posted on Oct. 30: School of Business tops return-on-investment ranking in business schools survey


McMaster's School of Business has made a dramatic move into first place in the return-on-investment category of Canadian Business magazine's annual MBA rankings.

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Business moved from last year's position of 16th to 1st place in the return-on-investment category. It also improved in the overall rankings, moving to 7th place overall from 12th.

In the return-on-investment category, McMaster students experienced a 252 per cent increase in average salaries from the time they entered their MBA to the time they found work.

This brings the average back up to the levels McMaster registered in the first year of the survey category. Last year's rate was 183 per cent. These figures are based on an average incoming salary of $18,408 and an average graduating salary of $64,728.

Vishwanath Baba, dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, is proud of the school's successes.

This truly is a testament to our experiential learning philosophy,” he said. “Students enter our program with very little experience in the world of business. They leave with a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in their chosen fields.”

Most MBA programs cater to mid-career professionals, while the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business specializes in delivering an MBA education to a younger market, students with little or no work experience.

DeGroote's experiential learning model provides students with the practical as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to succeed in today's marketplace.

Co-op students are required to complete three four-month work terms during the 28-month program. Placements are available with major corporations such as Ford Canada, Bank of Montreal, Bayer, Bell Canada and 3M, as well as smaller companies and government agencies. A limited number of summer internships are also available for full-time MBA students.

Paul Elliott, director of the school's Business Career Services, said the consistent message from employers is that they are impressed with the quality of graduates from the school.

“It's because students get meaningful, real world experience during the work terms, which gives them an edge over the competition, Elliott said.

Russell Durrant's experience clearly illustrates the value of the co-op work term. An MBA 2000 graduate with a specialization in Management of Innovation and New Technology, Durrant spent his first work term at Hewlett-Packard. His last two work terms were in California with a start-up company during the height of the dot-com craze.

My experience with the company in California was valuable. They really utilized my skills and gave me a great deal of responsibility. I got to see how a company works from the inside out, he said.

With an undergraduate degree in Arts & Science from McMaster, and some part-time and summer employment as a golf course groundskeeper and an archeological assistant, Durrant did not feel he was prepared for a career in a corporate environment. So he decided to study for his MBA.

I decided to take my MBA at McMaster because I was familiar with the school, but also because I felt I would gain the experience I needed through the co-op option, he said.