Source: Creighton University
Source: Creighton University

Nothing is more satisfying than investing in an enterprise and watching it grow — that is the heart of entrepreneurship. It is a key part of what propelled Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg from obscurity to unimaginable heights. But successful entrepreneurship is more than just an outburst of passion or even an act of will. It requires knowledge, skill, and opportunity — the best of which can be found at top-ranked universities.

As the world today changes drastically with the rise of generative artificial intelligence technology, it’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to have the acumen to navigate these tides and the know-how to leverage these powerful tools. Going to business school is a crucial next step for anyone with such aims — this is where you’ll find professors doubling as industry experts, researchers infusing the curriculum with cutting-edge organisational behaviour discoveries, incubators hungry to turn ideas into reality, and an invaluable network of talent coming from all over the world.

It’s a combination that’s hard to beat — and the most forward-thinking business schools are where you’ll find them.

Creighton University: Heider College of Business

Located within walking distance of four Fortune 500 headquarters, Heider College of Business at Creighton University nurtures students to become responsible business leaders. Expert faculty with more than 500 years of collective real-world business expertise train students to become future leaders confident in driving change within and beyond the accounting, marketing, business and risk management sectors.

Experiential learning lies at the heart of an education at Creighton’s Heider College of Business. In the Portfolio Practicum class, for example, students apply what they have learned to manage US$9.5 million worth of endowment funds. This fund remains one of the largest equity portfolios managed entirely by university students.

Programmes here have long received top rankings and recognition. In the past decade, 100% of Heider accounting students have achieved full-time employment, entered graduate or professional school, or performed a paid volunteer programme within six months of graduation. The Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s programmes offer a faster track to such success, allowing students to complete their Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Master of Accounting, to name just two, within four years.

Staying ahead of the curve is crucial, which is why the school is one of the first in the country to offer a degree specialising in finance and technology (FinTech). The FinTech Degree (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) exposes students to how big data, machine learning, and blockchain technologies can benefit traditional financial institutions. Students become disruptors who can research, build and test new products in the digital banking sphere through the FNBO (First National Bank of Omaha) FinTech Practicum.

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UT Dallas: Naveen Jindal School of Management

Maximise your future potential with the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas Dallas (UT Dallas). This business school is on a mission to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, technology-driven, global society. Postgraduate programmes are always improving, as are its suite of management education courses.

To enrol in the UT Dallas MBA is to expand your business network by making valuable connections and relationships. The MBA programme also hosts a two-week boot camp for the incoming cohort called LEAD Camp (Leadership, Enhancement, Academic, Professional Development). It prepares students for the future of work with a wide range of seminars, workshops, lectures and activities.

Plan to manage or lead a high tech firm or research institution? UT Dallas’s combined degree of MS/MBA engineering and management lets you earn an Master of Science Electrical Engineering (MSEE) degree in combination with an MBA or MS degree in management. This programme is administered by the faculty members in the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Management.

UC Irvine: Paul Merage School of Business

New technologies such as augmented reality, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are redefining many industries. To lead the disruption of today and tomorrow, Paul Merage School of Business is reframing its curricula to offer a digital learning experience. 

With its hybrid Fully Employed MBA classes and the expansion of BA undergraduate online offerings, they are changing how students take digital courses. Its digital learning team focuses on three-course design goals: intentionally minimising transactional distance, incorporating diverse opportunities for learning connections, and designing active digital learning experiences. 

Every graduate student can learn from distinguished speakers. The Dean’s Thought Leadership Series features a diverse array of prominent international affairs practitioners for insightful perspectives and thought-provoking discussions on international relations, leadership, and other relevant topics that impact our focus areas — all led by the Dean of Paul Merage School of Business, Ian O. Williamson.

Such opportunities transform students into future leaders in a digitally driven world. Merage School alum Ramin Mousavi is now making a difference as CEO of CathWorks, a startup that aims to solve a major crisis in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, which accounts for half of the cardiovascular deaths in the country every year. Last year, Mousavi and his team entered a partnership with Medtronic, the largest medical device company in the world. Paying it forward, he’s now a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and has mentored competitors in the New Venture Competition, which is run by the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“I’ve been very closely involved with the school because it’s a very personal calling, nobody has to convince me that this place impacts people’s lives,” Mousavi said. “My hope is that I pay it forward so the next generation of leaders that come in have the same opportunity that was provided to me. As a parent of two kids, I hope that they grow up to have similar opportunities that I had because I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the Merage School.”

University of New Hampshire: Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics

Where business and finance graduate education is concerned, the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics (Paul College) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) stands out for more reasons than one. Here, you’ll find a vibrant and dynamic learning community with a well-balanced, collaborative approach to business schools. Students from all over the world embark on a journey towards becoming driven professionals and entrepreneurs who hit the ground running.

Over 15,000 students actively participate at the main campus in Durham, which is one of the safest college towns in the US. The UNH campus has also received the highest sustainability rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). 

Its programmes pull those who are interested in business, finance, and analytics. Paul College MBA, for example, delivers an industry-driven curriculum in an engaging and flexible manner. Available full-time, part-time, or online, you can customise your MBA to reflect your ambitions by choosing from finance; information systems and business analytics; marketing; global business; growth and innovation; or hospitality management electives. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International