Students who choose Bowling Green State University College of Business have mentors before stepping on campus. As part of the school’s Peer Leader Program, incoming students are paired with a senior to guide them through everything, from how to address their professors to navigating the meal plan system work. Mentors usually reach out to their mentees the June before officially enrolling at the university.
The Friday before the first day of classes, the College of Business also organizes a three-hour opening day program that starts with a picnic. First, the dean makes the opening remarks, then a professor takes the floor to inspire the new students. In the afternoon, the students spend time learning about the university and its resources.
The College of Business at Bowling Green State University was founded in 1935 and currently has about 1,935 students. The school offers students a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, with 14 areas they can choose to specialize in—accounting, applied economics, business analytics & intelligence, economics, finance, individualized business, information systems auditing and control, information systems, insurance, international business, marketing, management, supply chain management, and sales and services marketing.
ONE OF THE HIGHEST AVERAGE SALARIES FOR RECENT GRADS IN OHIO
Since taking leadership of the school in 2012, Raymond Braun, dean of the business school has helped guide the school to better outcomes in many ways. The school reports that 80% of students in the Class of 2016 were employed full-time within 90 days of graduation. The percentage rose to 89% for the Class of 2017, with the average starting salary increasing slightly to $55,225, making it one of the highest in Ohio.
“The return on your investment in a BGSU business degree is one of the highest in the state of Ohio,” Braun said in a message to the school. “Right from the start, we focus our students on establishing their career path, while improving your ROI with more than $300,000 in scholarships each year exclusively for business students.”
Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, the public research university accepted 72% of students who applied to join the four-year undergraduate business program this past fall. For in-state students, four years of tuition and university fees will cost them $43,498, while out-of-state students pay $72,958. On top of this amount, the school estimates that additional expenses such as room, transportation, and supplies will cost students another $53,224.
However, as Braun says, graduates of the school are often recruited by top companies and the school biggest employers include Honda, Marathon Petroleum, Ernst & Young, PwC, Toyota, and Owens Corning.
For students interested in entrepreneurship, the Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is housed in the College of Business. Each April, entrepreneurial leaders from around the country gather at the center for the week-long Entrepreneurship Week event. The event is also when The Hatch happens, a competition where Bowling Green students present business ideas to alumni investors in a Shark Tank-format.
Nicole Braxton, who graduated from the school in 2015, is now running her own social enterprise, Around the World in 7 Days! because of The Hatch program.
“This (The Hatch) program was exceptional and equipped me with tools that assisted me in starting my business,” Braxton said in the P&Q alumni survey. “The Hatch provided opportunities to improve my ability to conduct cost evaluations, financial projections and the ability to effectively articulate content to investors and a large audience of over 1,000 people.”
She added that her mentor in the program, prominent Bowling Green alum, John F. Meier, provided her with invaluable wisdom that helps her everyday as the founder of a company that engages communities through health education and experiences like pop-up restaurants and classes that empower individuals to prevent and overcome diseases.
With the support of the Bowling Green State community, student businesses that were kickstarted in 2017 include 10,000 Threads, a clothing line that combines rich African textiles with Western fashion, and Workforce Academy, an online learning software that high schools can subscribe to to help students prepare better for college, careers, and the real world.
LIFE AND BUSINESS TRAINING FROM THE GET-GO
From the get-go, freshman at the College of Business are introduced to the school’s Finest Individual Talent (FIT) certification that they earn through the university’s Business Career Accelerator. To earn the certificate, students go through resume and interviewing workshops with tests and have their resume and letters of introduction approved by the advisors.
Reid A. Mankowski, an accounting and finance student, said that the Business Career Accelerator, which works with over 1,000 companies to help students find internships and jobs, does a great job of pushing students out of their comfort zones. “It has helped me receive multiple internship offers and has prepared me for the real world,” he said.
The College of Business also features the Dean’s Guide to Practical Business Workshop. Designed to prepare business students for the business world, students attend six two-hour workshops that guide them through everything they could run into at work, from business etiquette at receptions, banquets and dinners with courses, to what the difference is between “business casual” and “casual” attire. Students are even taught how to plan for business travel, from making airline reservations and arranging for ground transportation to travel rewards programs to claiming free lodging and flights.
Additionally, top College of Business employer, Marathon Petroleum, was brought in as part of the workshop series to talk about industry and business practices and etiquette to help them succeed.
Almost 85% of alums Poets&Quants surveyed said that they would recommend the business program at Bowling Green without hesitation and more than 60% said that their time at the school was life-changing.
FIRST ONLINE BA DEGREE IN OHIO
Not many students at Bowling Green State University College of Business go abroad while in the undergraduate program. The school reports that only 13% of students have a global experience before graduation.
Braxton was one of the few students who got the chance to study abroad in Hong Kong. She said that the experience taught her much about international business approaches and practices.
“I had classmates from Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America,” she said. “The cultural diversity created an exceptional learning experience beyond the classroom…Studying abroad helped me grow both professionally and personally.”
Some other alumni shared that their opportunities to travel came from participating in competitions such as international business case competitions and stock analysis competitions.
Still, it seems that the school is dedicating its efforts to improving the curriculum at home. In view of an increasing number of students interested in pursuing a degree in business while continuing to be an active part of the industry, the school has set up the first fully-online bachelor of science in Business Administration degree completion program in Ohio.
And to create even more innovative and analytical problem-solvers, the school has also implemented an Applied Business Experience (BizX) lab program into the undergraduate business curriculum. Through a series of hands-on, experiential one-credit hour courses which begins the first year and then builds on the prior BizX courses through senior year, students get to use 3D printing and other methods of rapid prototyping
“Our business students learn the innovative, problem-solving approach of design thinking used today by such well-known companies as Procter & Gamble, Reebok, IBM, Ford, and Apple,” Zubair Mohamed, associate dean of the school, said. “This approach is a human-centered design method that can be applied to anything in business that needs improvement.”