At Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz School of Business, the tagline is “Men and women for others,” and the school makes sure its students remember that they should be using their business skills and knowledge to make the world a better place.
The school’s Service Leadership Program was started in 1996, and since then, students have completed over 100,000 hours of service to the community. From helping out at the university’s Campus Kitchen, to mentoring a younger person under the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, business students at Chaifetz know they’re lucky, and will find time to help others on their way to the top.
“Our students are highly ethical and want to make a difference in the world and in any corporation they go into. It’s not always about the profit,” Mark Higgins, Dean of the business school, said. “Employers tell us they like their strong work ethics, and they’re different from other students because they aren’t looking to do well at the expense of others.”
Saint Louis University is a private Roman Catholic research university in St. Louis, Missouri, with students that tend to come from the midwest region of the U.S. whom Higgins describes as “socially conscious and heavily engaged in service leadership”.
The school was formerly known as the John Cook School of Business, but was recently renamed after trustee Richard Chaifetz and his wife, Jill, made a $15 million gift to the business school.
The Chaifetz school received 1,448 applications to their four-year undergraduate program in Fall 2018, and admitted 1,257, giving them an acceptance rate of 83 percent. Of the 32 percent of students who reported their SAT scores, the average score was 1,241.
DOUBLE-DIGIT MAJOR OPTIONS
Students at Chaifetz can choose to major in Accounting, Analytics & Enterprise Systems, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Information Technology Management, International Business, Leadership, and Human Resource Management, Marketing, and Sports Business.
Over the last three years, the school has introduced a Real Estate Finance concentration within the Finance major, as well as a new major in Analytics and Enterprise Systems, in line with the industry’s growing demand for students with skills and experience in dealing with data and analytics.
They have also expanded minors such as Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Globalization and Technology, Leadership and Change Management, and Supply Chain Management, to become available to non-business students.
“At Saint Louis University’s Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, we weave together three important elements — values, leadership, and action — to create a unique and stimulating environment as the foundation for success,” Higgins shared with Poets&Quants. “In addition to our highly ranked business programs, we focus on career planning, internships, and opportunities to help our students connect with professionals in each of our areas of study.”
Every undergraduate is expected to complete a Career Foundations course with the school’s Career Resources Center, where they are taught the skills to identify and select their major and career path, learn how to market themselves towards an internship and job offer, and continue to grow.
Regardless what a student chooses to major in, the school requires that all business students take classes in financial accounting, micro and macroeconomics, statistics, management sciences, and operations management, international business, informational technology with supply chain, and do a capstone.
Students who choose to do an internship as part of their majors can earn up to three credit hours if they complete at least 180 hours during a semester, and the school shared that 70 percent of students in the Class of 2017 completed a business-specific internship before graduation, and 73 percent of students in the Class of 2018 did the same.
Within a couple of months of graduation, 48 percent of students from the Class of 2017 had found full-time jobs, and with the Class of 2018, 70 percent of students found full-time jobs just months after graduation.
The average salary is drawn by students in the Class of 2017 who found full-time employment was $48,928, while the average salary of students in the Class of 2018 with full-time jobs was slightly less at $47,676. Students from both classes received signing bonuses of about $5,000.
In a survey with the Class of 2016, over 70 percent of alumni said that they would recommend the program to a friend or colleague, and about 55 percent said that the program prepared them well for the world of work.
About 80 percent of them said they believed their business degree would assist them in climbing to a new socioeconomic status, and over 72 percent said their first job after graduating was at their desired company.
SENIOR FINANCE MAJORS GET TO MANAGE A $1 MILLION ENDOWMENT FUND
In order to give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience while still on campus, there are various experiential learning opportunities that have been embedded in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
About 50 percent of alumni in the Class of 2016 said that the opportunities offered to them helped nurture and improve their skills in business and that their business school experience life-changing.
At Chaifetz, senior-level finance majors are invited to help manage over $1 million in University endowment funds while learning how to evaluate common stocks as investments, and about the fiduciary management of investment assets. Finance students can also join the Wall Street Club and begin growing their professional network with finance professionals that the club has partnerships with.
Students with a passion for entrepreneurship can join the SLU Entrepreneurs Club to be connected to entrepreneurship opportunities in the community. The student-run organization also hosts an event twice a semester where startups in St. Louis are invited to network with students and discuss internship and career opportunities.
Because entrepreneurship students are required to take a class in Business Plan Development, they can be sure to know how to create a business plan when they’re ready to launch their own businesses.
Chaifetz students can choose from over 150 student-organizations and 17 business-specific ones to participate in order to boost their resumes.
Those who are new to the business school can join the Freshmen In Business club, where they can meet other first-year business students, talk about classes and concentrations, and network with business professionals from the community.
The SLU Consulting Club became a chartered student organization recently in 2018 and gives students an opportunity to work with clients such as Wellbeing Brewing Co. and Viahey Travel. By helping these companies solve problems that they may have, students gain experience working with client companies, creating business strategies, and presenting solutions.
The school shared that 45 courses offer significant applied experiential learning such as class projects, consulting projects, or simulations, though none are required.
About 60 percent of alumni in the Class of 2016 said that they were engaged in a “signature experience” while in the business program, having worked on capstone projects where they simulated companies and competed against each other in class, doing project work consulting for an external company, and going on man service engagements.
Abby Voss, Class of 2016, said that in her Entrepreneurship capstone class, they spend a semester creating a business from scratch and preparing a business plan. “It really made us think about every little thing that goes into actually starting a business,” Voss, who is now an Associate Producer at Brighton Agency, said. “Some of my classmates even took those projects and started actual businesses out of them.”
SCHOOL OFFERS 48 SEMESTER ABROAD OPTIONS
When it comes to providing global business education, students at Chaifetz can choose from over 48 semester abroad opportunities, with nine business-specific programs. From Denmark and Beijing to France, Germany, and Sweden, students at Chaifetz have plenty of reasons to travel, and many of them take up the school on that. The school estimates that 45 percent of students have global experience of at least four weeks of international study before graduation.
Other than exchange programs, students can also opt for a short-stay program that is usually held during the spring semester. These intensive courses explore the culture, political, legal, and business environments of emerging markets. Students first attend lectures and seminars on campus, before going on the short immersion experience that includes a company-sponsored project and visits to companies in the country. Upon their return, students are expected to present their findings on the company-sponsored project.
Alumni from the Class of 2016 shared with P&Q that about 30 percent of them traveled abroad while working on their undergraduate degrees. One student who went on a global immersion in Budapest, Hungary, and Hong Kong called the experiences life-changing from a cultural perspective, where he got to “explore the world of international consulting” which introduced him to business contacts and situations that mirrored situations he found himself in during his career after college.
Gian Carlo Hernandez, a recent alumnus, spent a semester at the Saint Louis University Madrid Campus. “The experience was life-changing, both academically and outside of class. Several relationships were fostered during that spring semester, and continue up to this day,” he said. “Saint Louis University provided me with that opportunity, and for that I am thankful. The process of moving from the main campus to Madrid was seamless.”