At The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, students get used to teamwork and competition right at the start. At the core of the Eller Experience is a program where students compete in six embedded formal competitions within classes, and with their equally motivated peers. They are then formally judged, getting the students used to being confident in presenting their ideas and building consensus for innovative ideas and strategies. This contributes to high rates of internship placement for students to get a foot in the door.
The school shared that about 90 percent of students in both the Class of 2017 and 2018 had business-specific internships before graduation. And in response to a survey by P&Q to the Class of 2016, over 70 percent of alumni shared that they would recommend the program without hesitation and that their Eller Experience was life-changing.
“Our students are very well prepared for presentations and leadership, to listen, draw ideas, and put plans together,” Pamela Perry, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at Eller, said. “The Eller Experience is very challenging with a lot of support. Students transform together and develop life-long personal and professional connections.”
Students in the two-year undergraduate business program can choose to major in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Economics, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management Information Systems, Marketing, or Operations Management. Eller has an acceptance rate of about 80 percent, having received 612 applications from interested students in Fall 2018, and admitting 469 students. The average SAT score of entering students was 1110, and the average ACT score was 26. The school estimates the four-year cost of tuition and fees to be an Eller graduate to be $48,928 for an in-state student, and over double that at $127,283 for an out-of-state student. Additional expenses such as food, lodging, transportation, and supplies are likely to add another $67,800 to the price of attending, with 33 percent of incoming Fall 2018 students receiving some form of financial aid. Despite the seemingly high cost, almost 80 percent of alumni in the Class of 2016 said that they believed their degree was worth its cost in tuition, and over 70 percent rate the quality of teaching positively.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING A BIG PART AT ELLER
In recent years, the biggest and most recent innovation at Eller has been their aim to promote learning anytime, anywhere, among students.
Alumni of the Class of 2016 shared that over 60 percent of them felt like they had been involved in a “signature experience” that was an important part of their business learning while at Eller, from case competitions and exciting, innovative classes, to study abroad programs where they explored places ranging from Sydney and Rome to Argentina and Amsterdam.
One thing that is clear from the alumni’s responses is that students got hands-on experiences regardless which areas they chose to major in. Alumni in the entrepreneurship program shared that the experience of working for a year to bring a business from concept to launch provided them with invaluable experience, while students in consulting worked on a corporate social responsibility project with a high school attended mostly by students from low-income families to help bolster their alumni network to benefit the current students. The school shared that 100 percent of students in the graduating Class of 2018 participated in a consulting project with an external organization.
Burton Bennett, a finance major, is Senior Assistant Director of Finance at Marriott International today. He said that his experience at Eller was filled with experiences where he got to practice and gain real-life skills that helped him progress in his career. From the real estate company analysis and presentations that he had to do, and Bloomberg Terminal Certification, to a business case analysis he had to do for Geico, Bennett said that Eller provided him with exceptional opportunities to nurture and improve his skills in business.
Another alumni from the Class of 2016, Jazmin Beltran, said that she had a great experience taking part in an advertising case competition where they competed on a regional level and placed 2nd.
“We were in charge of creating an entire advertising campaign and plan for Snapple and pitched it at a conference,” Beltran, who is an account executive at Cognito, a marketing communications and digital agency, said. “It was a great experience as I was the “agency director” and handled all operations of the student team. I learned hands on about research, collaboration, workflows, and presentation dynamics.”
Regardless which track a student chooses, every student is expected to take the required experiential learning Business Communications class. There, students learn to and practice writing business letters, formal notices, and memos. Alumni shared that they found it one of the most useful classes they took in college, as they even worked in teams to research and analyze perceptions of brand buzzwords for local businesses.
GLOBAL BUSINESS PROGRAM ONLY AVAILABLE FOR ELLER STUDENTS
Learning everywhere also means that students at Eller get out and do things.
The Global Business Program at Eller College is a program only available to the business students, where students study international business environments, with a study abroad component.
Students can also choose to join the Global Business Cohort, where they complete 15 credits in nine weeks. In Summer 2019, students in the cohort will work on the first semester of their upper-division core Eller requirements in Fortaleza, Brazil, studying the business environment in Brazil, organization behavior and management, and business communication.
Students can also choose to go on internships abroad, whether it’s Spain, Ireland, China, England, or Australia, with a semester abroad offerings in even more countries.
Over 75 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 shared with P&Q that they were engaged in a global immersion, trip, or project through Eller, while working on their undergraduate business degrees.
As part of the Eller study and intern abroad program, alumnus Corene Roads took two classes and interned at a credit union in England for a summer. Paired with the team projects she had to work on at Eller, from creating business plans to valuing companies, and her part-time work at Eller’s Professional Development Center, the current Senior financial analyst for Intel Corporation said that Eller prepared her for the world of work exceptionally well.
Eller College also has micro-campuses where local students work on and receive University of Arizona degrees. Students attend classes in their home country’s institution (the American University of Phnom Penh and Sampoerna University), and Eller College faculty members work with global lecturers to coordinate the academic experience leading to a BSBA from the Eller College. The school shared that they have recently welcomed cohorts of students in Cambodia and Malaysia in their Micro campus program.
‘WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT CAN MAKE INDIVIDUAL DREAMS HAPPEN’
At Eller, all the experiential learning and global exposure seem to have paid off, with about 70 percent of students in both the Class of 2017 and 2018 have found full-time employment within a couple of months of graduation.
The average salary for business majors in the Class of 2017 was $53,100, and this rose to $54,041 for the Class of 2018. While students in the Class of 2017 received higher signing bonuses of $6,877, only 31 percent of students received them. In comparison, 50 percent of students in the Class of 2018 received signing bonuses that averaged $6,613.
The top ten employers of Eller graduates include ADP, Goldman Sachs, Amazon, Vanguard, and Honeywell International, and Perry says that one of the most exciting things happening at Eller now is the quality of career coaches and staff at the alumni office who are ready to push their students in professional development.
The Eller College of Management alumni page on LinkedIn has over 15,000 alumni members. Though over 6 thousand of them report to be located in Arizona, over 1,000 of them shared their location as being in the San Francisco Bay Area, 926 in the Greater Los Angeles Area, over 500 in the Greater New York City Area, and almost 500 in San Diego, Denver, Seattle, and Chicago. In most major cities, it seems, an Eller graduate would not have to feel alone.
“We have people that can make individual dreams happen. Sixty percent of the students we attract are not from Arizona, so they’re ready to go home or elsewhere, and employer tell us that they love our school because the students are not afraid of relocation,” Perry said. “I realize that everyone comes with some kind of dream, and if they come to us, and we know what they want, we’re ready to open up our network, bring in our alums and partners, to be the leg up to their ambitions.”
What Alumni Say:
“We had several major projects that taught key skills which I found extremely useful in my career, including a project analyzing financial statements to evaluate companies via public information. We also participated in a business communications project that paired us with charitable partners in the community, enabling us to act as consultants and solve real-world problems.” – Recent Alumni
“If I were to highlight one specific experience, it would be the Portfolio Management class offered by Eller. In this class students get a very hands-on investing experience, allowing them to make investment decisions for part of the endowment. Students were able to make pitches for stocks and engage in dialogue regarding those opportunities. Ultimately the students were held accountable by an investment committee of senior investment alumni that the students engaged with.” – Recent Alumni
“Almost every course I took during my time at Eller offered projects that were relevant to having a career in business. Examples are valuing a company financially, simulating business decisions and impacts, and developing skills I use every day in my professional career.” – Recent Alumni
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
Vanguard – 31
ADP – 24
Goldman Sachs – 17
EY – 14
Amazon – 11
Bank of America Merrill Lynch – 11
Intuit – 10
Raytheon – 10
Deloitte – 9
Honeywell International – 9