At Michigan State University’s Eli Broad School of Business, 35 percent of students are international students, first-generation students, and students from underrepresented minority groups. The diversity means some students may need more help transitioning into college than others, and the school has created a summer business program to give them a head start.
“Early intervention is important because a subset of our multicultural students come from urban and rural school districts that don’t prepare them as well for the move to studying business at a school like Broad,” Kathy Petroni, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, said. “They may be high school grads at the top of their classes who have not yet been challenged and don’t have good study habits or understand how or why they should network.”
To help these students manage the move to a big university like Michigan State, which has almost 40,000 undergraduate students enrolled, select students are invited to join the business school in a Summer Business Institute a week before formal programming start to get advice on schedule planning, pick up tech skills in software including Excel, make some new friends, and take in the campus before it is flooded with new and returning students.
Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, that offers a three-year undergraduate business program through Eli Broad College of Business. The program received 4,162 applications in Fall 2018 and admitted 1,340 students. The average SAT score of students entering the program in Fall 2018 was 1241, while the average ACT was 26 and the class has an average high school GPA of 3.77.
The school estimates that the total four-year cost of attending for an in-state student is $63,660, while an out-of-state student is expected to pay more than double at $162,675. Additional expenses for food, lodging, transportation, and supplies are expected to add another $121,268 for a resident of Michigan and $223,355 for a student who is not.
Because they know to attend Eli Broad comes with a considerable price tag, the school shared that about 46 percent of students receive some form of scholarship upon being accepted to the school in the average amount of $4,095.
The school offers students majors in Accounting, Finance, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. Students can also choose to focus on Hospitality Business from a freestanding school within the college. About 1,200 students graduate from the business school every year, and in response to a survey by Poets&Quants, almost 80 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 said they would recommend the program at Broad without hesitation. About 70 percent also said they believed that their business degree was worth its cost in tuition.
RESIDENTIAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY PROVIDES INSTANT B-SCHOOL CONNECTIONS
Students entering Broad College of Business can apply to join a Residential Business Community (RBC), a combined living and learning experience to promote, enhance, and support students’ academic, personal, and professional growth as business leaders.
As part of the community in their freshman year, students can gain a lead in preparing for the Broad College admissions process. And once they are admitted as sophomores, they have earlier access to experiences developing skills necessary for a successful business career.
Students who choose RBC will live together in a residence hall, attend leadership retreats together, have priority enrollment in the prerequisite Broad courses, and attend workshops focusing on professional development and career development. The RBC experience continues through their sophomore year, when students engage with Broad’s corporate mentor partners to begin networking, hone communication and presentation skills, research a real-world business case study, and strengthen relationships with one another and the Broad faculty.
The RBC’s three-part structure – living in a residential community, learning in the classroom, and leadership outside of the classroom – allows students to identify their own leadership style early in their college career and to continue to build their leadership competencies, such as communication skills, team-building, ethics and integrity, and succeeding by working in diverse groups.
RBC also creates a small school-like environment – bringing together students in the same classes, residence halls, and extracurricular activities, creating community camaraderie – within a large university, with all the resources that entails.
Since being started in 2006 with 50 freshmen as the “Broad Freshman Program”, the group has grown to have 230 students living and working together as of 2016.
“Community suggests more than just a program that students opt into. Community involves committed, engaged, and connected members with a shared Spartan experience and with high expectations of one another,” Petroni said to the school’s online newspaper.
And in April 2017, the RBC took its members to Toronto, Canada, to visit companies including Deloitte and Google, and work on a community service project. The group has also visited other cities including Chicago and Pittsburgh.
“Being around so many diverse people allows me to behave as a more inclusive and knowledgeable leader,” RBC community leader Elexis Grimes, an accounting major from the Class of 2017, was quoted as saying. “In addition, it is not often that I see minority business leaders with a career aligned with my vision. Thus, during our site visit to Procter & Gamble, I was thrilled to connect with such a successful professional and incorporated her into my network.”
Another program at Broad that is aimed at promoting diversity, which has increasingly become an area of focus for industry players, is the school’s Multicultural Business Program, which serves over 650 multicultural students through student support, individualized academic advising, tutoring, career development, and placement. Its award-winning student organizations – Multicultural Business Students, National Association of Black Accountants, Native American and Hispanic Business Students, and Women in Business Students’ Association – provide additional professional development, networking, leadership, and service opportunities to students.
The Summer Business Institute where students join Broad earlier than their peers to get a hang of things before the pace picks up is also part of the Multicultural Business Program. The week-long residential learning experience also includes academic seminars by faculty, training workshops by corporate professionals, and team activities, including presenting their work to a corporate partner.
The program also does outreach to Native American high school students to prepare them for college through the Native American Business Institute (NABI) summer program – a week-long “business boot-camp” with support from MSU admissions officers, college counselors, tribal community leaders, and corporate representatives.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION PRIORITIES AT BROAD
Budding entrepreneurs who join the Broad School of Business and easily connect with the university’s Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship & Innovation, who is housed in the college.
Entrepreneurship programs are open to all undergraduate students and teach business concepts and skills that can be used both by the social entrepreneur and in a for-profit business setting.
Other than the school’s minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, students can also choose to minor in many others including Information Technology, Environmental and Sustainability studies, Hospitality Business Real Estate Investment Management, and Insurance and Risk Management.
Students can also choose to take on small projects known as “E&I Experiences” that is a companion to the entrepreneurship minor and they work on during the semester under the guidance of a faculty member. Those who complete the experience will have it on their transcripts as an addition to their resume. Students can have E&I Experiences by adding elements of entrepreneurship and innovation to their program, or by participating in business plan competitions, going through entrepreneurial boot camps, as well as building and launching new companies. If students decide to launch a company, they can transition their work to MSU’s campus incubator, The Hatch, where they may receive funding and ongoing support.
The Broad College’s Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, created via a seven-figure gift, helps students compete in national and international business contests and recruit and retain talented instructors with significant business experience, as well as supporting general activities and initiatives of the institute.
One of the most popular entrepreneurial showcases that take place at Broad is the Burgess New Venture Challenge, where teams compete for part of the $56,000 prize money and scholarships as well as People’s Choice Awards.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COURSE REQUIRED STARTING FALL 2019
Students at Broad College begin their education with Michigan State University’s Liberal Learning Goals that include analytical thinking, cultural understanding, effective citizenship, effective communication, and integrated reasoning, before moving to fulfill their prerequisite business courses and develop a disciplinary breadth through hands-on learning across the business applications.
Regardless which major a student chooses, all business majors must take classes in financial accounting, management accounting, business communications, business analytics, financial management, law and ethical leadership, international business, and several others.
It is only in the second half of their undergraduate studies that the business student will dive deeper into their chosen area of focus.
The school is currently in its third year of instituting significant changes to their admissions process.
They began allowing sophomore admission to the college in 2016 in order to give students an additional year in the business school compared to if they were admitted as juniors. This gives students not only more time to build relationships with the faculty who can then guide them better, but also do more ensure their business career success through academic and career counseling and better preparation for a successful internship.
In 2018, the school began giving more consideration to students’ experiential profiles and added a proctored case study while reducing the emphasis on grade point averages during admissions. The shift was intended to encourage students to become more actively engaged outside the classroom and develop better-written communication skills and analytical thinking.
Beginning in 2019, all students will be required to take an International Business course as well as additional upper-level courses on international issues to help them develop global mindsets. And by junior year, students are expected to complete a business core that will give them the foundations for advanced business skills development to take place when they become seniors.
THE ‘SPARTAN’S WILL’ TAGLINE
Over 90 percent of alumni of the Class of 2016 shared that their first job after graduating was in their desired job function, and about 76 percent said that their job was even in their desired company.
About 50 percent said that they had been involved in a “signature experience” while working on their undergraduate degree. From creating, developing and pitching marketing plans to local businesses, to sales competitions, case studies on multinational corporations, and intensive capstone projects with goals such as improving the logistics route of a real-life company, More than 60 percent of Broad students said that their business school experience was life-changing.
Examples of experiential learning at Broad school includes programming that simultaneously encourages diversity, such as their Multicultural Heroes Hall of Fame Case Competition, where students from the Multicultural Business Program pick a hero, and create a presentation on what the individual is a hero. Petroni, who is one of the judges for the event, says it is often both inspiring and entertaining while students learn about heroes from other cultures that they may not have known of before.
Undergraduate business students can also work with full-time MBA students to help manage the Student Investment Fund if they choose to take the Broad College Security Analysis Class. Under faculty guidance, students learn to use the tools of the Financial Analysis Laboratory to learn about and practice portfolio management, stock research and selection and performance evaluation. The fund was created in 2003 as a sub-account of the university foundation’s portfolio, and while it started out with about $750,000, has grown to have a value of about $5 million today. Investment strategies and decisions made by the class are reviewed each semester by the Finance Advisory Board where students get practice presenting their performance analysis and recommendations.
The school shared that about 91 percent of students in both the classes of 2017 and 2018 took on business-specific internships before graduation, and in both years, about 70 percent of students found full-time jobs within a couple of months of graduating. The average salary drawn by students in the Class of 2018 who found full-time jobs was $58,706, and about 60 percent of them reporting receiving signing bonuses of about $5,430. The school counts among its list of top employers companies including Amazon, Deloitte, General Motors, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Target, and IBM.
“The tagline at Michigan State University is ‘Spartans will,’ and we will,” Petroni said. “Employers pick our graduates because they are hardworking and get things down. We will roll up our sleeves and see things through while keeping our good work ethics.”
What Alumni Say:
“We competed in and won the Denver Transportation Summit Supply Chain Case Competition. Learned a tremendous amount about applying learning to real-world logistics cases. I also studied both business and Spanish for a semester in Quito, Ecuador. Learned a lot about the global markets and international business.” — Recent Alumni
“I was given real-world case studies that allowed me to better understand what is actually done in the real world. I also went on a study abroad to Europe for three weeks.” — Recent Alumni
“I was a part of 30+ select students (within the Finance, Accounting, and Mathematics undergrads as well as MBA students) that helped to manage the school’s endowment fund (i.e. Michigan State Student Investment Fund). The opportunity changed my life and my career. After interning with a company and putting in hours with little pay, I proved that I was important to the organization’s growth, cost-cutting, and overall performance. I’m now a successful wealth manager based on the foundation I received from the MSU student investment fund and Professor Greg Sabin at Michigan State (now an adjunct professor at Ohio State).” — Recent Alumni
Where The Class of 2017 Went To Work:
General Motors: 13
Michigan State University: 10
Hyatt Hotels: 9
Plante Moran: 7
Marriott International: 7