be leveraged quickly to transition to a business career or a leadership role.

Also, depending on your industry and your immediate goals, the MSM coursework may be all you need to start or elevate your business career, while preparing you to complete advanced MBA coursework at a later date. With the Gies program, the MSM coursework is fully stackable into our online MBA program. So MSM graduates can always come back and apply their credits toward the MBA!

What are some impressions of your program that you’d like to dispel, and what are some things about the curriculum and community that you’d like more people to know about?

The MSM and iMSM are great options for learners with a non-business background as well as early career and seasoned professionals who are seeking to move to that next career level. You don’t need any prerequisites for the coursework in our on-campus and online programs, and it is okay if you’ve never taken a class related to business. The Gies MSM is fully immersive and designed to help you reach your career goals, whether that’s a traditional business path, starting your own business, or just gaining some business knowledge.

Our programs offer an incredibly diverse experience, both on-campus and online, and leads to a diversity of thought in classroom and group discussions. Our on-campus program offers unique experiential learning opportunities and the ability to customize your study plan and work with a dedicated team of Gies career advisors. The online iMSM curriculum is broad by design and versatile to fit the needs of both new and seasoned professionals.

One notion we would love to dispel is the idea that online learning is of lower quality and less engaging than on-campus learning. Actually that could not be further from the truth. Gies offers highly engaging online courses with live class sessions, virtual office hours, and expert faculty who truly care about your success. Online learning also offers the ability to engage with peers from across the globe and in a variety of different industries and levels in their careers.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.