In April 2019, students of The University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management will be able to access the school’s most innovative building to date. Their new Business Innovation Hub is a 70,000 square foot space that includes a 5,000 square-foot learning commons, a 42-seat business analytics lab equipped to give students experiential learning opportunities, classrooms with flexible furniture and integrated technology for the best teaching and learning experiences, and enhanced career development spaces including 15 interview suites for students to meet with recruiters and secure the top jobs in the industry with all their knowledge and experience.
The Isenberg School of Management was recently ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report, and offers a four-year on campus undergraduate business degree program, as well as an online degree completion program, and online certificates.
Students can choose to major in Accounting, Management, Sport Management, Finance, Marketing, Hospitality & Tourism Management, and Operations & Information Management.
“At the Isenberg School at UMass Amherst, we like to say that We Drive the Driven. It is that energy and sense of purpose that has helped us attract some of the most energetic and passionate students around,” Barb Chalfonte, Director of Organizational Metrics, said. “Students prepare for success with a wide range of experiential opportunities, network with an engaged alumni network of 43,000+, and are supported by a dedicated career center.”
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research university in Amherst, Massachusetts, where the community of about 39,000 is made up mostly of UMass students, and students from the nearby Amherst College, and Hampshire College.
The large student population contributes to high residential rental rates, but it also means having a college town feel, while being slightly over 2 hours away from New York City and downtown Boston, giving Isenberg students access to all the multinational companies, including Deloitte, General Electric, Liberty Mutual Insurance, The TJX Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young, and many more.
The school received 7,433 applications to join their undergraduate degree program in Fall 2018, and admitted 2,191 students. The total full-time enrollment for all business majors in Fall 2018 was 2,559, and the acceptance rate for direct applicants was 30.6 percent.
Of the 90 percent of incoming Fall 2018 students who submitted their SAT scores, the average score was 1336, and of the 22 percent of students who reported their ACT scores, the average score was 29. The average high school GPA of the incoming Fall 2018 class was 4.03.
The school shared that about 16 percent of incoming Fall 2018 students were first-generation college students, 7 percent were international students, and 7 percent were from underrepresented minority groups.
The school estimates that the total four-year course, covering tuition and fees, for an in-state student is $57,811, while the cost for an out-of-state student is $124,998. Additional expenses on food, lodging, transportation, and supplies are expected to add another $56,215. But to help with those costs, the school said that about 85 percent of students in the incoming Fall 2018 class received some form of scholarship support, and the average amount of scholarship received was $7,778.
About 75 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 told Poets&Quants in a survey that they believed their business degree was worth its cost in tuition, and 60 percent said they believes their business degree from The University of Massachusetts Amherst would help them climb to a new socioeconomic status.
STUDENTS GET ‘POWERED-UP’ BEFORE STARTING FRESHMAN YEAR
Students at the Isenberg School of Management begin their business education with a New Students Orientation program that lasts for two full days and an overnight stay on campus. They can also choose to participate in a program the weekend prior to classes starting called “Power-Up,” which lasts three days and allows students to move into the dorms earlier than returning students and get acclimated to the campus before it bursts into activity.
On the final day of Power Up, the school holds a College Success Workshop where students can get to work laying out an educational plan at Isenberg beginning with an understanding of types of instruction on campus, effective communication with professors, social media presentation, and personal image and branding. Students will also learn about internships, independent study, study abroad programs, domestic exchange program offerings, and community service opportunities to enhance a resume, as well as the best extracurricular activities around that suit a students’ interests and ambitions. Finally, students will wrap up the experience by learning about how to take care of their physical, emotional, and mental health, while at Isenberg.
When students become Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, the school expects them to step up their job-search efforts, and a two-day Career Conference is held in January to help them learn how to identify, apply for, and secure the best jobs in the industry. Junior year students can also take a course in Management Communication to satisfy their writing requirement. In the workshop-model course will have students engaging each other in their writings as they practice communication in different business settings and situations.
In recent years, the school has added certificates in Corporate Real Estate that includes certification in Argus software, and a new Analytics certificate at the undergraduate level.
Regardless which major an Isenberg student chooses, all students have to take a core set of business class that includes Career & Professional Development, Fundamentals of Marketing, Management Communications, Business Policy and Strategy, Introduction to Law, Business Data Analysis, Intro to Operations Management, Corporate Finance and several others. From there, the core requirements for students then differ slightly depending on their major. For example, Accounting students must take CPA Law, and an Auditing class, Finance majors must take an Investments and Financial Modeling class, Management majors must take Women & Men in Organizations, and Social Entrepreneurship classes, Marketing Majors must take a course in Marketing Research, and Operations and Informations Management majors must take a class in Quality Management.
About 51 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 said that they were engaged in a signature experience while at Isenberg.
Sport management alumnus Tom Waterman said that he took advantage of several experiential learning opportunities, including directly overseeing and executing “four different, entirely student-run events with a total operating budget of $30,000.” Waterman now works as an Account Executive for the New York Mets.
Davies DeCesare-Fousek, Class of 2016, said that he engaged in three rigorous independent studies with professors in operations research and business strategy while at Isenberg.
“This work allowed me direct access to researchers, practitioners in the field which ultimately developed my expertise over the course of a semester in an area I was passionate about,” DeCesare-Fousek said. “I have leveraged my Operations Research work to this date in my current role at a F500 CPG in a supply chain strategy capacity.” He now works as a Senior Strategy Consultant at IBM.
Another alumnus, Christine Cavallaro, said that as part of her honors thesis, she had to act as a market consultant for a real company with real clients, and was given a problem to solve with extensive research. The project culminated in a 300-page thesis, and an executive-level client presentation, she said. The Marketing major is now an Associate Marketing Manager with Arnold Worldwide, and said that her business school experience was very life-changing.
MORE THAN 70 CAMPUS-SPONSORED GLOBAL PROGRAMS
The University of Massachusetts Amherst also offers students the opportunity to join in over 70 campus-sponsored programs across the global. Whether students are interested in Russia, South Africa, Spain, India, Germany, Egypt, Australia, China, Spain, or Mexico, the university has something to offer.
Business students can also choose from Isenberg course offerings that include travel, such as the Business in Italy Program, which combines an on-campus course with a field trip to Italy, where they’ll spent about 12 days visiting businesses ranging from a family-run balsamic vinegar business in Modena, to a parmesan cheese factory, and the offices of Lamborghini, Ducati, and Ferrari.
A group of students from Isenberg will also be traveling to London, Paris, Venice & Lisbon for two weeks as part of a Culture and Tourism Management trip in Europe in May 2019.
And for those who are interested in completing a service leadership internship internationally, the Isenberg Citizens First South Africa Internship and Service Trip will take them abroad for two weeks in May 2019 where they’ll gain experience in project management, fundraising, problem-solving, and more while building up their intercultural sensitivities.
The school shared that 35 percent of their students have a global experience before graduation, and about 86 percent of students in both the classes of 2017 and 2018 completed at least one business-specific internship before graduation.
They added that 79 percent of students from the Class of 2017 found full-time jobs within a couple months of graduating from The University of Massachusetts Amherst, and with the Class of 2018, this number rose to 82 percent. The average salaries earned by graduates with full-time jobs in both classes was about $57,000, the average signing bonus that graduates received increased from $5,140 to $5,778 in 2018.
About 82 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 said that their first job after graduation was in their desired job function, and 80 percent said that their first job was at their desired company. About 85 percent of them also said that they would recommend the Isenberg undergraduate business program to a close friend or colleague and 65 percent said that the program had prepared them well for the world of work.
The school’s list of top employers include the “Big Four” accounting firms, as well as Liberty Mutual Insurance, Oracle, Grant Thornton, State Street Corporation, IBM, and Dell EMC.
WHAT ISENBERG ALUMNI SAY
“I was in a course called TOOLS, which is an experiential learning senior thesis class. We were given real clients (Boston Scientific) with a real problem to solve for some of their marketing needs. In a group of 3, we were responsible to compile an in-depth marketing plan to help address the clients problem. It was rigorous and tiring that resulted in a 300 page report, client calls and final presentation. This class built my account management skills of being able to work with clients to understand how to find their problems and effectively solve them. I consider this class the reason I have taken Advertising’s normal 4 year career path and was able to climb in as little as 2.5 years.” – Class of 2014 alum
“I joined the Investment club, eventually becoming President, and I joined my school’s student run endowment fund. I got direct buy-side equity research experience, the ability to analyze companies from an investment perspective, a strong valuation framework, and an ability to reinforce my accounting knowledge learned in class.” – Class of 2014 alum
“Senior capstone thesis: I completed a capstone thesis during my entire senior year to meet a joint requirement of the business school and the honors school. I chose to conduct research on a 2012 Massachusetts law governing corporate charters, which allowed companies to form as “benefit corporations” in order to pursue a social/environmental “public benefit” in addition to shareholder profit. I partnered with a business lawyer who taught my environmental law course at the business school. Thesis included researching the text of the law and applicable case law, legal opinions, and scholarly research. Thesis also included identifying and interviewing real CEOs/presidents/leaders from Massachusetts benefit corporations, and then incorporating their ~1 year of experience under the new corporate charter within my paper. Thesis included hosting a speaker panel for the business school, the larger university, and the surrounding “Five College” region which featured several of these CEOs and prominent leaders in the sustainable business field. Culmination of work took the form of a published honors thesis and participation in the local NARBLA (North Atlantic Regional Business Law Association) conference. Simulations: I took part in two simulations during my time at the business school, one of which tasked students with working together in a small team to run a multinational business, and the other which asked students to come up with an idea for a small business which could be created within the business school. Projects: Most classes involved some project work.” – Class of 2014 alum
Where the Class of 2017 went to work:
1.) Ernst & Young -27
2.) PwC – 22
3.) Oracle -19
4.) TJX -18
5.) Liberty Mutual -16
6.) State Street – 14
7.) IBM – 13
8.) Grant Thornton -9
8.) KPMG -9
10.) Deloitte -8
10.) RSM -8