Wake Forest offers a high-quality business education that is characterized by cross-functional learning and strong career advising support. The B-school placed at No. 43 down from No. 2021 in 2022. Wake Forest had an especially selective acceptance rate this year of 24.34%, about a point higher than the 23.34% from the year before. It reported an average SAT score of 1430, compared to 1405 in 2022.
In terms of employment outcomes, Wake Forest students are well-prepared for the world of work. Some 98% of the Class of 2022 had a business-focused internship before graduating, the same rate as the Class of 2021 and up from 91% for the Class of 2020. Some 90.12% of the Class of 2022 secured a full-time position within three months of graduation, down from 97.30% of the Class of 2021. Average starting salary for this year’s graduates was $79,688, up significantly from the $66,955 average of the previous class. Average signing bonuses were down just slightly at $7,484 compared to $7,927 the previous year.
With its cross-functional education and supportive career advising resources, Wake Forest University’s School of Business ensures each and every student not only discovers his or her true calling but succeeds in it as well.
CROSS-FUNCTIONAL, REAL-WORLD EDUCATION
Wake Forest business students can choose from four majors including Accountancy, Business Enterprise Management, Finance, and Mathematical Business. Roughly 84% of 2019 alumni surveyed reported engaging in at least one “signature experience” whether through project work, simulations, or a capstone. At Wake Forest, many of these learning experiences tie in an element of cross-functional collaboration and learning.
For instance, the senior project consists of a hands-on simulation where students “run” a company from initial R&D to sales, operations, marketing, and finance.
“It was a true culmination of our entire undergraduate curriculum and required team collaboration of ‘SMEs’ as we had teams comprised of finance, business management, accounting, and mathematical business [students] similar to executive team makeups,” one 2018 alumni told us.
“The experience was unique in the fact that it truly simulated a business in that each group member was from each business program major,” another 2018 alumni said in regards to the senior project. “Everyone offered their expert opinions like departments in a company.”
This type of cross-functional collaboration is key to the business education at Wake Forest. By working across different disciplines, Wake Forest students get a taste of what the real business world is like — giving them a leg up in experience by the time they graduate.
And alumni rate their business education highly. When asked to evaluate how well Wake Forest’s business program prepared them for the world of work, 2018 alumni gave a strong 9.3 average rating. Alumni also rated the Wake Forest degree’s value in terms of cost in time and resources at a strong 9.4 average rating. Overall, Wake Forest placed 10th in the Academic Experience category.
“I believe the accounting and finance program at my school was instrumental in my preparation for my current role and I always see resemblances in the learning curriculum with the actual work,” one 2018 alumni told us.
STRONG CAREER ADVISING SUPPORT
Wake Forest invests heavily in resources to ensure its students are supported in achieving their career goals and interests. One of the newest additions to the business program is the Pre-Wall Street Career Track. The program is essentially a comprehensive education for careers in investment banking, asset management, sales and trading, and private equity. Independent of their major study, the Pre-Wall Street Career Track includes targeted coursework, mentoring and coaching, experiential learning, and networking opportunities.
In addition to career-track programs, the Wake Forest faculty is dedicated to mentoring and supporting each student in discovering their career interests.
One 2018 alumni highlighted her experience as a teaching assistant for an MBA Global Immersion Course, where she, the professor, and class traveled to Nicaragua to teach local business owners about marketing, operations, and finance — a rare opportunity she credits in large part to her adviser.
“My School of Business adviser suggested me to the professor who taught the course due to my high GPA in my Spanish and business school classes,” the 2018 alumni told us. “Without that referral, I would not have experienced such an amazing opportunity.”
Overall, 2019 alumni rated the effectiveness of Wake Forest’s career advising highly, giving it an 9.3 average rating. When asked to rate Wake Forest faculty availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class, 2019 alumni gave a strong 9.6 average rating.
Any B-school can offer career advising or specialized career training and support. But the testimonials and ratings from alumni speak volumes about Wake Forest’s dedication to ensuring each and every student receives the proper resources and support they need to achieve their career goals.
“We had multiple different types of simulation or case studies available to us, either via the capstone project, case competitions setup by other companies and other types of case studies in classes.”
“I went on a global immersion business course in Barcelona at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. There, I got firsthand insight on the cultural distinctions of doing business in other countries, and achieved a heightened international perspective of finance outside the confines of the United States. Learning about how corporations in Europe can survive, even succeed in the context of corporate social responsibility beyond anything executed back home, and getting to work alongside professors of practice from Wake Forest and abroad gave me a litany of perspectives that have helped me succeed in my career to this day.”
“Engaged in a team strategy consultant exercise for one semester where we essentially led a company through simulation and had to make product and growth decisions and give cost constraints and expected demand in a competition against other student teams. We were graded based on our performance, and our team won the exercise. I found it really valuable in terms of replicating decisions facing business leaders.”
“Wake Forest required every graduating senior to partake in a management simulation course that was a team-based, semester-long competitive class that required effective communication, critical thinking, layered problem solving and other key business techniques to place well amongst other classmates. This was instrumental in my educational process and allowed me to see business “in action” while attending Wake Forest.”
“Wake Forest University opened my eyes to what it meant to learn wholeheartedly through different facets. My experience taught me how to be an adult, how to see the world for what it is and question what it should be, how to give back to the world of business. I am thankful for my experience and the professors that invested in me intentionally throughout my 2 years there.”
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
Bank of America