Business Students at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business of the College of William & Mary work hard and play hard.
Within the Class of 2018, 62 percent of students added a second major or minor in the Arts & Sciences, 51 percent had significant global experience, and 46 percent choose a secondary area of business study.
To support its ambitious, driven students, the school allows each business major to develop an individual program of study that addresses their particular interests and career aspirations. Their belief is: “You’re not one-dimensional, so why should your education be?”
Mason School of Business has an Individual Program of Study (IPS) where students are encouraged to broaden their fields of study, internationalize their business education, pursue internships, and begin considering their career or graduate school early on, pursue research projects, and develop their leadership potential. In short, the Mason experience is about growing the whole individual for a future they are imagining.
And if you’re questioning what the school is doing to ensure students get a diverse experience, the Mason School recently used a $1 million gift from Ernst & Young to recruit more diverse students, set up an annual Student Diversity and Inclusion Symposium, and further improve and increase access to courses that promote diversity.
The school has also recently launched an Ernst & Young Inclusive Leadership Initiative to expand its curricular diversity to include a core required course and includes course offerings, faculty workshops, and underrepresented student engagement opportunities. The school is also working on organizing regular faculty forums each semester where faculty can work on further integrating diversity and inclusion into their coursework.
Their current diversity course offerings include a Business Perspectives and Applications class that incorporate ethics discussions and simulations; and a Diversity in the Workplace, Developing Your Voice class, which the school has said will soon have an off-campus version where students travel to Washington, D.C. to meet alumni who are industry professionals.
In a survey conducted with the school, Tricia Whisnant, Director of Academic Affairs, shared that 8 percent of incoming Fall 2018 students were first-generation college students, about 10 percent were international students, and about 12 percent of students came from underrepresented minority groups.
The College of William & Mary is a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia, where summers will make you want to break out your tank tops and shorts, and in the winter, the temperatures drop and it’s time for some soup. A crowd favorite is the tomato-based Brunswick stew, named after Brunswick County in Virginia, that makes for a hearty meal of beef, lima beans, okra, corn, and other vegetables. And if you love the great outdoors, there are about 25 ski slopes in Virginia, and the 2,550 acre York River State Park offers great hiking adventures.
The Raymond A Mason School of Business was named after alumnus and founder of investment firm Legg Mason, which he founded at age 25. The school offers a two-year undergraduate business program that received 212 applications in Fall 2018. In total, 136 students were admitted, bringing the full-time enrollment for all business majors in Fall 2018 to 399. The school admits cohort both in the fall and spring, and in the Fall 2018 semester, had a 22.4 percent acceptance rate for direct applicants. The acceptance rate for transfer students was about 38 percent.
Of the 59 percent of incoming students who reported their SAT scores, the average score was 1346, and of the 48 percent who reported their ACT scores, the average score was 30, while their average high school GPA was 4.17.
The school estimates that the total four-year cost of attending paid by a graduate in the Class of 2018 is $77,826 for a resident of Virginia, while an out-of-state student is likely to pay $173,460. Additional expenses such as food, lodging, transportation, living expenses, and supplies are likely to add another $57,742 to the cost for both in-state and out-of-state students.
About 31 percent of incoming Fall 2018 business students received scholarship support, and the average amount given out was $18,123. In a survey of William & Mary business alumni from the Class of 2016, over 85 percent of them said they believed their business degree was worth its cost in tuition and 80 percent said they believed that their business degree from the school would assist them in climbing to a new socioeconomic status.
THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE AT MASON
Students at the Mason School of Business can choose to major in Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, and Marketing and Supply Chain Analytics. The school also offers minors in Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Global Business, Management & Organizational Leadership, Marketing, Interdisciplinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Supply Chain Analytics.
All students at the Mason School take part in the Integrated Foundation Semester during their first semester of the Business Majors Program. During this semester, all students take the following classes: Business Perspectives and Applications, Principles of Marketing, Financial Management, Computer Skills for Business, and Introduction to Business Analytics. The simulation experience that students engage in during this semester uses live avatar technology to enhance the required undergraduate Diversity & Inclusion course: Diversity in the Workplace, Developing Your Voice.
During this semester, one of the school’s traditions is the team launch and revelation of team assignments. The student cohort is grouped into teams of four or five, and students must work with their teammates on projects and presentations in almost every area of business. In having to learn about teamwork, even with people you have differences with, the school sets a foundation for the life of a business person.
Each team is also assigned a student mentor who has been through the Integrated Foundation semester to help them through the learning journey towards success.
Other traditions at the William & Mary business school include a welcome back celebration at the start of the fall semester and Simulation week that happens at the end of the Foundation Semester. During this week, there are no classes as students are tasked with creating and running a business through an online simulation in their teams. In the end, they are to produce an annual report, give a formal presentation, and are then ranked for the award of prizes.
In their second semester, students then take courses in Organizational Behavior & Management, Legal Environment of Business, Operations Management, Decision-Making through Visualization & Simulation, and Global Strategic Management.
At the Mason School of Business, the student to academic advisor ratio is 80 to 1, and almost 30 of the courses offered include a significant experiential learning component.
Almost 80 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 told P&Q in a survey that their business school experience was life-changing, and 70 percent said that they were engaged in a signature experience while in the business program. From case competitions and simulations to capstone projects and global study experiences, many students said that their hands-on learning experiences still impact today.
Dean DeLonge, Class of 2016, said that throughout his time at William & Mary, he had numerous valuable experiences, starting with running a sample company during Simulation Week. During Hedge Fund Immersion Weekend, he helped launch a fake hedge fund, and during Insurance Simulation Weekend, he helped run a sample insurance company.
DeLonge, a Finance major with a Physics minor, and an Accounting concentration, said that he was also involved in a student-managed investment fund where they managed almost $100,000 in real money; and for his capstone project, worked on an in-depth stock-pick research project.
The list doesn’t stop there. He added that in his Applied Financial Concepts class, their final project involved crafting a “strategic financial alternatives” pitch for an existing public company. Today, DeLonge is a Leveraged Finance Associate with Capital One.
STRONG EMPLOYMENT STATS LIFTED MASON IN THIS YEAR’S RANKING
The school also has five courses that are completely devoted to global business issues, and 32 semester-abroad opportunities offered to students through the university. The Mason School offers 14 business-specific study abroad opportunities, where business students can choose to go to institutes in Australia, Canada, Japan, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Scotland, England, China, or Austria.
In response to a survey by P&Q, 24 percent of alumni shared that they had a global experience while at William & Mary. Some studied at the Vienna School of Business and Economics for a semester, while others took a Dominican Republic Social Entrepreneurship program over summer.
A Business Analytics and Environmental Science double major alumnus said that he studied in spent six weeks in the Dominican Republic over summer, interviewing and evaluating the needs of the community, and developing business proposals. His experience included presentations to local nonprofits, and his engagement with the project continued even after the trip. He is now working as a Consultant with CGI Federal.
Over 90 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 said that they would recommend the undergraduate business program at William & Mary to a close friend or colleague, and almost 85 percent said they believed that their business degree would be instrumental in helping them reach their dream career.
The school shared that over 90 percent of students in both the classes of 2017 and 2018 completed at least one business-specific internship before graduation and about 95 percent of graduates from both classes secured full-time jobs within three months of graduation.
The average salary for a business major with full-time employment from the Class of 2017 was $61,280, while the same for the Class of 2018 was 64,724. About 40 percent of graduates from the Class of 2017 with full-time jobs also received signing bonuses averaging $8,135, and for the Class of 2018, this average jumped to $14,690, with the average signing bonus for alumni who found jobs in the Southern states at a high of $31,000.
About 95 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 shared that their first job after graduation was both in their desired work function and at their desired company. Among the list of top employers for William & Mary business graduates are companies including the “Big 4” accounting firms, Grant Thornton, Accenture, IBM, Merkle, Capital One, Wells Fargo, Navigant Consulting, Deutsche Bank, The Advisory Board Company, Carlyle Group, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
What Alumni Say:
“Our capstone project with our Consulting class involved competing with different teams to give a real business owner insights, evaluations, and recommendations. It was the most real, hands-on experience I had at the business school. We analyzed and helped a startup company to take it to the next level.” – Recent Alumni
During undergraduate studies, I was a part of a project with al specifically selected business school attendees to work on proper valuation with the Media Rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers. We worked directly with former alumni Todd Bohely, team owner, who brought our work to the commissioner of the MLB for discussion and review During my Masters, our capstone project was an optimization coupled with a forecasting simulation to accurately assess the productivity and staff needs in all of Ferguson Co. warehouses. Working directly with a Fortune 500 company and having direct access to the CFO was an incredible opportunity I learned so much from.” – Recent Alumni
“Simulation week which involves running a sample company in a computer simulation. A hedge fund immersion weekend which involved launching a fake hedge fund. Insurance simulation weekend involving running a sample insurance company. The student-managed investment fund of >$100,000 of real money where the capstone project was an in-depth stock pick research project. And applied financial concepts class where the final project involved crafting a ‘strategic financial alternatives’ pitch for an existing public company.” – Recent Alumni
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
JP Morgan – 6
PwC – 6
Deloitte – 5
EY – 5
Accenture – 4
Capital One – 3
Wells Fargo – 3
Grant Thornton – 2
Navigant Consulting – 2
Carlyle Group – 2
Booz Allen Hamilton – 2