Regarded as a challenging and intense program, the McDonough School of Business’ MBA Evening Program was ranked first in the region and 11th in the nation of part-time MBA programs by the U.S. News and World Report, which released the rankings March 11.
Professor Brooks Holtom, an associate professor of management at the undergraduate and executive levels, commented on the success of the program. “A lot of professionals don’t want to give up their career progress or income while pursuing an MBA, so they choose Georgetown because of its regional rank and its well-respected national reputation,” Holtom said. “Georgetown works with their schedule, which is why it is so popular with professionals in the D.C. area.”
Other professors agreed.
“I think we get very good people in, they’re obviously dedicated if they’re doing this in spite of having a full-time job and families and the rest of it,” MSB Visiting Associate Professor Bharat Kaku said. “We deserve it.”
Kaku explained that the university strives to match the caliber of its evening and full-time programs. “We are quite careful about keeping the two programs [evening and regular] the same. They do the same assignments, exactly the same material. In this course, the syllabus for the full-time and the evening is identical,” he said.
Kaku teaches “Analytic Problem Solving”, one section of which meets Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:20 p.m. and the other Thursdays at the same time. The longer meeting time, compared to day classes, allows students to come in only once weekly, rather than twice.
Kaku commented on the difference between students in the full-time and evening programs.
“The general feeling is that the evening program students tend to be a little older,” Kaku said. “These are people who have full-time jobs. Many have families, kids, there are some obligations there. They come in after a full day of work and they typically will grab some dinner on the way but they manage to stay alert and stay engaged.”
There are even some connections to classes that students with full-time jobs are able to draw that undergrads may not.
“They can sometimes bring up examples from their work so you know you’re doing a certain model and they say, ‘oh this looks like a problem that’s quite similar to something I saw at work.’”
MBA students believe the ranking reflects their experience in the evening program.
“I think that the program is challenging in a good way, and I think that the amount of coursework, extracurricular involvement and the overall experience merits a number one [regional] ranking,” Molly Barackman-Eder (GRD ’15) said. “These are skills that I actually get to use in my job. I’m able to add more to my job by knowing these different skills.”
Other students agreed.
“I think you can really tell by the quality of the other students here. All the students I’m in class with are very motivated and smart and engaged, and I think that’s what I was really looking for in trying to find the number one program in D.C.,” Amanda Bagwill (GRD ’15) said. “I think the quality of the students is the number one standout thing for me.”
The evening program is working to further improve the experience of professionals by adding another cohort in Tysons Corner, Va. “There is a real commitment from the MSB administration to make the evening program just as good as the full-time program and to own the D.C. market,” Holtom said. Opening in fall 2014, the new Tyson’s Corner cohort will be characterized by the same challenging academic curriculum and high-caliber faculty of the main campus programs, according to Holtom.
The cohort system of the MBA program emphasizes collaboration, leadership and kinship by dividing the incoming MBA class into groups of 40 to 65 students that stay together over the three-year program. Within each cohort the students take the same classes, work together on projects, share experiences and form a strong network of well-prepared professionals.
There will be a total of three cohorts for the incoming MBA class, one cohort for Tysons Corner and two for the main Georgetown campus.
The Tysons Corner cohort will be hosted at the new Convene conference center, a New York-based conference center network, which will open this year as the network’s first Washington location. This location was chosen to ensure that Tysons Corner students have access to top-of-the-line technology, amenities, culinary teams and metro accessibility. The location will increase opportunities for students to be a part of the Georgetown MBA program.
The U.S. News & World Report ranking system is based on a variety of information sources including recruiter assessments, peer assessments, admissions data and enrollment statistics. Schools are ranked based on the aggregate of these indicators, and are subsequently ranked both regionally and nationally. In the national scope, the MSB evening program tied for the 11th rank with Emory University, University of Southern California and University of Washington. In addition to the impressive ranking of the part-time program, the full-time MBA program improved its ranking this year moving from 25th in the nation to 23rd, as well as earning the 12th spot for the international business program.