Unlike other programs, most MBA degree programs do not require you to have completed an undergraduate degree in the same area as the graduate program. Instead, you will be surrounded by faculty and students from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Professors may be tenured faculty with extensive research backgrounds or adjunct faculty or guest lecturers with a specific expertise or a wealth of professional business experience.
Your fellow students will also come from a variety of backgrounds, personalities, and skills. Some students have bachelor’s degrees in business, but others come from the liberal arts, engineering, or social sciences. The average MBA student has several years of professional work experience, but the professions from which these students come will vary. Be prepared to work in groups and learn as much from your classmates as you will from your books and professors.
Professors expect you to read assignments, complete homework, and contribute to discussion. The types of assignments will vary by the professor and topic, but, typically, you have weekly homework and individual assignments in accounting and economics courses and more group work and presentations in management and marketing courses. Most MBA degree programs balance critical theory with problem-solving approaches, using case studies and team projects. For instance, in a business ethics course, one week you will discuss utilitarianism and the next week you apply this theory to help make decisions in a real-life situation case study.
Earning a Master of Business Administration degree is about more than education; it is also about advancement and networking. You will network during traditional opportunities (holiday parties or guest lecture series), but you will also have chances during informal settings (group meetings or happy hours after classes).
After graduating from the University of Dayton in 2000, Ann Bezbatchenko worked as an editor for SRA/McGraw-Hill Companies. She returned to school to obtain a master’s degree from The Catholic University of America, where she worked as the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for CUA. Ann currently works at Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School of Business as the Director of Admissions.