The highlight of the Broad campus is its new building, the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion, which opens in fall of 2019. It’s a swanky centerpiece with plenty of glass ensuring an enviable view over the Red Cedar River. But this is about more than flashing cash. As an open, spacious space filled with light and classrooms, the new building is designed to facilitate collaboration and those serendipitous meetings between students that are part-and-parcel of modern business school life.
All good business schools have a USP, and Broad can boast of its expertise in supply-chain management, something that has grown out of its location in Michigan, in the traditional industrial heartland of the U.S. The school has been renowned as an expert in this area for many years, and in 2019 was deemed by U.S. News & World Report to have the best supply chain and logistics program in the nation for the third year in a row.
While on the subject of rankings, Broad was also number one on The Economist’s MBA list for salary increase, and Forbes calculated that it had the fastest pay-back time of Big 10 schools. Broad’s class of 2017 reported average salaries of $105,000, plus a sign-on bonus of $19,000. (Consultants earned most.)
After studying the usual core subjects, MBA candidates can choose from four concentrations: finance, HR management, marketing, and supply-chain management. These can be enhanced by studying nine “areas of interest,” described as “immersive, skills-based tracks” which give candidates skills necessary in today’s business world. They include entrepreneurship, talent development, and — a new track — insight and analytics.
Of course, this MBA is not all about the classroom, and Broad has developed an innovative experiential learning program to help students apply what they have learned in dynamic, collaborative contexts. Four times over the course of their MBA, students take part in three-day Extreme Green workshops which help them “challenge conventional thinking, embrace ambiguity and use design thinking methodology,” Wayne Hutchison, director of the MBA program, tells Poets&Quants. One way they do this is by bringing in teachers from MSU’s Theater Department to lead improvisation exercises that get creativity flowing. In the four sessions students learn creativity; problem-solving techniques; innovation processes at major corporations; and the ability to leverage and profit from disruptive conditions. Broad has worked on these projects with such blue-chip companies as Wendy’s, Procter & Gamble, and Disney.
Broad also has three labs that help students develop skills through a mixture of class-based and experiential learning. In their first term, MBAs use the Team Effectiveness Laboratory to develop collaborative skills, including influencing without power. The Financial Analysis Lab is a simulated trading room where students learn about financial markets, and the Supply Chain Laboratory simulates an end-to-end supply chain, looking especially at the way information flows along it.
Among the big employers of Broad MBAs are Michigan-based businesses such as Whirlpool and General Motors. The biggest sector for Broad MBAs to find jobs has lately been technology, which took 19% of grads last year, while the pharma/biotech/healthcare sector accounted for 18%; 14% went into consultancy. Of the most recent cohort, 96% had jobs within three months of graduating.
The Broad MBA has about 80 students, a number that the schools says could increase slightly — though not above 100, in order to maintain a community feel.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO STUDY AT BROAD
Students have described Eli Broad’s full-time MBA program as a home away from home. Small class sizes, with a heavy emphasis on team-based work in the curriculum, creates strong relationships between faculty and students. The Broad full-time MBA Program combines a theory-based curriculum with soft skills used for effective leadership. The program allows students to select one or two concentrations and to craft their own plan of study with areas of interest that complement the concentration areas.
In a span of 21 months, the Broad MBA covers three components: a 31-credit core curriculum in foundational learning, and the choice of either one 12-credit concentration with two 6-credit areas of interest and 6-credits of electives, or two 12-credit concentrations with one 6-credit area of interest. The concentrations offered are Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management. The areas of interest are Risk Management, Insights and Analytics, Strategic Performance Measurement, Global Business, Talent Development, Consulting, Leadership and Strategy, Product and Service Innovation, and Consulting.