An MBA can nurture the timeless skills of perseverance, time management, communication, creativity and vision — all of which come in incredibly handy during global uncertainty and economic downturn. With a potential recession looming, there has never been a better time to cultivate such competencies with an MBA from a reputable business school.
The Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University is one of them. With a stellar track record, an alumni network of over 50,000 successful graduates, and accreditation from AACSB International, this is where great careers are made.
Their launchpad to success? The Master of Business Administration (MBA).
The MBA programme consists of 12 courses (36 credit-hours) and is designed based on employer and alumni feedback. Five are electives, and seven are core courses — one of which is the Strategic Management course, which was designed to transform students into strategists capable of identifying issues and generating solutions. Through simulations, students learn to analyse environmental and market trends while mastering the ins and outs of understanding a company’s strengths, weaknesses and competencies.
“I thoroughly enjoy teaching this course and seeing students grow,” says Dr. Decker Hains, chair of the Department of Management. “Students can readily apply the skills acquired to real-world situations in their careers. Designed to be learner centred and engaging, this course features an extraordinary blend of key leadership, management and strategic principles. They really enjoy the course and find it unique.”
The rest of the core required courses are Communication, Negotiation, and Presentation Skills for Managers; Leadership for Managers; Data Analytics for Managerial Decision Making; Finance for Managerial Decision Making; Accounting for Managerial Decision Making; and Marketing for Managerial Decision Making.
The Academic Communication for Business course is designed to help strengthen one’s notetaking, writing, research and presentation skills, as well as the ability to contribute to classroom discussions and make an impression on hiring managers.
“The Academic Communication for Business course has helped me develop the essential communication tools that I had been missing in over 10 years of professional experience,” says student Dalila Assayag. “I am now more confident with presentations at work, have improved my written communication, and feel better prepared for some of the next classes in the MBA programme.”
“Having the opportunity to teach this course provides me with great satisfaction because I see so much personal and professional growth in my international graduate students during their first semester,” says Beth Ernst, director of the Communication Centre and faculty specialist II for business information systems.
“I help international students not only navigate the US graduate school culture and environment but also provide them with a nurturing, safe space to foster their development and to enable them to achieve their goals. In the classroom, our learning community empowers all to discover, engage and develop while simultaneously creating an environment of excitement, creativity, transformation and belonging.”
Such offerings aptly explain why WMU Haworth’s MBA classrooms often come alive with diverse perspectives. However, international students aren’t the only ones representing a variety of countries — faculty members show up every morning with plenty to share about not just their professional experiences but cultural backgrounds, as well. This level of diversity ensures all graduates leave WMU with broadened horizons and a valuable professional network.
Perhaps more profoundly, they leave with the knowledge they can achieve many things in their careers, thanks to the Zhang Career Centre.
The centre provides resume critique and job search advice while hosting various events for students to practise their networking skills and career fair opportunities. Hundreds of employers visit WMU annually to recruit fresh talent for their growing organisations. The best part? International students receive unlimited access to these support initiatives.
“There are many activities in which our international MBA students can participate,” confirms Geralyn Heystek, director of the Zhang Career Centre. “Typically, students start with a resume review and go from there, depending on their specific needs. Whether the student is looking for experiential learning opportunities, skill-polishing options, or a one-on-one conversation about how their values, skills and interests provide direction to their career search, the Zhang Career Centre can assist. As a former MBA student myself, I enjoy working with our graduate students to help them become career ready.”