Based on the idea that getting an MBA earlier in one’s career may be significantly more valuable than later, the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration created a Direct Admission Partnership with UR last week to go hand-in-hand with their Early Leaders Program. The goal is to offer prospective students the opportunity to earn their MBA before entering the workforce, creating a more diverse, successful student body.

Direct Admission Partnerships, which feed students into the Simon School directly out of their undergraduate studies, have already been signed between Simon and a few other liberal arts universities.

According to Executive Director of MBA Admissions Greg Macdonald, it is the highly motivated undergraduates at UR who make the University an ideal institution for the partnership.

“First and foremost, we are one University, and as a former Director of Admission within The College, I have seen the outstanding quality of student we have attracted to Rochester,” Macdonald said. “Like the School of Medicine, our goal is to make certain that our own college is our largest feeder school.”

But it is not only the Simon School that will benefit from this collaboration. “We hope it will work to benefit UR, as well, by attracting good students to the college because of the opportunity to pursue business studies at Simon,” Dean of the Simon School Mark Zupan said.

This encourages more Early Leaders, who are less than three years out of college.

“The prevailing norm is that business school students should have an average of four to six years experience, but we have noticed in our history some of our most successful graduates have come to us young,” Zupan said. “Drive and smarts are able to make up for what [the Early Leaders] lack in experience.”

By having more Early Leaders, Zupan hopes that it will increase the diversity of the student body, especially by increasing the percentage of females. According to an article written by Zupan and Simon Professor Jim Brickley, the percentage of females enrolled in business schools contrasts sharply with other professional schools – with females ranking in at 46 percent in top-30 law schools and 51.5 percent in medical schools. In contrast, the percentage of students that are female at top-30 full-time MBA programs has declined from 28.8 percent in 1980 to 28.5 percent today. The hope is that, by attracting students directly out of their undergraduate schools, it will minimize the “personal versus professional” choices that they have to make and will also preempt them from falling into a job that may deter the future pursuit of their education or that would encourage a part-time MBA program.

The Simon School administration also understands that the opportunity costs for prospective Early Leaders are lower than those of older students. They are also in the process of studying whether obtaining an MBA as an Early Leader has a higher New Present Value than waiting; the information they have gathered thus far indicates that it does.

This program is also another step toward creating a stronger bond between UR and the Simon School. Another successful example of this initiative is the Simon Summer Business Institute which was launched this summer. Junior Emily Dunstan took part in the month-long program.

“I liked how they really knew the Rochester curriculum,” Dunstan said. “They did a great job of saying ‘this is what you’re doing now, this is how you can succeed in business and this is how we can help you get there.’ Another really great thing was the resources they had in terms of the career center and rsum building.”

An open house is going to be held Friday, Nov. 10 specifically targeted to individuals who are considering business careers to find out more about Simon.

“This is something we have wanted to do with UR for a while,” Director of Marketing and Communications for the Simon School Charla Kucko said. “It makes perfect sense because The College is right here and there is a lot of talent within the University that would make students a good fit in the MBA program. I am glad it came to fruition.” Paret is a member of the class of 2008.

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