American University’s Kogod School of Business ranked at No. 59 this year. Kogod slid six places behind from last year’s 53 rank, but is still much higher than its No. 76 finish in 2019. The B-school had an acceptance rate of 35.25% this year, roughly 3% higher than last year. This year’s average SAT score landed at 1259, compared to last year’s average score of 1256.
The Class of 2020 saw a dip in employment outcomes with 74.63% securing full-time positions within three months of graduation, down nearly six percentage points from last year’s 81.33% — although this may in large part be due to the COVID-19 economic downturn. On the other hand, internships saw a boost this year with 70% of the Class of 2020 landing a business-focused internship before graduating, up from last year’s 60%.
Despite falling behind this year in rankings, the Kogod School of Business still offers a quality business education. As Washington, D.C.’s first business school, Kogod is recognized nationally for its strong hands-on approach to education with unique program offerings and real-world opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
UNIQUE PROGRAM OFFERINGS
The Kogod School of Business offers undergraduate majors in Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, Business, Language & Cultural Studies, and Business & Entertainment. While Kogod offers the typical programs such as Business Administration and Finance, it also offers some unique programs such as its Business & Entertainment major and Business, Language & Culture Studies major.
The Business & Entertainment program covers topics such as entertainment law, business law, and music publishing and copyright. Students in the program can specialize in areas including agency, audio technology, and music performance.
The Business, Language & Culture Studies program is designed for students passionate about business and foreign language. Students in the program choose a language track (Arabic, French, German, Russian, or Spanish) and have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad where they take courses in their language track.
It’s not typical for B-schools to offer programs outside of the traditional finance or accounting majors, but at Kogod they exist — giving students who are intent on studying more than just business the opportunity to do so.
HANDS-ON CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE
The Kogod undergraduate education heavily emphasizes hands-on learning. The B-school’s capstone experience features a real-world client and focuses on valuable soft-skills such as teamwork and time management.
“We worked directly with a company in a sort of consulting role to improve their process and marketing,” one 2018 alumni told us. “We spent a few weeks directly interacting with the client and getting to know how a business really works in multiple aspects, such as marketing, accounting, IT, and logistics. Working in teams and working with deadlines was some of the most hands-on learning a class had offered during college.”
“For my capstone project I consulted with a Washington D.C.-based vegan taco restaurant with a focus on advising and sustaining marketing and data analytics initiatives,” another 2018 alumni said.
What makes Kogod’s capstone project experience valuable is the real-world component. Rather than focusing on a simulation or theoretical business problem, Kogod students are given an opportunity to truly apply their business knowledge out in the real world.
“Every undergraduate business student completes a group consulting project for a real company, tackling a real issue that they are facing,” a 2018 alumni said.
Aside from the capstone project, Kogod students have a number of opportunities outside of the classroom to apply their business knowledge.
The B-school’s Student Managed Investment Fund is one such opportunity. Students oversee roughly $850,000 in assets from a variety of positions, including analysts, fund managers, and portfolio managers. The program is designed to give students interested in financial investments a real-world perspective of how an asset management team is structured and managed.
“I was a part of the student-managed investment fund which allowed us to invest close to 600,000 of the school money,” one 2018 alumni recalled. “During my time in the fund we were extremely successful and I learned how to utilize all the information I had learned in my finance classes.”
For students interested in entrepreneurship, Kogod partnered with FedTech, a federally funded venture builder that matches aspiring entrepreneurs with cutting-edge technologies. The program is a unique opportunity for students to work alongside business professionals and learn about cutting edge technology.
“I was part of the student team that pioneered FedTech for undergraduates,” another 2018 alumni said. “Prior to my partners and my participation, the program was only open to graduate students, PhDs, and industry professionals. Fedtech is a government commercialization accelerator and allowed me to push the limits of what I knew about customer discovery and business innovation.”
Programs, such as FedTech, offer students the opportunity to gain valuable experience out in the real world. FedTech recently provided Kogod’s Management Entrepreneurship program with 16 innovative technologies to commercialize for the marketplace as part of students’ final projects. Not every B-school can partner with a federally funded venture builder, but Kogod’s prestige as Washington, D.C.’s first business school certainly allows the school access to unique and cutting edge opportunities for its students.
With Kogod’s hands-on approach to education, unique program offerings, and real-world opportunities both in and out of the classroom, students can truly take business to a whole new level.
“Tom Kohn’s senior capstone class and project taught me a lot about companies big and small and their downfalls.”
“Working with peers from different cultures.”
“My senior capstone was a business proposal to a company in the DMV area.”
WHERE THE CLASS OF 2020 WENT TO WORK:
PwC – 3
Small Business Administration – 3
Credit Suisse – 2
BookTheLook Co – 2
KPMG – 1
EY – 1
Fannie Mae – 1
Freddie Mac – 1
Deloitte – 1
UBS – 1