2023’s Undergraduate Business Schools To Watch

2023’s Undergraduate Business Schools To Watch

Marian University of Indianapolis Byrum School of Business

Marian University of Indianapolis Byrum School of Business

“Byrum provides an education that shines through our faith. Our success lies within our diverse talent. Con una educación que transforma, your future is bright at Marian University.” — Jenny Rodriguez, Marketing & Spanish ‘24

Driven by its Franciscan values of peace, justice, and responsible stewardship, Byrum’s foundation is centered on Marian’s liberal arts core with an emphasis on impactful experiential learning education. One example: In their first year, all freshmen create their own start-up company that they manage during the semester as part of the nine-credit hour Business Plan Competition course (Entrepreneurship, Accounting, and Economics).


In fall 2021, Marian University organized a coalition of Indiana universities and stakeholders to launch a groundbreaking Diversity in Leadership program designed to help close gaps in educational attainment, wealth, skills, and opportunity for minorities and women. The program’s aim is to create more inclusive living, working, and learning communities, enhancing Central Indiana as a thriving regional ecosystem.

Over the course of seven months, participants take a course on the campus of each partner institution: Marian University, Butler University, Indiana University, The University of Notre Dame, and Purdue University. They work with an executive coach to help them navigate career prospects in corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. Candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree and seven years of work experience, and the program gets more than 350 applicants for 25 seats.

The outcomes speak for themselves: 76% of program completers have been promoted at least once and 26% have been promoted twice; they’ve earned an average salary increase of $40,000; and nearly 25 of them are enrolled in prestigious graduate programs.

Now, the program is expanding into some of Ohio’s top colleges and universities, with its sights set on the Chicago and Los Angeles markets in 2024.


2023’s Undergraduate Business Schools To Watch

Byrum School of Business is driven by its Franciscan values of peace, justice, and responsible stewardship.

Byrum enrollment is up 52% for its fall 2021 and 2022 classes over the previous two years. As far as career outcomes, for three consecutive years now Byrum has reported that 100% of their graduates had at least one business-specific internship before graduation. This year, an impressive 98.16% of the Class of 2022 found full-time employment within three months of graduation, just slightly off the 100% it achieved for the Class of 2022. That’s the 10th highest employment outcome for all 92 undergraduate business schools in our latest ranking.

Some of its biggest employers for 2022 grads included EY, Republic Airways, Rolls Royce, Amazon, Spot and Orr Fellowship.

“Byrum School of Business alumni are leaders who leave their mark on campus and then in the world with the skills and capabilities they learned in class and with their peers,” says Andrew Elsener, President of Spot, Inc. “We have several Knights that have made a big impact on our success from both an operational and cultural perspective. They enter the workforce prepared to contribute.”

The business school is also excited to partner with the newly established E. S. Witchger School of Engineering at Marian University, which opened this fall. The Witchger School is home to six engineering degree programs in biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, mechanical and engineering physics. A new four-story, 70,000-square-foot engineering building will open next fall to accommodate the new engineering programs.

Byrum has also launched this fall a new, three-credit course that teaches the historical framework of capitalism and church teachings. Moral Capitalism covers capitalism’s contribution to human existence and prosperity, how morality can breed success in the corporate world, the justification of faith in moral capitalism and more. The course includes the Moral Leadership Lab which connects community leaders to Byrum students.


We asked Greg Rawski, dean of Byrum Business School, to tell us more about the school’s innovations and differentiators. The interview is presented below.

What are recent and upcoming program developments and innovations that will enhance the experience of future students?

We recently launched our Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) program. Our program hosts leaders from our Hoosier state to ensure students are engaging in real world issues. Driven by experiential learning, students benefit from a “high touch” program which includes: two internships, a Six Sigma Green Belt certification, a leadership dinner, company visits, along with an in-class competition to drive the best understanding of the rapidly changing market.

Guided by our Franciscan sponsorship values of Peace and Justice and Responsible Stewardship, Byrum established a Center for Financial Wellness. With support from Old National Bank, our program provides an interactive approach to financial education. Students earn stamps for each module and eventually a certificate in Financial Wellness. We believe not all university students have to be financial experts, but all students have to be able to ask the right financial questions at different points in their life.

What are your program’s two biggest differentiators from other top undergraduate business programs?

The heart of Byrum is our emphasis on experiential learning education. All Byrum students complete at least one internship which contributes to a minimum of five resume-worthy accomplishments by graduation. Each experience is designed to enhance critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem solving, skills that employers identify as highly valued and are further reinforced throughout Marian’s liberal arts core.

2023’s Undergraduate Business Schools To Watch

Greg Rawski, dean

Freshman year, our students complete a nine-credit hour Business Plan Competition course (Entrepreneurship, Accounting, and Economics). Students create their own start-up company that they manage during the semester. Throughout this experience, there is an emphasis on helping students develop a high-level of business acumen. This is a crucial skill that allows our students to think critically, adapt, and effectively manage situations in the business world.

Another distinctive experiential program is our A-Team. The A-Team offers students the opportunity to complete an interdisciplinary consulting course for an Indianapolis business. Students receive specialized training in business consulting through a series of steps which culminates in a presentation and a set of value-based deliverables for the organization. Our students take pride in the value they create for their clients through analyses of new processes, technologies, and ideas that have a lasting impact on their client’s long-term growth. To date, 95 engagements have been completed including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, One America, Merchants Bank, the Indianapolis Fire Department, the Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana, and the Catholic Schools Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Education at Marian University fundamentally rests upon its Transformational Journey Program which includes the integration of “Faith, Reason, and Ethics”. This program goal seeks to help our students integrate Marian’s Franciscan sponsorship values which celebrate the dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship – into their daily lives and future careers.

Marian University hosted the 2022 Business Ethics Indiana (BEI) Summit which promotes ethical practices and provides professional development that strengthens Indiana as a business ethics center of excellence. Additionally, Marian University is home to the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl sponsored by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

The Byrum School of Business now offers a first year course entitled, “Moral Capitalism,” which explores the moral, social, and ethical responsibilities of business and capitalism. The course includes a Moral Leadership Lab which invites speakers such as Carolyn Woo, Ph.D., Former Dean Mendoza College, University of Notre Dame; Joe Reitz, 2016 Indianapolis Colts Walter Payton Man of the Year, Mark Caswell, CEO Resultant, and Fr. Cole Daily, Assistant Pastor St. John’s Vianney Catholic Church.

All Byrum seniors complete a course in Business Ethics. Additionally, marketing majors can complete an Advertising Ethics professional certification and Supply Chain Management majors can complete a course in Humanitarian Logistics.

2023’s Undergraduate Business Schools To Watch

Students at Marian University of Indianapolis Byrum School of Business.

How do these prepare students for their careers?

Together, our commitment to experiential learning and the integration of faith, reason, and ethics helps provide an education distinguished in its ability to prepare transformative leaders for service to the world.

What separates your graduates from other business school graduates?

Employers tell us our alumni are ready to make an impact on day one. Through multiple company engagements, the ability to earn professional certifications and microcredentials, and a requirement to complete a high quality internship, our students feel prepared and confident upon graduation.

Explain the career services, programming, and extracurriculars that give your students an advantage in career outcomes?

2023’s Undergraduate Business Schools To WatchByrum students benefit from the University’s Exchange. The Exchange has been recognized for three consecutive years as a Career Development College of Distinction. Exchange team members lead career and internship courses, networking opportunities and alumni connections to engage students early and often with meaningful, work connected experiences. Through the collaborative efforts of the Exchange and Byrum, 100% of students complete at least one internship. Following graduation, 98.16% of our business students are employed full-time or pursuing an advanced degree.

Students develop their resume, create a LinkedIn profile, and participate in business networking events as part of a Career Research Internship course. A senior level course, Job Search and Professional Development, benefits students by incorporating their internship(s), specialized business projects, student consulting, competitions, leadership and co-curricular experiences on their resume. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to express their value to a company separating them from other candidates.

Additionally, each Byrum major offers students career outcome support. For example, through the support of a free-of-charge CPA preparation course, Accounting majors have the opportunity to pass multiple portions of the CPA exam prior to graduation. Additionally, a twelve credit hour Accounting internship course offers students the opportunity to spend an entire semester working full-time in an Indianapolis area public accounting firm while still earning college credits towards the 150 credit hour CPA requirement.

“Marian has changed my life forever – I have been set up for opportunities I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago,” one 2021 alum, Dan Root, told us.

When alumni look back on their time in your undergraduate business program, what would they consider to be their signature experience?

Orr Fellowship: Three Marian students have attained Orr Fellowships this year which is truly an exciting, signature program. The Orr Fellowship is a post-graduate program designed for doers who want to jumpstart their career. Orr fosters a community of young professionals through access to an expansive network, skills-building opportunities, and leadership development. With an 8% acceptance rate, the Orr Fellowship interview process concludes on match day, where candidates interview with 50 organizations at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

“Orr Fellowship was the perfect start to my career because it provided entrance into a competitive field, access to an incredible network, and opportunities to continue enhancing my education and skills all in a city I love,” said Rachel Moning, a 2020 graduate, and a UX Developer at Lev.

Steven Emch, President of Orr Fellowship, said: “We’re incredibly excited to partner with institutions like Marian University because we know the quality of students is top-notch, the faculty are great collaborative partners, and they’re very intentional about doing what’s best for their students.”

Mergers & Acquisitions: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) is a high-level, nine credit hour, experiential course that covers three critical subject matters: Corporate Strategy, Business Law, and Corporate Finance though engagements with local multinational organizations.

The centerpiece is a Fortune 500 consulting project where students evaluate a company and the industry within which it operates. The deliverable is a report and presentation to company leaders that includes strategic guidance and potential acquisitions. Clients include world class companies such as Eli Lilly, Danaher, Cummins and Elanco.

Students frequently describe M&A as one of their most difficult but rewarding classes at Marian. While students compete fiercely to earn good marks, they also come away with a newfound perspective that work can and should be fun, and that by doing good in society, you can also do well professionally.

“The life-long relationships and memories that were built through leadership in the classroom and being a part of a collegiate community that truly allows for self-growth,” Michael Barton, CPA, a 2014 alumni and ‘14 and director at Sikich LLP. He was named CPA Practice Advisor Magazine 40 under 40 in the accounting profession.

What is the most underrated feature of your undergraduate business program and how does it enhance the experience for your business majors?

Marian students love to compete! We wear “the crown” as Madeline Worcester, Marketing major, was named an Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess. On the national stage, our students have made impressive achievements:

  • National Sales Champions (2021)
  • CFA Indiana Champions (2022)
  • CFA Indiana Runner-up (2023)
  • National Runner-up in American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Amazon Prime Student competition (2022)
  • Social Media Champions (2021)
  • Fastenal Sales Champions (2023)

What’s trending today at Byrum? Our students are preparing for the national finals in both the AMA Wall Street Journal competition (New Orleans, LA) and the HubSpot Bilingual Sales competition (Miami, FL).

What’s Byrum’s playbook? We focus on connecting to our students and changing lives. Our faculty, known for their depth of knowledge as both outstanding practitioners and academics, provide personalized mentoring to our students. Our Byrum students are fueled with a competitive spirit, a “will to win”, which is contagious.

NEXT PAGE: Bucknell University Freeman College of Management

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