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Admissions Advice: Kogod School of Business Q&A

Admissions Advice: Kogod School of Business Q&A main image

Ranked among the world's top 130 business schools, Kogod School of Business is part of the American University in Washington DC. As well as offering a full-time MBA, the school offers Master of Science degrees in seven disciplines: accounting, analytics, finance, marketing, real estate, sustainability management, and taxation.

To learn more about what it takes to be offered a place at Kogod School of Business, we caught up with Lisa Francis, the school's Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions.

What are some of the professional and academic characteristics that you look for in prospective students?

Given that the applicability of an MBA is far and wide, there is not one mold that we look for in prospective students. I would say that a common theme that we look for amongst our students is passion and purpose. The most successful applicants are those who have a good sense as to what they are looking to do next professionally and what the purpose is behind them doing that. Asking yourself “why” is a helpful question as an applicant to business school – it will ensure that you are choosing both a program and path that is right for you.

What insider advice would you give to applicants interested in your program?

Reverse engineer! Think backwards to ensure that the school and the program are right for you. At the end of the day, business school prepares students academically and professionally for the next step in their career. Spending time conducting research surrounding the benefits of earning your degree of interest and the types of professional opportunities you hope to pursue at the end of the program will help you determine A) if business school is right for you and your goals and B) which institution is best equipped to support you in getting there.

What are the key academic attributes and highlights of your program?

Our MBA program is a cohort-style program, which means that students take all classes in lockstep with one another in the first year. In the second year, while there are some classes that students are required to take as a cohort, students can use their 15 elective credits and choose classes that are most interesting to them and will offer the best preparation for their professional goals. Students are even eligible to take 6 credits outside of Kogod at another school here at AU if they wish! Our students are also taught by world-class faculty who are leaders and experts in their industry.

What are some of the things you love about your city? Your campus?

We find that our location in Washington, DC, attracts world-class faculty and students and allows students to use the city as their classroom. Nearly every one of our graduate programs here at Kogod offers the opportunity to experiential learning, offering students the ability to put the training that they have received in the classroom to practice in a real-world setting. Given our location, we are able to leverage thought leadership from a variety of industries across the public and private sectors and international development community. Faculty bring this real-world experience into the classroom.

What is the career placement percentage for your graduating students?

Typically, about 80 percent of our graduates begin their full-time role within six months after graduation. This certainly varies by graduate program.

What are some top companies your students have obtained jobs or internships at?

Given the diverse nature of our MBA, students find themselves in a variety of organizations after graduation. Students have landed opportunities at organizations like Booz Allen Hamilton, Hilton, the FBI, and the Department of State. Career outcomes from our master of science programs are equally diverse. Top organizations such as the World Bank, Fannie Mae, Capital One, and the World Wildlife Fund have been just a few destinations for our MS graduates.

What are some of the ways in which your program helps students with their career advancement?

Our Office of Career Engagement offers a wealth of resources to support students as they determine and prepare for the next steps in their career. In addition to working with our career coaches on staff, students can use our career search resources at any time. Throughout the year, the Office of Career Engagement hosts industry days and employer meet-and-greets. For a more intimate approach to the career search process, students can participate in events such as Masters Mondays, which provide small-group coaching in an area of career development such as behavioral interview tips or crafting an elevator pitch.

Finally, each graduate student has access to the Kogod Educational Enhancement Fund, which pays for students to attend one national career fair each year as a graduate student. We want to ensure that students are supported in their career search by as many resources as possible.

Do you have any well-known/famous alumni?

American University has quite a few famous alumni across a wide variety of industries and disciplines. Notable alumni include Muriel Bowser, the current mayor of Washington, DC, Gary Cohn, the former COO of Goldman Sachs, and Mark Murphy, the current president and CEO of the Green Bay Packers, to name a few!

Written by Craig OCallaghan

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