Bucknell University’s Kenneth W. Freeman College of Management placed at No. 35 in this year’s rankings. Falling a slight six spots from last year’s 29th rank, Freeman had an acceptance rate this year of 30.08% with an average SAT score of 1313.
The B-school saw a significant decline in terms of employability this year with only 65.96% securing a full-time position within three months of graduation, compared to last year’s 91.95%. Additionally, 73% of the Class of 2020 had a business-focused internship before graduating, down from last year’s 84%. While employability saw a dip this year at Freeman, the decline may largely be due to the COVID-19 economic downturn.
However, Bucknell truly has happy and satisfied alumni. Bucknell placed second overall in the Academic Experience category, falling only behind the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. What differentiates the Freeman education are the curriculum’s liberal arts focus, unique experiential learning opportunities that emphasize community service, and strong alumni support.
LIBERAL ARTS-FOCUSED CURRICULUM
Bucknell University is a private liberal arts institution and the Freeman College certainly takes influence from that in its curriculum. Students can choose from majors including: Accounting; Finance; Business Analytics; Management and Organizations; Managing for Sustainability; Global Management; and Markets, Innovation & Design.
Freeman students are required to participate in the liberal arts-core and many of the management majors have elective requirements that require students to take classes outside of the College of Management. Additionally, all Freeman students graduate well-versed in writing as Bucknell requires students to take at least three writing-intensive classes.
Freeman alumni rate their education very highly across the board. 2018 alumni rated the quality of teaching in Freeman courses a strong 9.4 average rating and rated Freeman faculty availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class a whopping 9.8 average rating, one of the highest scores amongst all B-schools. Additionally, alumni also rated opportunities at Freeman to nurture both their soft and technical skills in business at a 9.5 and 9.0, respectively.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AT THE HEART OF LEARNING
Many of the experiential learning opportunities at Freeman have an element of community service.
Management 101 is the hallmark of the Freeman education. In the required course, Freeman students learn about basic organizational forms, behaviors and decision making by forming a company in their first year, raising funds through a self designed product that is sold on campus and using the proceeds for a service project in the local community. Since its inception in 1978, 310 MGMT 101 companies have provided services and donations valued in excess of $500,000 and have worked more than 100,000 person-hours for their service client partners. At the other end, seniors in the Management Consulting class work with local organizations and communities, such as towns from the coal region in Central Pennsylvania, to rebuild the community.
“My sophomore year I took part in an experiential learning class where we had our own company that sold a business product (Bucknell branded patagonias) to fund our service project, where we completely renovated the house of a visually impaired man’s home. We learned how to run a company while also making a difference in someone’s life,” one 2018 alumni told us. “My senior year capstone/experiential learning experience allowed me to be a consultant and drive a business solution to Increase profits and streamline a process for a business in an underprivileged community.”
“Every senior project embodied a deeper meaning,” another 2018 alumni saud. “Each of which forced me to think beyond the project at hand but to think globally and how I could impact the world after leaving.”
Oftentimes, business students are taught to prioritize profit and return above all else. But at Freeman, students are taught the value of giving back as well – a powerful lesson that creates compassionate, socially responsible business leaders.
STRONG ALUMNI SUPPORT
Freeman has an expansive and strong alumni network. The B-school recently enhanced its alumni connections through an alumni-mentoring program, which partners first-year students with alumni employed at Goldman Sachs, PwC, JPMorgan, Vanguard, Deloitte, or Johnson & Johnson.
Support in the Freeman community starts early too. The B-school implements learning cohorts and pairs each group of eight to 10 first-years with a peer mentor from the junior or senior class. In turn, Freeman’s first year-retention rate has increased to 96%.
When asked how they would judge Freeman’s alumni network and connections ability to help them throughout their career, 2018 alumni gave a 9.1 average rating. Respondents also rated Freeman alumni accessibility and willingness to connect them with potential employers at a strong 9.2 average rating.
The Freeman education is one that goes beyond business. Its curriculum incorporates the liberal arts. The experiential learning opportunities emphasize the value in giving back. And its alumni network is one that is supportive through thick and thin. For those interested in learning more than just the profit of business, the Freeman College of Management is a good place to start.
“My senior year I participated in a small consulting project for Keurig. There were 6 students all from different disciplines working on exciting and real issues for the company. We reported our findings directly to the CEO And other senior employees at the company.”
“MGMT 101 allowed students to ‘build and operate their own company’ which was truly unique.”
“The Bucknell Management 101 experience is unlike any other class I’ve ever heard of- essentially, your class becomes a company, and is responsible for bringing a product to market from start-finish while using all proceeds to fund a service project in the community. It’s an unbelievable way to get some great, on-the-job experience.”
WHERE THE CLASS OF 2020 WENT TO WORK:
- PwC – 10
- Deloitte – 7
- KPMG – 4
- AlphaSights – 4
- RSM – 4
- Nielsen – 3
- ExxonMobil – 2
- BlackRock – 2
- Oracle – 1
- Johnson & Johnson – 1