Driving Social Mobility with Zicklin’s MBA in New York | TopMBA.com

Driving Social Mobility with Zicklin’s MBA in New York

By Karen Turtle

Updated September 20, 2017 Updated September 20, 2017

This article is sponsored by the Zicklin School of Business. Learn more about about its MBA programs.

The American dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” These impactful words were penned by James Truslow Adams, a New Yorker, investment banker and Pulitzer prize-winning author, who first coined the concept of an American dream in his 1931 book The Epic of America.

Can MBA programs rekindle the American dream?

Today, there are fears that the American dream is but a shell of its former self. In 1940, most U.S. citizens grew up better off than their parents, enabling them to reap the benefits of a higher dispensable income – affording them a car, a bigger home, and the occasional holiday abroad. Circumstances are now quite changed. Millennials (usually defined as those born in the 1980s onwards) only have a 50% chance of earning a higher salary than their parents, according to research driven by the Equality of Opportunity Project. In a time of modernity, this seems a step backwards.

The MBA program has long been recognized as a vehicle that can open doors to leading positions in areas such as finance, IT, manufacturing, consulting, and healthcare. In the past, receiving an MBA had been widely associated by many as a qualification that only the privileged could afford. However, some modern-day business schools seek to make the MBA program more accessible. Among those ranks is the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, which aims to promote upward social mobility while maintaining its bid to preserve the age-old values upon which the American dream was built.  

Zicklin School of Business holds firm on its ethos of inclusivity

Students at the Zicklin School of Business are said to represent more than 166 countries and speak 110 different languages – a perfect reflection of the melting pot that is New York City and indeed, Manhattan, where the school is based.

Baruch College’s Zicklin School is the flagship business institution within The City University of New York system (CUNY). Within CUNY and around the nation, Baruch is widely recognized as having one of the highest upward social mobility rates in the U.S. Speaking on the Zicklin School’s ethos of inclusivity, Paquita Davis-Friday, PhD, the school’s executive director of graduate programs, explains that “Zicklin takes graduate students from a diverse set of backgrounds, including teachers, and even opera singers, to transform them into business leaders and financiers.”

Tuition and fees for the full-time one- and two-year MBA programs are a great deal more affordable than those found in New York City and elsewhere in the U.S. With fees charged per program credit, it stands to cost around US$55,118 for Zicklin’s full-time, 22-month MBA and around US$46,551 for its one-year program. The fees are even more affordable for residents of New York State, for whom the price per semester (term) currently stands at US$8,865. All applicants are also eligible for merit-based scholarships, with the school reporting that roughly six out of 10 members of its class of 2018 received some form of scholarship funding.

Zicklin MBAs are within arm's reach of Wall Street and big industry players

New York not only serves as a global economic hub, but it’s also the world's 'smartest city,’ according to the IESE Cities in Motion Index 2017 (CIMI). This accolade comes as a result of its performance across a multitude of indicators covering development and sustainability in areas such as technology, urban planning, and public management.    

Within the city, Zicklin is fortunate to find itself at the heart of the financial district. Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange are within arm’s reach of its MBA students, as are the doors of big industry players.

The academic rigor of an MBA program is no walk in Central Park, though. “We look for highly qualified students that have a drive to succeed,” says Lindsey Plewa, associate director at the school's Graduate Career Management Center (GCMC).  However, students are given tremendous support at Zicklin from their professors, industry mentors, alumni groups, and from Plewa's own team. “The GCMC is very active in setting students up for success,” she states.

From the basics of setting up a LinkedIn profile to intensive sessions with its coaching team, the school’s provision of career services aims to ensure MBA students hit their professional goals. “We recently had Carl Kissin, a master improv coach, and author Nancy Ancowitz come in to teach our students how to think on their feet – a key skill for the boardroom,” confides Plewa. There’s also an employer relations team which maintains strong connections with alumni, who often come back to Zicklin to recruit MBA students for positions at their companies.

“Drive and motivation” fuel MBA program’s return on investment

“Our graduates’ salaries are similar to those of more expensive programs, so when you combine the low cost of a Zicklin MBA with salary outcomes, that creates a high return on investment," says Davis-Friday.

The full-time MBA class of 2016 at the Zicklin School of Business reported an average (mean) base salary of US$78,161 three months on from graduating, while average bonuses amounted to US$16,855.  The great majority of this latest crop of MBAs went into financial services and accounting jobs, followed by positions in marketing and sales, IT, and consulting.

“The one thing we consistently hear from employers is that they love Zicklin students because of their drive and motivation. Many of them are the first in their families to earn a college and graduate degree so they're humble and gracious for every opportunity that comes their way,” says Plewa.

This article is sponsored by the Zicklin School of Business.

This article was originally published in September 2017 .

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Written by

A content writer with a background in higher education, Karen holds an MA in modern languages from the University of St Andrews. Her interests include languages and literature, current affairs and film. ​