The Monroe Street Journal recently interviewed Dean Robert Dolan, dean of University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Questions for the interview were selected from reader submissions made to MSJ and cover issues important to current and prospective Ross students.
The first question was about Ross’ action-based learning strategy. How will Ross maintain its competitiveness? Should the school abandon its action-based learning, the cornerstone that defines and differentiates Ross from other b-schools? According to Dean Dolan, the answer is simple: Ross will continue doing what Ross does best, and that is to continue emphasizing the value of its action-based learning. In establishing hundreds of business relationships through MAP, which is required for all full-time MBAs, Ross has boosted its competitive edge, since other MBA programs merely offer action-based learning as an option.
Dean Dolan also discussed his goal of strengthening Ross’ global footprint by placing Ross offices throughout the globe, first in India, then in China, and eventually in South America. Having offices in the field at MAP project locations and potential job hot spots for MBAs will increase Ross’ global appeal.
Ross recently ranked rather low in OCD’s report on career development programs. The dean was sure to address this in his interview with MSJ by explaining that the ranking methodology is flawed. Here’s how: Ross students graduate 6-8 weeks earlier than students from most of MBA programs. Organizations don’t generally start offering jobs until early September. For most programs, September is still within three months of graduation, but for Ross it’s into the fourth month already, making Ross’ career development seem a bit on the slow side, when in fact, according the Dean Dolan, Ross students are very much on track with everyone else.
Despite that fact, Dolan assures students—both current and future—that recent budgetary cuts will not affect the Office of Career Development. On the contrary, he explains, the plan is to expand the career development team and to build new relationships with recruiting companies.
Dolan addressed one more concern pressing the Ross community: class size. In the last year class size has jumped from about 430 to 500 students. The dean once again assures current and future students that the Ross admissions committee did not accept more students this year as compared to other years, but that there was a significant yield increase this past year. To compensate for Ross’ growing popularity and attendance rates, the adcoms will admit fewer students in the future.?
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