Tag Archive: business school

The Marketing of a Business School

Some discussions between…various people and I have covered the issue of how the Leavey School of Business, where I am pursuing an MBA, markets itself.

First, I’m not really sure how the school sees itself.  On the one hand, I think it’s well-known that the biggest benefit of the MBA program at SCU is that it’s an evening program that is pretty flexible.  In fact, the slogan at the top of the Evening MBA program page says “Where Flexibility is Key.”  Since most students are in the Evening program (and not the weekend or accelerated ones), this is a pretty important branding effort.

And the program is very flexible.  You can finish the program in 2-6 years (though 2 would be really hard), you can take quarters off, etc.  The faculty are so far universally understanding of the fact that students are working professionals that one of the first things they say is that they realize we might have to go on business trips and that missing a class here or there is not a big deal.  Classes are only offered at night or on weekends, and I know of only one course that has any events that start before 5PM (Management 701, the subject of my next review…).

For me, certainly, this flexibility was why I am getting my MBA at SCU.  Just the honest truth.  I like my current job, I think I am working on some interesting stuff, and I don’t want to give that up.  Yet here is a program that is academically sound and, more importantly, flexible and allows me to work on a pace that makes sense to me.

It’s pretty clear, then, that the school is about flexibility.  If you look at what other programs are offered, it’s about flexibility, too.  Sure, the Executive MBA program is pretty much standard fare these days, but they also offer a program for applicants with less than 3 or so years of corporate experience.  This option is pretty hard to find.  FWIW, while I have friends in this program that are way smarter than I am, I am a bit concerned that I go to a school where 3 years of corporate experience isn’t a flat-out requirement.

The concern, therefore, is why the school doesn’t make a bigger deal out of its academic credentials.  I mean, I still care quite a bit that it’s a good school, after all.  And it is highly ranked – in the top 15 for part-time programs (that includes executive programs, I believe).  But other than a blurb when the rankings come out I don’t see much about how good the program is, academically.

Which I find a bit weird…

Review: Professor Oliver Yu, OMIS, Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business

This is the third of my reviews on the professors I’ve had while an MBA student at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business . There are lots of sites out there that provide feedback and rates – ratemyprofessor is the most notable. The SantaClaraMBA Yahoo group also has a big database of comments and lots of additional information in its message archive. But only here can I write as much as I want  🙂

I review professors from a variety of perspectives.  First, I explain the context(s) under which I took the class.  Time of year, time of day, etc.  Then I talk about the quality of the class and the professor, and finally about the professor as a person.  After all, we are trying to learn about our interactions with people, so knowing that side of a teacher is critical, too.  So these would be interactions outside the classroom, etc.

The facts

I took Professor Yu?s OMIS (operations management and?something) 355 course in Spring 2008.  The course is designed around computer-based decision-making, though we do not use computers at all.  Professor Yu wanted us to understand how various computer programs that helped in decision-making were designed, rather than just sitting down with those applications and not using our brains.  I thought this was a pretty good idea.  The class section I took met at 5:30, Tuesday and Thursdays.  The course had 2 midterms, a final, and a group homework assignments (roughly 1 per session).  We also had a lot of extra credit opportunities and the professor was clearly determined to help us through the course.

Two caveats:  First, I was worried that I would not fare as well in 355 with other professors, and had heard about Yu’s extra credit and desire to help us pass the course.  Also, he has changed his curriculum a bit and now (writing in Summer 2008) has students do homework individually.  I believe the overall content is still the same, though.

Them’s the facts. Now read on for the review.