University Business April 2018 - 10

Beyond the News
BUSINESS SCHOOLS
PART 3 OF A 3-PART SERIES ON B-SCHOOL SURVIVAL

Touting outcomes boosts MBA programs' profiles
Why and how to share student success data
In a competitive landscape, business
schools that aren't in the top tier of
MBA rankings must find other ways
to differentiate themselves. Many are
highlighting student success data and
employment outcomes to captivate MBA
candidates whose biggest consideration is:
What will an MBA do for me?
"That's exactly the question prospective students ask," says Ken White,
associate dean of MBA & executive programs at William & Mary's Raymond
A. Mason School of Business. "It's an
academic discipline where salary and
job placement are among the very most
important components to prospective
students."
That is why even though the Mason
School MBA isn't a top-ranked program
(it's tied for 57th on the 2018 U.S. News
& World Report list), the fact that 98 percent of its graduates had job offers within
three months of graduation is an attractive statistic. And that point could partially explain why last year the program
had its largest incoming full-time MBA
class in the school's 51-year history.
Here's how sharing student success
data can help MBA programs attract new
students, prove ROI value and connect
with the business community:
1. Students can identify programs that
align with career goals.
"We're seeing business schools doing
more to strengthen their clarity of
purpose," says Juliane Iannarelli, senior
vice president and chief knowledge
officer of AACSB International-The
Association to Advance Collegiate
Schools of Business. This messaging
10 | April 2018

BUILDING BUSINESS LEADERS-Impressive facilities can be a key consideration
for prospective b-school students. Miller Hall, a $75 million project that is the home
of William & Mary's Mason School of Business, was completed in 2009.

covers outcomes in ways that go beyond
starting salary.
A student who is geographically
flexible and seeking a position at a toptier company in a certain discipline,
such as consulting, might use outcomes
statistics to find a school with a large
number of students going into that kind
of work, says Megan Hendricks, executive
director of the MBA Career Services &
Employer Alliance, a global organization
for employers and administrators working
in graduate business career services.
Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management in Nashville
publishes career data on its website and
in printed materials to showcase the
many opportunities its graduates have,
says Christie St-John, director of MBA
admissions. "A candidate may see which
functional area or industry our students
tend to go into, the geographical location

of our graduates post-MBA, and the
corresponding salary ranges."
Vanderbilt's data reveals a couple of
key points: The percentage of students
with a job at graduation has been
increasing each year and is in the same
range as some of the top-ranked schools.
Also, graduates are accepting jobs
around the country and the world. "For
candidates who may be hesitant to attend
a small school in the south, this is very
helpful," says St-John.
Sharing a list of the top companies
hiring a school's MBA graduates can be
compelling as well. "It gives students an
idea of who our relationships are with,"
says White of William & Mary.
2. Focusing on outcomes fuels more
collaboration.
Vanderbilt does more than post student
statistics online. The admissions
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