The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University landed at No. 34 in the 2022 rankings, up 14 spots from last year’s No. 48 ranking, and still up from the previous No. 43 rank it held for both 2019 and 2018. Whitman had a more exclusive acceptance rate of 48.02% compared to the Class of 2020’s 56.10%, and average SAT score of 1298, up from 1286. Overall, the B-school placed the highest in the career outcomes category, coming in 33rd place.
Whitman has improved this year employment-wise, with 89.61% of the Class of 2021 securing a full-time position within three months of graduation, up nearly 11% from last year’s 78.67% for the Class of 2020. Internship prospects remain incredibly strong, as high as they can be with 100% of the Class of 2021, 2020 and 2019 landing a business-focused internship before graduating.
The Whitman undergraduate business education is characterized by its unique skill-development programming and a thorough, comprehensive senior capstone experience.
NEW BUSINESS ANALYTICS MAJOR
Whitman launched a new Business Analytics major last fall, joining a growing list of schools to offer the major. The Business Analytics major provides students with the opportunity to become well versed in all facets and business applications of data and analytics. Additionally, students can specialize in financial analytics and marketing analytics and learn how to draw insights from data and improve operational efficiency.
In total, Whitman undergraduate business students can choose from 10 different majors including Accounting, Business Analytics, General Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Management Studies, Retail Management, Supply Chain Management, and Real Estate.
As a direct admit business school program, Whitman students begin taking multiple business courses in their first semester and complete at least 12 business courses by the end of the 2nd year.
One of the differentiating factors of the Whitman education is its Goodman IMPRESS Program, which focuses on soft-skill development for all Whitman students through extracurricular activities.
Every new Whitman student is delegated to one of four groups, or virtual “houses:” Adams, Harrison, Marshall, and Waverly. Each of these houses has its own insignia and is led by a faculty house mentor who guides students through their first business courses.
Student houses participate in a variety of extracurricular activities for which they will be rewarded with points. Activities are centered around five key learning objectives including Personal & Professional Leadership Development, Major & Industry Exploration, Certifications, Global Context, and Community Engagement.
Every point a student earns goes towards his or her personal point total and also toward the total point of the house to which the student belongs. In other words, every student is involved in two ongoing challenges – a personal challenge and the house challenge. When a student is looking for internships and job opportunities, the employers will be able to see two scores on his or her resume – a GPA and an IMPRESS Score.
Like a B-school version of the Harry Potter Hogwarts Houses, Whitman’s IMPRESS program is a creative, fun, and quantifiable way for students to develop and showcase their soft-skill competency. While many B-schools are beginning to introduce new opportunities for soft-skill development, the Whitman School offers a comprehensive program that not only develops soft-skills in students but quantifies their competency in it as well.
“SHARK TANK” STYLE CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE
Some 85% of 2019 alumni that we surveyed reported engaging in at least one “signature experience” that was a key part of their business learning at Whitman.
For an overwhelming majority of Whitman alumni, that experience was the senior capstone project. Senior student teams compete in a business pitch competition where they are challenged to come up with an innovative product or service and create a full business plan to successfully bring it to market. Students work in cross-functional teams across all business majors from finance to marketing to supply chain management. At the end, the teams pitch their plan to a panel of local business owners and professionals and are scored, similar to the show “Shark Tank.” Winning teams receive a grant and can put it towards launching their business idea.
“You learn the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur, receive hands-on experience in presenting to executives, communication and team-building skills and the list goes on,” one 2018 alumni told us. “Definitely a unique experience, that I can say from speaking with friends who attended other universities, is not one every college student participates in or has the opportunity to.”
There are a few things that make Whitman’s capstone project unique. For one, the judging panel includes local business leaders and professionals giving the project an extra element of real-world experience. Secondly, the grant offers students an opportunity to take their idea and turn it into reality. The year-long experience ensures that Whitman students not only are well-versed in their own role but are able to work seamlessly within a team environment.
“It was a great chance to push ourselves to put all of the business, finance, accounting, supply chain, and marketing knowledge to the test after having taken many of those classes previously,” another 2018 alumni said.
Overall, the Whitman program is ideal for a business student who wants to develop an impressive set of technical and soft business skills through healthy competition. It doesn’t hurt to love Harry Potter or Shark Tank either.
“Whitman students are required to participate in a capstone project that focuses on bringing together all majors, inventing an original product or service, and moving through ideation, to raising capital, marketing, production, distribution, and liquidation. All of this leads to a series of final pitches (think “Shark Tank”) to a panel of judges. As a supply chain major, I actually created a global distribution plan for our product. There were many long nights running through the details of our cost sheet, researching sources & logistics companies, and networking with experts in our field. Many students have gone on to launch their products as entrepreneurs after graduating, and while we could have done the same, I was so happy to have ended the experience knowing that it WAS possible to build something from the ground up. It was an incredible responsibility and a lesson in ownership.”
WHERE THE CLASS OF 2020 WENT TO WORK:
- EY – 23
- Deloitte – 15
- Macy’s – 10
- PwC – 10
- KPMG – 6
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch – 5
- Bloomberg – 5
- Citi – 4
- Amazon – 3
- Raytheon – 3