At Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business they say: “We know that leaders are made, not just born.” That’s why the school has recently launched a Development Of Business Leadership Endeavour (BLE), a three-year course sequence designed to teach professional and leadership skills throughout the undergraduate career, modeled after business enterprise.
Students start off their participation in the BLE program as an intern, usually in their first year, where they learn about leadership competencies, conduct self-assessment, and work on developing a personal development plan for completion over their sophomore and junior years. The aim of this section of the program is to prepare the student for a professional life of leadership and global citizenship.
In the second year, students become Analysts in the BLE program, where they continue to work on leadership development activities and competency building. They are expected to plan, participate, and reflect on activities they engage in.
And in their third year with the program, students take on the role of Manager, where they assess their achievements of personal goals according the plan they developed as interns, and how they fit in with BLE areas of competencies in collaboration, innovation, critical thinking, network building, self-reliance and global citizenship. Managers are also expected to be role models for younger members of the program.
The BLE program is just one way that Tepper School of Business is stepping up when it comes to turning students into better business people and leaders of tomorrow. In recent years, the school has also expanded from offering traditional one-to-one advising opportunities to providing group advising, videos, and even online advising to engage with more students with more flexibility.
The school has also begun to offer more courses in business analytics and business technology, with the continued growth of Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the appearance of many other cryptocurrencies and their influence in the finance industry.
LOCATED NEAR UP AND COMING AREAS IN PITTSBURGH
Tepper School of Business offers a four-year undergraduate business program for students working to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. All business students at Tepper must take courses including Global Business, Introduction to Accounting, Organizational Behavior, Finance, Business Communications, and the Business Leadership Endeavour program in order to graduate.
About 70 percent of alumni from the Tepper Class of 2016 said that they would recommend the program to their close friend or colleague, and 70 percent said that the program had prepared them well for the world of work.
The school is situated in North Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh, where the offices of KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, BDO, and PricewaterhouseCoopers are eager to bring in the best of Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Kraft Heinz, PNC Financial Services, PPG Industries, and US Steel, and the school shared that its list of top employers included companies such as the “Big Four” accounting firms, Citi, BNY Mellon, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, PNC, Capital One and Accenture.
The undergraduate business program received 3,639 applications to join them in Fall 22018, and admitted 426 students, giving them an admittance rate of 12 percent for direct applicants. The total-full-time enrollment for all business majors in Fall 2018 was 544, and the acceptance rate for transfers was only a mere 4 percent.
Of the 70 percent of incoming Fall 2018 students who reported their SAT scores, the average score was a high 1473, and of the 46 percent who submitted their ACT scores, the average was 33, with the incoming Fall 2018 class having an average high school GPA of 3.84.
The school estimates that the total four-year cost of attending Tepper for a graduate in the Class of 2018 is $205,092, and additional expenses such as room, board, transportation and living expenses, books and supplies, will add another $60,954. While this may sound like a large cost, about 75 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 told Poets&Quants in a survey that they believed their business degree would assist them in reaching a new economic status, and 60 percent said they believed that their business degree would be instrumental to helping them reach their dream career.
FEATURING NEW DIGS
The 315,000-square-foot Tepper Quad was opened in September 2018, and is the new home of the Tepper School of Business, while connecting it to the other six Carnegie Mellon colleges and schools, encouraging interaction between students in all different areas of study. Costing $201 million, the five-story building was made possibly by a $67 million lead gift from alumnus David Tepper’s charitable foundation.
The Tepper Quad is equipped with a Technology-Enhanced Learning Center, that is part of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational innovation. It is aimed at fostering development of new educational technologies. The Quad also has a fitness center, breakout spaces for students, an auditorium that can accommodate up to 600 people and features a media wall as well as recording capabilities, and innovation classrooms that have a flexible layout to facilitate different instruction styles.
Tepper’s strategic position is to “Be the school of the future”, and when it comes to the future, the school has made it clear that leadership and entrepreneurship is what they believe will pave the way.
Budding entrepreneurs at Tepper can no only take classes in entrepreneurship, but also get involved in the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. From taking part in the university’s McGinnis Venture Competition, to asking for help with getting a business started, the Swart Center is the place where students can grow their portfolios and begin building up their resumes.
The Olympus Incubator Program is there to help faculty, students, and staff, turn ideas and dreams into businesses and realities, providing everything from startup advice and micro-grants, to the space and connections needed for success. The program has over 30 Project Olympus Startup Projects that are working on technologies such as virtual reality, robotics, and artificial intelligence and on topics ranging from health and education, to farming.
Students at Tepper can also apply to join the Undergraduate Innovation Scholars, a two-year program where students get to work at a startup for 12 weeks, network with professionals, and be mentored and mentor others who are interested in entrepreneurship. Acknowledging that oftentimes, startups that provide valuable experience to young entrepreneurs may not be able to pay an intern, the Innovation Scholars program will pay a student up to $6,000 for their internship experience. Students can even log work on their own startup as their required internship experience. Scholars also go on treks to visit companies and network with industry professionals, as well as apply for grants for projects they embark on.
For students who are interested in financial technology, the PNC Center for Financial Services Innovation at Tepper is a great way to begin getting connected to the industry. The center is currently supporting the creation of a cryptocurrency testbed for researchers with the creation of a CMU focused cryptocurrency – the CMU coin, and is inviting participants to join them in creating a cryptocurrency that is “secure, legal, and focused on privacy rather than anonymity has greener alternatives to the proof of work, and ensures continued decentralization as the coin matures”.
In February 2018, the center, in conjunction with the Tepper School of Business, launched the 2018 Undergraduate Business Case Study Competition, to recruit teams of students to propose potential use cases for the CMU Coin.
MANY GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES
The school shared that about 20 percent of Tepper students have a global experience before graduating, and that the school offers five business-specific travel opportunities while the university has 14 partnerships with other institutes, and dozens of programs outside of formal exchange programs.
Students can choose to study in exchange campuses in Australia, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile and several other countries, and 35 percent of alumni in the Class of 2016 said that they traveled abroad as part of the business program.
When travel was considered a signature experience, alongside project work, simulations, experiential learning, and capstone projects, 60 percent of alumni said they were engaged in at least one signature experience during their business learning.
An alumnus said that she was part of a simulation project while at Tepper, and the experience gave her a chance to apply the skills learned through her time in college into a simulated company.
“It was a great learning experience to learn how to apply the material learned in class in a practical manner,” the alumnus, who now works as a Senior Pricing Analyst with PNC Bank, said. “I now do this all the time at work so I am glad I can apply concepts and ideas to solve problems.”
For students who prefer not to travel, Tepper also offers several business-specific student clubs where they can network and meet others who share their interests, as well as get some hand-on learning and experience.
The Undergraduate Consulting Club at Tepper is the parent organization of Consulting Academy, which helps teach members of the public about consulting. Members also get to work with local businesses, give back to the community, and engage in experiential learning.
Students who choose to join the Tepper Finance Group will be exposed to industry players, potential employers, and alumni, through networking events and speaking events. The group also host case competitions, and older members of the group also mentor newer members.
The school shared that about 98 percent of students in both the classes of 2017 and 2018 had at least one business-specific internship before graduation, about 91 percent of 2017 graduates and 89 percent of 2018 graduates found full-time jobs within a few months of graduation. The average salary of a Tepper student from the Class of 2017 with a full-time job was $76,972, and with the Class of 2018, this increased slightly to $77,987. About 85 percent of students with full-time jobs in the Class of 2017 also received signing bonuses that averaged $9,536, and for students in the Class of 2018, the amount fell slightly to $8,671.
What Alumni Say:
“I was in a simulation project that really helped me learn how to apply the skills learned throughout my college career into a simulated company. It was a great learning experience to learn how to apply the material learned in class in a practical manner. I now do this all the time at work so I am glad I can apply concepts and ideas to solve problems.” – Class of 2016
“I had the opportunity to work closely with my organization behavior professor as a teaching assistant for a few years.” – Class of 2016 alum
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
Deloitte – 6
Goldman Sachs – 5
PNC – 5
PwC – 4
Citi – 3
Deutsche Bank – 3
MUFG – 3
Accenture – 2
Capital One – 2
Morgan Stanley – 2