The Villanova School of Business landed No. 8 in this year’s P&Q ranking, 5 places up from last year’s ranking of No. 13. The B-school’s acceptance rate was an exclusive 18.89%, compared to last year’s 24.95% for the Class of 2020 and this year’s Class reported an average SAT score of 1428, up from last year’s average of 1410. Of the three methodological categories, Villanova’s strong suit was in Admissions, where the school placed 8th.
VSB students are well-prepared for their careers with a very high 96.67% of the Class of 2021 securing a business-focused internship before graduation — only a little over a percentage down from last year’s 97.96% for the graduating Class of 2020. Although employment outcomes were already impressive, Villanova improved, with 98.78% of the Class of 2021 landing a full-time position within three months of graduation, up from 92.16% for the Class of 2020.
As a Catholic university, Villanova is founded on Augustinian values of community and leading with service. The Villanova business education is one that embraces these values while preparing students with the skills needed to become future business leaders. Almost half of the required courses VSB students take come from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. By requiring students to take courses outside business, VSB ensures that its students are gaining the fundamental values that the university as a whole embraces.
VSB students begin taking business courses in their freshman year and continue through core requirements during sophomore year. In their junior and senior years, VSB students focus on their major and minor coursework. Much of the core curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of not only business skills, but the societal values that help drive business.
One such course is “Business Dynamics,” a required first-year course that emphasizes the purpose of business within society. Through the course, VSB students gain an understanding of the global, political, ethical, and technological dimensions of business.
VSB 2019 alumni rate the quality of teaching in business courses strongly with a 9.0 average rating. With small class sizes, VSB also ensures its students are getting the support they need. When asked how they would rate VSB faculty availability for informal discussions and mentorship outside of class, 2019 alumni gave a strong 9.5 average rating.
BACKPACK TO BRIEFCASE
VSB offers a number of experiential learning opportunities for students to gain necessary business skills. One example is the “Backpack to Briefcase” (B2B) initiative, a program that integrates career development into the core business curriculum throughout the students’ four-year education. B2B is designed to give students opportunities to not only learn about business skills, but apply those skills in simulated real-world situations.
“Backpack to Briefcase during the 4 years helped with transition to the workplace,” one 2018 alumni told us. “It had case studies and prepared you for business writing and interviewing.”
Another 2018 alumni highlighted the practical experience they gained through B2B.
“You were assigned random groups on a Wednesday/Thursday night and given a case which you had to prepare & present a pitch on Saturday morning to judges,” the alumni said. “There was a Q&A session and everyone in the group was required to speak during the presentation.”
A VSB student can choose to co-major/minor in International Business, where he or she learns how to manage and communicate across cultures or even take part in the Global Citizens Program, a 16-week overseas study experience that combines academic coursework with a practical internship located in either London or Singapore. All of these types of programs are designed to give students a different perspective to the world of business.
“At the business school, we were encouraged to take up minors/more majors to diversify our resume and broaden our learning,” one 2018 alumni told us. “As early as my freshman year, I studied abroad in Spain to take up a Spanish minor. I was placed in a home stay with a family from Spain, and only spoke Spanish throughout the duration of the trip. It challenged me mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, but it broadened me culturally and helped me get out of my comfort zone to take risks.”
And alumni view their VSB education as playing an integral role in helping them achieve their career goals. When asked to rate how instrumental their VSB degree was in helping them reach their dream career, 2019 alumni gave an 8.4 average rating. Alumni also attributed their ability to climb to a new socioeconomic status to their VSB education giving the degree an 8.7 average rating.
Overall, the VSB education is one that embraces Villanova’s Augustinian values and develops business leaders who not only know the skills of running and leading business, but the ethics that drive society as well. No doubt, Villanova is in a crowded undergraduate business education market in Philadelphia. But the school holds its own against its fellow Philly-based Ivy League business school, Wharton.
“Villanova’s key experience is in sophomore year through a 6 credit class called Competitive Effectiveness where it is a semesester long case competition to create a marketing plan for a F500 business. This culmuniates in a presentation to Villanova alumni from this institution, in my case Johnson and Johnson. This class taught me so many soft skills such as time management, scheduling, communicating, and working in a team. I came out of this class with friends and a memorable experience that while tested me, was very beneficial in my development.”
“I participated in a study abroad and internship program in Shanghai, China. Experiencing a different culture working an internship in a different country was transformative for me, as this was my first time traveling outside of the United States. I not only enjoyed the experience, but I believe it prepared me and made me a more well-rounded candidate for future internships and eventually the full time employment search.”
“I studied abroad in Urbino, Italy and had the opportunity to take a required business course aboard. As part of the course, our class had the opportunity to work with a local Italian small business and help the company come up with a 60 page marketing plan which includes customer segmentation, competitive analysis of various regions in the U.S., among others. This experience provided me a lot of exposure as I not only had a chance to work directly with an external client and present our findings to the client, but I also found it a valuable experience being able to learn about an Italian business and work in a different cultural setting with my team members. It was fun, exciting, new and a worthwhile experience.”
“Worked with IKEA to develop a marketing plan tied to an assignment they shared with the class at the start of the semester. Presented to IKEA executives at the end of the semester. Content learned throughout the course greatly added value to our deliverable at the end of the semester.”
“The business school had a required class in which students would compete in teams of 10 to solve real-world business issues, with frequent contact from actual members of the company. Students would have the opportunity to present solutions at the end of the semester. The course gave me invaluable real-world experience while still in school and established my base network in the business world.”
Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:
PwC – 29
EY – 23
KPMG – 23
Deloitte – 19
Goldman Sachs – 14
JPMorgan Chase & Co. – 8
Morgan Stanley – 8
BMO Financial Group – 5
Citi – 5
Johnson & Johnson – 5
MUFG – 5