7 Things To Look For In A Business School

Aug 25, 2021

by FSC Staff

While the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees rises annually, business continues to be the number one most popular college major! And, while a business degree can open up a world of possibilities, to succeed you’ll need to stand out among the throngs of students graduating with the same credential.

But how can you be sure the school you choose will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to catch the eye of prospective employers? Dr. Michael Weber, Dean of Florida Southern’s Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise, shares his insights.

"Business is at the foundation of our economy and makes an incredibly positive impact on our world," says Dr. Mike Weber, Dean of the Business School and Professor of Marketing. In this ever-changing environment, the kinds of talent employers are looking for is constantly evolving. More than theoretical knowledge, employers are looking for recruits who think strategically, solve problems, and have the drive, resilience, and ability to influence.”

Though this may seem like a tall order for newly minted professionals, you can hone these skills through a carefully crafted undergraduate experience. "The best business schools ensure their students leave with what's called ‘power skills’ – the personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace," Weber explains.

Florida Southern is a powerhouse of opportunity. Florida Southern students receive guaranteed internships while participating in some of the best undergraduate learning experiences in the world. When our students graduate, top employers are waiting for them with open arms — more than 95% of our business school graduates land jobs within six months of commencement.

As Dean Weber puts it, "From maintaining our AACSB accreditation to incorporating real-world, hands-on experiences into all of our courses, we are 100 percent focused on preparing students for the job market. Our goal is to have our students recognized as being of the highest caliber — garnering our grads coveted positions and higher salaries."

So how can you be sure that the business school you’re looking at will give you the skills employers desire? Dean Weber suggests you research the following attributes before deciding:

AACSB Accreditation

Accreditation is a review process that determines if a program meets specific standards of quality. For business schools, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is one of the world’s most selective and rigorous types of evaluation. "The AACSB was founded in 1919 by top business schools to continually ensure that their educational efforts remain relevant to the modern world of business and that programs graduate capable, high-performing graduates," explains Weber. "The US alone has 4,000 institutions of higher education, but only the top five percent of business programs are granted this highly-specialized accreditation. Choosing an AACSB accredited school ensures your degree will be well-regarded, coursework aligns with market needs, and faculty are exceptionally-credentialed — giving you a distinct advantage."

A Wide Array Of Course Offerings With Hands-On Opportunities

A business degree will provide a broad foundation of concepts; you’ll take courses like accounting, management, and marketing. But many programs also offer opportunities to concentrate on a subfield. Noting FSC’s newly established programs in finance, economics, and business analytics, as well as minors in esports, entrepreneurship, and healthcare management, Dean Weber suggests looking for a program that best aligns with your career goals. "Companies want students with more than a general business education; they want people who can solve problems and impact the bottom line. Not only are we in constant conversations with the business community to ensure our curriculum aligns with their industry’s specific needs, but every course also has a practical component. For example, finance students manage real investment funds. Sport management students coordinate, market, and execute sporting events. It’s this combination that enables you to step seamlessly into jobs in some of today’s hottest fields."

“One of our ongoing goals is to find ways to collaborate and add value to the local business community. This facilitates even more opportunities for internships and employment.”

A Faculty With A Breadth Of Experience

Your future faculty should have more than just teaching experience — they should actively engage in their field. That’s why Weber also recommends: "Take time to read faculty bios. Do their interests and experiences align with your career goals? Not only do instructors with industry experience emphasize the real-world application of concepts, their large network of contacts can provide a diverse array of networking and internship opportunities." C-suite executives, international business consultants, entrepreneurs, CPAs, attorneys, and PhDs, our faculty not only bring a wealth of expertise — they thrive on mentoring students. Their steadfast commitment to their students' success has earned them the ranking of "#1 in Teaching Quality" among the country’s best business schools by Poets and Quants, the leading online publication for undergraduate business education news.

Opportunities To Gain A Global Perspective

"With most Fortune 500 companies operating worldwide and every company serving international customers, a global perspective is a must for today’s workforce," says Weber. And with our Junior Journey program, every full-time undergraduate student can travel-study! For example, management students look at effective healthcare administration while travel through Germany. Business Administration majors gain an understanding of international trade by touring the factories of Hong Kong. Every single one of our full-time undergraduate students may take a Junior Journey trip at no extra expense to them!

Internships & Real-World Learning

But you don’t have to travel abroad to experience international business. "Internships allow our students to work with global companies right here in our backyard," reminds Weber. We have students interning at logistics companies that operate worldwide such as Amazon and Saddle Creek. We also have interns at Treatts and Givaudan, two flavor and fragrance suppliers, where our students help to source local ingredients and ship them around the world. "Along with internships, our students frequently participate in field trips and work on living case studies with organizations in town. These companies have important projects that are sitting on the shelf waiting for students to work on them as business consultants."

4+1 MBA

Like its undergrad counterpart, a Master in Business Administration is one of the most sought-after graduate degrees, and for a good reason. According to Poets and Quants, the share of companies hiring MBA grads continues to rise worldwide and across industries from consulting to manufacturing. Not only that, but compared with other advanced degrees, the MBA leads to higher starting salaries! Our 4-year graduation guarantee ensures you hit the ground running. But suppose you’re looking to take your career to the next level fast? Weber points to our 4+1 options, allowing you to earn two degrees in five years rather than the typical six. "Our 4+1 MBA allows you to combine your undergraduate and graduate coursework. Students are typically able to start their careers at a higher salary while reducing time to completion as well as the overall cost."

Life After Graduation: Student Success

"Job placement statistics, a list of top hiring companies, and testimonials validated by top rankings indicate an institution’s ability to help you meet your career goals," explains Dr. Weber. "We don’t just look to teach what business is about; we want our students to experience the business world so they are ready to jump right in. And they do!" From banks and investment firms like Truist and JP Morgan Chase to organizations like The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, you’ll find our alumni making an impact all over the world.

Colby Firestone ’21; Hershey, PA

A business administration major with a minor in graphic design, Colby landed a spot in GEICO's Emerging Leaders Program.

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