As a Graduate Admissions Assistant, there are several questions that I am frequently asked by prospective students who are interested in Boston University’s MBA programs. Hopefully my answers to those questions will be helpful for those of you who are considering applying and coming to BU.
1) What do you like most about BU’s School of Management? And why did you choose to come here?
My most straightforward answer to this question is --- the people. Before deciding to come to BU, I visited a class, went to an information session, and also to an open house for admitted students. At each of these events when I met current students who were on panels and available to answer my questions, I thought they seemed smart, approachable, down to earth, and ambitious. They had diverse interests and seemed like people I would be excited about being in a classroom environment with. This proved to be true throughout my time here. I would say that I learned just as much from my classmates as I did from professors and I made wonderful friends along the way.
2) What is your relationship with your professors like?
I went to a small liberal arts undergraduate school that prioritized small class sizes, and individual attention from professors so I thought these things would probably not be as big of a priority at a large University like BU. I was wrong. Given that participation is part of your grade in most classes, Professors at SMG really get to know their students by name. All professors have office hours and respond to emails as well. While there are teaching assistants for some classes, they do not teach in the class, professors do. This is all to say that if you want to develop a close relationship with your professors at BU School of Management, you definitely can.
3) How do you like being in Boston?
Boston is a fantastic city to be a student in. I am originally from Minnesota but lived in Boston for 2 years prior to starting Grad School and knew I wanted to stay here. Given the amount of universities in this area, there are so many opportunities for conferences, networking, case competitions, etc. just within a 10 mile radius. Boston may not be as exciting as a bigger city like New York but it still has a lot to offer and I appreciate that it is manageable, beautiful, historic, and very walkable.
4) Is there a career center to help you find an internship and job?
The Feld Career Center is a great resource on Campus. It is located right in the School of Management building and has office hours for both full-time and part-time students throughout the entire year. There are career counselors available to meet with you and some are even specialized in different areas of interest (ie. healthcare, consulting, etc.). As a full-time student you are required to do two things: submit your resume and do a mock interview. The rest is up to you...you can meet with your career counselor to talk about potential career paths, do interview prep, and even talk about salary negotiation. You can attend seminars, career days, and information sessions that they host. They also manage a database of jobs and internship postings available to students and sometimes bring companies to campus for recruiting events and career fairs.
5) Is it okay if my background is not very quantitative or math-based?
MBA students at BU come from all different kinds of backgrounds and it is totally fine if you’re not a math whiz (in fact, I avoided math like the plague when I was an undergrad!). A good amount of MBA students focused on business, finance, or econ during their undergraduate education but many others focused on humanities or the arts. It is my opinion that during the first semester the classes are designed to get everyone on the same page about the basic core areas of business. Many of these are quantitative but they do not involve overly-complex math. Also, I found that my classmates who were strong in quantitative subjects were more than willing to work with me on subjects that were more challenging for me through study groups or tutoring.
6) What would you say the culture of the school is?
In a word – collaborative. Nishant Sharma summarized it well in his blog post here but I’ll explain it in my own words as well. BU’s academic emphasis on teamwork starts on day 1 of orientation and continues throughout the time you spend here. Most classes bring in some kind of a team project and grades are even shared with your teammates so everyone has a mutual incentive to work together to produce the best product possible. I also found that many students form study groups that meet outside class or work on problem sets together. For the most part I would say that MBA students work very hard on class work but they also balance this out with social activities and fun and that becomes part of the school culture as well.
Meg is a recent graduate of the dual-degree MBA/MPH program in which she studied Global Health Management. Her full-time job is now to look for a job. You may find her running around Boston with a backpack on or challenging people to dance-offs.