Marian University based in Indianapolis is the highest-ranked new school in this year’s ranking, debuting at No. 46 overall. Marian is a relatively small, private Catholic school and its Byrum School of Business offers majors in accounting, business analytics, finance, management, and marketing and minors in accounting, business, and finance. The Byrum School also boasts nine certificates.
Marian’s No. 46 finish was anchored by a 23rd-place finish in the Employment Outcomes category. The school reported 100% of Class of 2020 graduates had at least one business-specific internship before graduation. It also reported 97.95% of the same class found full-time employment within three months of graduation, which was higher than every school ranked besides the University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, and the Hult International Business School.
TWO EXPERIENTIAL COURSE BUNDLES HIGHLIGHT MARIAN UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCE
Experiential learning is the cornerstone of Marian’s undergraduate business curriculum. About 78% of 2018 alumni that responded to our survey said they had at least one impactful “signature experience” during their time at the Byrum School. And many referenced experiential learning as those signature experiences.
Byrum has a unique structure of two required nine-hour courses that included bundles of three courses each. The first of which is the Business Plan Competition of Bus109 and consists of the intro to business course as intros to economics and accounting. Students work in teams to create business plans and then pitch those business plans to business professionals, who then award money to the winning team to actually run the business.
“Byrum School of Business did an excellent job of giving us real-world experiences. An example of this was our freshman business class to create a business plan,” one 2018 alumni told us through the alumni survey. “The winning business plan team was provided with money to begin their business on campus. This taught me so much about entrepreneurship, marketing, and finances.”
Next is Bus309 or the Comprehensive Analysis of Business bundle, which includes principles of finance with business law and strategy. Students put together merger and acquisition plans for larger companies and similar to Bus109, then pitch those ideas to executives from the companies they’ve created plans for.
“Marian’s experiential learning programs were what prepared me the most for life post-graduation,” another alumni said. “I came into the workforce with confidence knowing that I had already worked with experienced professionals, helping them solve problems their companies were currently facing.”
VERY STRONG RANKINGS DEBUT
Overall, the 2018 alumni seemed satisfied with the experience the Byrum school gave them. Among all ranked schools, Marian finished 44th in the Academic Experience category, which placed them almost exactly in the middle of all ranked schools. Alumni gave the overall experience an average score of 8.725, which was 26th out of 84 schools that surveyed their alumni and met the minimum response rate.
Specifically, Byrum alumni rated their professors very well when it came to their availability and willingness to meet outside of the classroom. They also rated the school very highly for its ability to nurture and grow their soft skills in business. On the other hand, recent alumni gave the lowest mark to its connection with the alumni network and that network’s ability to help them secure jobs throughout their career.
Sticking with the Roman Catholic roots, the school also boasts the recently launched Walker Center for Applied Ethics.
“The mission of the Walker Center for Applied Ethics is to advance a more ethical world by improving and evolving the interdisciplinary teaching of ethics across Marian’s programs, as well as beyond our campus into the community,” school officials told us. “The Walker Center directly and through collaborations pursues research, coursework and programming designed to advance ethical practices in individuals and organizations of all types, with an emphasis on application, practical understanding, and impact. The Walker Center for Applied Ethics provides opportunities for undergraduates to engage with executive business leaders through a new course in Moral Capitalism.”
MARIAN IS A SOLID OPTION IN A CROWDED MIDWESTERN MARKET
In a crowded Midwestern business education market, Marian’s Byrum School provides an intriguing opportunity for potential students. It’s smaller than other Indiana-based schools in our rankings like Indiana University, Notre Dame, and Purdue. Despite the smaller size and non-traditional brand name, Marian is a solid choice for students looking to make sure they get a job in the Midwest immediately after graduation.
“I had two experiences that made it unique. First, the Business 309 Financial analysis, merger and acquisition class pushed students to work together and think outside the box for a growing a company. Also the capstone course of running your company with classmates vs other teams helped you understand all facets of a business.”
“Byrum School of Business did an excellent job of giving us real-world experiences. An example of this was our freshman business class to create a business plan. The winning business plan team was provided with money to begin their business on campus. This taught me so much about entrepreneurship, marketing, and finances. In another class, we had to come up with a recommendation for a company that Eli Lily should acquire. This taught me about research and M&A activity. Another example is the A team which allowed us to work with the Indiana State Fair to assist them in reducing costs. All of these experiences brought the real-world into our classroom and were extremely beneficial in my learning development.”
“I was involved in multiple. One in particular was a class in which a team of myself and 4 other colleagues connected with a company and listened to their problems. We then made a proposed solution. Once agreed, we developed a complex excel to fit their needs. We presented the result and it is still being used in the company to this day. The company even hired one of our team members to help implement the completed product and develop others. It was priceless to be able to pair with a company and provide a solution for them to use.”