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4 MBA programmes in the US designed to produce tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Washington University
In its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, the UN highlights the responsibility world leaders have to address the biggest global challenges. Photo source: WashU Olin

In the last decade, reasons for getting an MBA have evolved tremendously. Once upon a time, it was a requirement for those looking to secure executive management positions. Today, it is a choice –– a good one. The careers of Sheryl Sandberg, Indra Nooyi, Melinda Gates, and Tim Cook prove this.

What these trailblazers have in common is the ability to boast this qualification on their CVs. With it, they have each catapulted their businesses to the top. Without a say in politics, their positions as leaders are often greater than those of state leaders because of their influence. They lead by example. Respectively, Facebook, Pepsi Co.,The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Apple have worked tirelessly to better the world through philanthropy, public advocacy, green initiatives and more. 

Tomorrow’s generation of leaders are encouraged to do the same. After all, in its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, the UN highlights the responsibility world leaders have to address the biggest global challenges. The MBAs of the future are nurtured to be agile, socially responsible, quick in action, and capable of sparking positive change with their decisions. These programmes were designed to produce leaders capable of following in the footsteps of business luminaires:

Washington University in St. Louis: Olin Business School

Located at the heart of the US Midwest, WashU Olin Business School is the home of an award-winning culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. It has twice won accolades from Inc. magazine and Poets & Quants, which named it the #1 MBA entrepreneurship programme in 2019 and 2020.

WashU Olin

WashU Olin’s Full-Time MBA is based in St. Louis, informed by the world. Photo source: WashU Olin

Here, students evolve into better decision-makers who change the world, for good. Programmes that fuse WashU Olin’s distinctive four pillars — Values Based and Data Driven; Global; Experiential and Entrepreneurial Spirit — make this possible.

The Full-Time MBA program ingrains a desire to solve the greatest challenges of our day, utilising technological advancement such as data and analytical insights as key tools. Options for a STEM MBA and STEM-designated dual degrees in the same amount of time as the MBA alone are offered.

Something that sets WashU Olin’s Full-Time MBA apart is its entrepreneurial focus. The school offers more than two dozen classes dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship — including the acclaimed Hatchery business-planning course, which has launched companies that have raised a combined US$87 million since 2008.

A carefully charted programme of coursework, seminars, workshops and competitions empowers those with the ambition of working for a large organisation, getting a startup off the ground or joining venture capital, social impact, and corporate innovation firms.

Its classrooms? The world. MBA students begin their programme with 39 days of global immersion on three continents. Through trips to Washington, D.C., Barcelona, Paris and Lima, they gain a deep understanding of other cultures, customs and values — an appreciation for the different ways culture impacts business around the globe, and vice versa.

The impact of a WashU Olin MBA is in the numbers. Graduates go on to excel in various sectors such as consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, supply chain, and more. The median base salary for the full-time MBA class of 2019 was US$118,000. Learn more about WashU Olin’s Full-Time MBA here.

Clarkson University: David D. Reh School of Business

Rigorous, forward-thinking and swift are just three of the words you could use to describe Clarkson University’s approach to career-launching business education. Whilst many struggle to teach the fundamentals of business in just nine months, Clarkson’s David D. Reh School of Business –– located in the quintessential college town of Potsdam, New York –– does it with ease.

Clarkson University

Earn an MBA in as little as nine months with Clarkson’s David D. Reh School of Business. Photo source: Clarkson University

Begin the 38-credit Clarkson MBA in August 2022 and you’ll be ready to join the workforce or launch a start-up as soon as the following May. The programme offers an advanced curriculum developed alongside industry to solve real-world problems. Students also gain access to the Shipley Center for Innovation, a discovery-driven support hub that brings entrepreneurial ideas to life through discussion, investment opportunities and guidance on development in dynamic incubator spaces. Clarkson Ignite serves as an innovation ecosystem, connecting students to academic and community leaders with workshops and masterclasses, including the President’s Challenge.

MBA students at Clarkson benefit from the University’s approach to education through invention and inspiration. Being situated in a STEM-focused institution exposes students to a range of perspectives and helps them integrate theory with practice whilst they develop critical leadership skills, the ability to tackle multifaceted challenges and the know-how to succeed in an ever-changing economy. In the MBA curriculum, students can pursue a certificate in innovation and new venture management that satisfies the electives in the programme.

Clarkson’s online MBA is just as robust. Ranked by QS amongst the top 50 global online MBA programmes, Clarkson’s MBA placed third for its high-quality online classroom experience. The online MBA also enables students to tailor the curriculum according to the careers and schedules they want.

To learn more about Clarkson’s 21st century business education to fuel your 21st century career, click here.

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is ranked 12th best business school in the US for a reason. Here, 21st century leaders are made through connections. The school has long-standing relationships with firms in key industries, including health care, financial services, consulting, technology, consumer goods, energy and the environment, and media, as well as a focus in the areas of entrepreneurship and social impact.

Duke University

At Fuqua, experiential opportunities and over 60 student-led clubs makes life outside the classroom just as vibrant. Photo source: Duke University

Networking is done best through its MBA programmes. The 22-month Daytime MBA is especially ideal for learners looking for a comprehensive introduction to the world of business. It also teaches them to make a strong impact on it. In this time, they develop sharp skills to analyse options, appreciate different perspectives, and grasp new ways of working with the strengths of others. 

16 different concentrations and fewer core classes enables students to pursue their desired electives sooner. Experiential opportunities and over 60 student-led clubs makes life outside the classroom just as vibrant. Those enrolled in the 10-month Accelerated Daytime MBA enjoy these perks as well. This route was designed for students who have already earned a master’s degree in management. 

When students are ready, the school’s Career Management Centre takes over. Here, specialised coaches help future graduates define their career paths. The centre makes it easy for them to capture the attention of over 200 companies ready to recruit. 

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

The University of Southern California Marshall, has built a legacy of innovative thinking, entrepreneurial action, and global impact. USC’s research is driven by the big picture. The faculty takes a problem and looks at it from all angles, combining the expertise and talents of scholars from many disciplines.

University of Southern California

This Full-Time MBA was designed to help students discover and develop their personal strengths, gain a core business knowledge, sharpen relevant skills, and lead within organisations. Photo source: University of Southern California

Dean Geoffrey Garret said it best: “At Marshall, our focus is on producing leaders with the skills to turn ideas into outcomes for the real world, right now. Our award-winning faculty thought leadership and experiential learning environment creates leaders who are visionary and adaptable; prepared not only for the jobs of today, but also for future careers not yet imagined that the Marshall community will help shape.”

Many of these positions will be filled by its Full-Time MBA graduates. This programme is committed to transformative learning, a culture of inclusion, collegiality, cooperation, and teamwork. It was designed to help students discover and develop their personal strengths, gain a core business knowledge, sharpen relevant skills, and lead within organisations. 

The beginning of the MBA Core include the topics of Communication for Management, Foundations for Your Professional Value and Structured Analysis for Unstructured Problems. Additionally, its STEM-designation means they will combine the fundamentals of business with data-driven decision-making and analytics –– all while developing their global and entrepreneurial mindsets.

*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International