Over the past three years, a lot has been happening at the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. The four-year undergraduate business program where students earn Bachelor of Science degrees and not BBA degrees has made it compulsory not only to engage in a community engagement experience, but also to have at least one internship during their time with the school.
That could sound like a lot to add on top of schoolwork, but it isn’t. After all, about 80 percent of students in the Class of 2017 and 2018 did internships before graduation, and 80 percent of the Class of 2018 were involved in a consulting project with an external organization.
Other ways in which Jindal shows it cares is through the Jindal Young Scholars Program, where current Jindal students mentor high school students towards college admittance, and upon completion, they can apply to to the School of Management and earn a full ride scholarship if they are admitted.
“There are many smart kids out there who, for one reason or another, feel like they cannot attend college,” Marilyn Kaplan, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, said. ”When our students give back and help younger students in need think about the majors they are interested in and get prepared in high school, they become more mature themselves, and prepare for leadership through service.”
In Fall 2018, Jindal School of Management received 2,238 applications to join their undergraduate business program, and admitted 1,354 students, giving the school an acceptance rate of 60 percent. The school also shared that the average SAT score of students entering the undergraduate business program in Fall 2018 was 1242, and the average ACT score was 28.
The four-year cost of attending is estimated to be around $52,136 for an in-state student, and almost triple that at $147,504 for an out-of-state student. Additional expenses covering room, board, transportation, and supplies add up to another $65,008, making the overall cost pretty high, but it’s worth noting that 61 percent of incoming Fall 2018 business students received scholarship support, and the average scholarship amount was $10,261.
JINDAL GIVING OPPORTUNITIES TO FIRST-GENERATION, MINORITY STUDENTS
At Jindal School of management, students can choose to major in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Global Business, Healthcare Management, Human Resource Management, Information Technology and Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. Double majors are also available in Finance and Economics, Global Business and International Political Economy, Healthcare Management and Biology, and Healthcare Management and Molecular Biology.
Their degree program is quantitatively based, with two of the nine degree programs (Information Systems and Technology, and Supply Chain Management) being STEM designated. There is also significant emphasis on out-of-classroom experiences with required business communications courses, professional development, and an internship.
Diversity is highly valued at Jindal, and everyone is expected to care. Over 17 percent of incoming Fall 2018 students were first-generation college students, and 16 percent identified as coming from an underrepresented minority group. And while going to college is already a stressful time for many students, their unique student make up means many students are leaving their families and homes for the first time, with no family member to tell or show them where to go next. To provide students with multiple avenues of support, the school has a three-prong mentoring method, where every student can be mentored by a peer, a faculty member, and an alumni member, if they choose.
Jindal alumni also continue to be involved in many other ways with their alma mater. Kaplan shared that in the school’s business communications course that students take as soon as they are admitted, they are assigned to interview a professional in the field they want to go into, to compel them to reach out to alumni members and create relationships.
“We want them to practice reaching out and looking for advice to make the right career choices, and most alums are prepared to mentor someone younger because they received the mentorship themselves,” Kaplan said. “The alums are excited to work with someone new at things, and they don’t have to remain committed beyond the course assignment, but we’ve seen most maintain the relationship.”
JINDAL YOUNG SCHOLARS PROGRAM CONNECTS WITH DALLAS COMMUNITY
To continue building diversity at Jindal, the Jindal Young Scholars Program was set up to nurture young businesspeople from the time they are in high school.
The school shared that while the Dallas Independent School District is among the nation’s largest, about 88 percent come from economically disadvantaged homes, and though about half continue their education beyond high school, about 25 percent would not stay for a second year in college.
The program currently targets five high schools in the area where the rates of graduation and matriculation are low. Current Jindal students mentor selected students from these high schools and even provide their parents with information on what it means to send their kids to college. These students attend special events on campus to help them feel comfortable in the space and give them the promise of a debt-free college career if they complete the program.
In addition, there are other programs in place once they join Jindal, such as the student-led Comet Closet, that provides necessities such as professional clothing items to students who need a little help making that first impression. Students can receive a full, professional outfit for free, including a blazer, pants or skirt, button-down shirt or blouse, shoes, tie, and an accessory, once they have attended three required workshops relating to interviewing, resume writing, and branding.
So far, the inaugural JYSP class has four students, but Kaplan says that she expects the scholarship program to expand to 20 students over the next couple of years.
“Many kids have financial reasons for not going to college, and for some, when they do, they have to continue working to support the family and the time conflict makes it difficult for them to do well in classes,” Kaplan said. “We want to help ease their challenges and give them the elements that can help with their success because they’re part of the community.”
MORE THAN 170 SEMESTER ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES
As important as it is to keep students in the classroom, the also recognizes the importance of having them learn outside the classroom. Students at Jindal can choose from 173 semester abroad opportunities offered by the university, with the school offering 33 business-specific opportunities.
The school also offers several Global Experience Courses, where students get to travel as part of their learning. In 2017 alone, students traveled to India, Australia, Vietnam. And in the years before, Jindal students have gone to Cambodia, Japan, Ethiopia, Chile, Cuba, and Germany.
Jindal students can also choose to attend an International Summer Program at many renowned schools abroad, such as the London School of Economics, or work on an internship abroad.
A little closer to home, students are also encouraged to leave their classrooms and give back to the community around them, believing that students can learn by doing for others.
The Jindal Outreach program was started in 2015 to allow students to gain experience in the community while building their skills and knowledge based in the classroom. The aim is for students to know how to apply theoretical information to real-world settings while building up their interpersonal and social skills. After all, a businessperson with no network will find it hard to succeed.
Business undergraduates are required to fulfill a social engagement component before they can be considered for graduation, and to do so, students can either choose to do a social sector engagement and community outreach practicum or take a project-based social engagement course.
With the practicum, students must complete 100 hours of approved community service activity, that does not include attending fundraising events, or any form of paid work. Students can work at a nonprofit food pantry or soup kitchen, or volunteer with a nonprofit after-school program and the school can help pair students with opportunities in line with their interests.
The other option to work with peers in a team to help solve problems for nonprofit partners is only available to juniors and seniors. Students who choose this will have to earn a passing grade before being allowed to graduate.
Outside of the classroom, all students must also complete at least one internship, and that’s not where it ends. After the internship, students must submit a write up of their internship experience that they then share on their LinkedIn profile page, with a tag to the company and the school.
“We want to prepare our students for future careers, even if the first internship is one that shows them this isn’t what they want to do,” Kaplan said. “The learning is a process where they learn to reflect on what they have done and how they have grown.”
AND MORE THAN 50 BUSINESS-SPECIFIC STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
Students at Jindal can also choose to add to their resume by joining one of 56 business-specific student organizations, such as the Cybersecurity Club, Data Science Club, Real Estate Club, Women in Technology and Business Club, or Entrepreneurship club.
They can also participate in case competitions, such as the widely participated UT Dallas Big Idea Competition. In November 2018, six graduate and undergraduate teams competed for $60,000 in cash and scholarship awards by pitching business ideas in front of an audience of over 1,200 people. Established business people such as Bryan Deluca, vice president of marketing and engagement at Bioworld, and Samantha Colletti, senior vice president at Silicon Valley Bank, were present as judges of the competition. That same month, a team of five Jindal accounting students won first place in the first Grant-Thornton Case Competition by developing and presenting a complex business solution.
The school shared that 61 percent of students from the Class of 2017 found full-time jobs just months after graduation, with a high 93 percent of students choosing to stay in Southwest states such as Colorado, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. When it came to the Class of 2018, 61 percent found jobs in the months after graduation, and 96 percent chose to stay in the Southwest states.
While many other business schools have decades of history and experience creating tried-and-tested curriculums, Jindal School of Management is only a little over 40 years old. Kaplan said that because nothing is yet set in stone, the school has developed an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. She added that faculty members at Jindal often do outreach to companies and that many have reached out asking for students to join them after being impressed by their hard work and determination.
“Our graduates are smart and serious, and possibly even nerdy. They come to class ready to be professionals, and by the time they graduate, they are professionals,” Kaplan said. “I tell parents how safe it is here because the students have their eyes set on careers. This is not a party school.”
What Alumni Say:
“Since the school is in Dallas, I was able to work at an internship while attending classes in the Spring and Fall and receive course credit for my work. This ability to showcase myself during non-traditional internship seasons allowed me to secure a full-time position.” – Recent Alumni
“The most memorable (experiences) were the simulations for organizational behavior. These have been the most useful to me throughout my career because I feel that they have allowed me to properly read the environment within the company and have proven useful in diffusing difficult situations.” – Recent Alumni
“Through DMHP (Davidson Management Honors Program), I was able to travel to Sydney, Australia; Prague, Czech Republic; and Hungary, Budapest. Through PPA (Professional Program in Accounting), I was able to study abroad for a semester in Marburg, Germany.” – Recent Alumni
Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:
- EY – 9
- Deloitte – 7
- Goldman Sachs – 7
- AT&T – 6
- Fidelity Investments – 6
- JP Morgan Chase – 6
- Capgemini – 5
- Fannie Mae – 5
- Grant Thornton – 5
- KPMG – 5