The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee Knoxville landed at No. 52 this year, up an impressive 12 places from last year’s ranking of No. 64. Haslam had an acceptance rate of 81.41%, slightly more selective than last year’s 93.12%, and an average SAT score of 1225.80, up from last year’s average score of 1196.
Employment-wise, the Haslam College saw 93.75% of this year’s class securing full-time employment at the time of graduation, up from the past two years when the employment rate took a hit with 78.38% of the Class of 2020 securing full-time employment and 86.25% of the Class if 2019 — although the rates from those years were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Haslam’s internship outcomes saw a minuscule decrease this year with 76% of the Class of 2021 landing a business-focused internship before graduating, compared to last year’s 77% of the Class of 2020 and the previous year’s 70%.
The Haslam experience is designed around an integrated education with a strong emphasis on global leadership development and real-world learning. Recent grads seem to be responding well to the experience Haslam offers, as the school placed 38th this year in the academic experience portion of the rankings, which is based solely on data collected from an alumni survey. It was Haslam’s highest finish in all of the three methodological categories.
Haslam undergraduates can choose from the following business majors: Accounting, Business Analytics, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, Public Administration, and Supply Chain Management.
Where Haslam really shines, however, is its integrated program offerings. The B-school recently partnered with the Tickle College of Engineering to offer the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, a three-year program that allows students to graduate with a special concentration. The integrated program features a number of cohort-based projects and unique extracurricular activities such as an Executive Mentor Program and company site visits to organizations such as Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Amazon Fulfillment Center.
For those interested in government and nonprofit enterprises, the Public Administration program combines a general business education with specific courses in the economic and political aspects of government policies. Students can choose electives to focus their expertise on.
Haslam alumni view their education relatively well. Graduates from 2018 rated the quality of teaching in Haslam courses at an 8.6 average. When asked if they would recommend the Haslam business program to a close friend or colleague interested in an undergraduate business degree, 2018 alumni gave a strong 9.4 average rating.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SCHOLARS
The Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars (GLS) is the official honors program at Haslam. GLS students pursue a collateral or concentration in international business with whichever business major they declare. The GLS curriculum consists of honors courses and a set of leadership training seminars in their second, third, and fourth years. But one of the biggest benefits of the program is the access that students have to strong mentorship.
“It gave me immensely more opportunities to cultivate my soft skills for business,” one 2018 alumni told us. “It gave me a greater outreach to talented UT Haslam Alumni. As part of the program, I worked directly with an accounting professor to write my thesis on a complicated accounting topic that prepared me for the industry I headed into after I graduated. The program also gave me direct contact with my professors in small classroom settings that shaped me immensely.”
Additionally, the global component allows students to travel and intern in London.
“As part of the GLS program, we spent a semester in London, where I interned with a company called Michael Page,” another 2018 alumni said. “I learned a lot about how the major I had chosen could lead to a certain career path and how to be a business professional. The experiences I learned that helped me realize I wanted to change my major to accounting and how to excel in my future internships.”
“I got to experience what the working world was like on the other side of the globe before I even worked in the US which really put things into perspective when I started looking for internships and FTE post-grad,” said another 2018 alum.
The GLS program is a prime example of the strong leadership development at Haslam. Students are not only given direct leadership training and mentorship through seminars but are also exposed to the global component of leadership through the London internship. In turn, Haslam students are taught to lead with a solid understanding of global business.
Haslam’s senior capstone experience brings together the cumulative business education into one project. Student teams take part in a business simulation and run a business throughout the semester. The capstone experience simulates what working in the real world is like as students are challenged to collaborate and overcome differences to effectively run their business.
“I believe Haslam provided a great opportunity to combine all the pieces of the business disciplines together to complete the capstone project,” another 2018 alumni reported. “Student groups had to use their combined accounting, supply chain, analytics, marketing, finance, etc. skills to complete their final capstone projects. We also learned presentation skills in order to effectively present our final project. We were graded on both the material and presentation.”
The focus on collaboration and teamwork is a key component of what makes the Haslam capstone experience valuable. By bringing together students from different majors and backgrounds, Haslam creates a real-world experience where each team member brings their strengths to the table and works with others to achieve a common goal.
With strong integrated education opportunities, global leadership development, and a real-world capstone experience, Haslam students are equipped with a well-rounded education that very much prepares them for post-grad opportunities.
“In our senior capstone course, we were required to be a part of a business simulation where a group of students from different majors “ran a business” throughout the semester. It was challenging/exciting to get to work with different students outside your major and collaborate business decisions. I was able to improve my problem solving and communication skills through teamwork instead of writing a thesis.”
“Business students were required to take a project-based capstone class senior year. We ran our own virtual business as a team of 5, and there was very little overlap of majors on the team. Each teammate had their own strengths to bring to the table and it was really neat to see what our 4 years of learning had taught all of us.”
“My education in the business program prepared me for real world business problems and opportunities that were relevant to my desired industry. I even got the opportunity to work with employers on real world supply chain constraints, designing solutions for cost effective strategies to improve critical business needs.”
“I was able to study abroad and intern abroad. Also, I was able to do a cross-department thesis that helped connect dots of different subjects.”
Where the Class of 2020 Went to Work:
Dell Technologies: 13
Pilot Flying J: 8
Dollar General Corporation: 6
Eastman Chemical Company: 5
Kimberly Clark Corporation: 5
Lockheed Martin: 5