The greatest attribute that differentiates Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business (LSB) is perhaps the institution’s Jesuit philosophy of education with a focus on social justice issues and its central location to tech in the Silicon Valley. No other school on the Poets&Quants ranking of the best undergraduate business schools sits closer to the tech-epicenter and arguably most important geographical spot of the country and world’s economy moving forward.
This year, Leavey introduced the Conscientious Capitalism Course and Initiative—a course designed for students to engage in intensive personal leadership through proactive case studies and lectures by former CEOs.
“We are very excited to offer our students this dynamic new leadership initiative,” LSB Dean Caryn Beck-Dudley says. “The inspiration our students will receive from accomplished and conscientious leaders is much needed today. And the Conscientious Capitalism curriculum is a strong fit with the Jesuit values of Santa Clara and the mission of the Leavey School.”
COMMUNITY-FOCUSED OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND
At Leavey, business majors are required to take a total of 24 liberal arts courses ranging from “Religion, Theology, and Culture” to “Ethics” and “Civic Engagement.” Additionally, Leavey offers the opportunity for students to participate with partner nonprofit and NGO organizations. Programs, such as the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, create hands on, community-based learning opportunities for students outside the classroom. In the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, students take a course introducing them to local low-income neighborhoods and businesses. Students then complete 16 hours of direct community service through class projects designed to apply classroom materials to local organizations and businesses.
Anthony Hascheff, a 2015 Leavey graduate, participated in the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative his senior year and worked in a low-income, majority immigrant community in inner-city San Jose.
“I helped the local school with organizing and fundraising as well as assisted local business owners,” he says. “I met with key stakeholders in the community such as city councilmen and police chiefs to better diagnose problems in the community so that my university and other stakeholders could begin to solve them. This experience led me to be a Peace Corps Volunteer.”
Students can also apply to join The Leavey School of Business Community Fellows Program, where they intern for a year at a non-profit organization. According to the Leavey website, “the seminar allows interns to learn from each other, reflect on their experiences, and continue to build a network of relationships in the community” and “was originally established in 2013 as part of the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) to place business students in non-profit organization internships to utilize their business skills in a non-profit organization serving low-income communities or individuals in ways that both benefit the organization and provide Fellows with a chance to learn through the application of these skills.”
Proximity to tech
Santa Clara University is located in close proximity to Silicon Valley tech companies like Apple, Yahoo, and Cisco, among dozens of others. The tech industry’s influence plays into a number of opportunities at Leavey.
According to a P&Q survey, 95% of 2016 Leavey graduates accepted full-time employment in the Western United States. Check out the top companies that hired the largest amount of 2017 Leavey graduates — a number of which are tech focused companies.
- Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Ernst & Young (EY)
- Grant Thorton
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)
This year, Leavey also introduced “Women Mentoring Circles specific to STEM and Business”—a monthly mentoring circle where women mentors from the industry assist college women with personal and professional growth.
The professional and alumni network at Leavey is strong. Roughly 53% of alumni surveyed by P&Q said they found the business programʼs efforts in connecting practicing professionals and alumni in the business community “exceptional.” Some 56% said the business program’s alumni network were “exceptional” in helping them throughout their career and 65% believe their Leavey business degree will assist them in climbing to a new socioeconomic status. A whopping 96% of alumni surveyed said their first job is in their desired industry—better than most schools in this year’s ranking of best undergraduate business programs.
What alumni say:
“Through an experimental leading opportunity with the organization Habitat for Humanity I had the opportunity to see the ways that a business education can help you to make an impact. By better understanding the business behind running a non profit, and also the financial education that is needed for Habitat for Humanity families to maintain their home, I was able to see the full scope of how my business degree would enable me to give back.”
“Working with the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative I got to work and use my business knowledge to help an undeserved community. I got exposure and leadership while also continuing to learn more about the real world of business. And also about the different circumstances that other live in.”
“For my honors thesis, I was able to develop a comprehensive business plan for an idea about which I was very passionate. Not only did my classes at the business school give me the skills and knowledge necessary to create the business plan, I also benefitted from having professors act as advisors for the thesis. I found it incredibly rewarding that I was able to apply the lessons from my classes to building the blueprints for my own business. That project helped set me out on the entrepreneurial path, which I still follow today.”
“I held three marketing internships in diverse industries and environments thanks to programs through Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of business. This included a non profit organization, a solar technology start up and an eco-friendly consumer product startup in London. These opportunities helped me gain the experience I needed to land my dream job after college.”
All quotes are from graduates of the class of 2015 and were submitted via the Poets&Quants alumni survey.