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Ross MiM Takes the Top Spot Among US Programs

Ross MIM Takes the Top Spot Among US Programs main image

The master's in management (MiM) program at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business is proving Americans can succeed in providing a business degree that’s not an MBA. The school’s 10-month early career program ranked No. 1 among US programs on the QS Global Rankings 2019.

A hunger for graduate education that can be accomplished faster than the traditional two-year, full-time MBA is driving the market. Job competition is fiercer than ever, and young people launching their careers need more technical, advanced skillsets to stay in the game. The Ross MiM is a response to this hiring landscape.

Where it all began

Launched in the summer of 2014, the Ross MiM is for undergraduates who studied anything but business. Students are pre-experienced, which means they’re coming directly from undergraduate programs or more likely have had two years or less of work experience.

Until recently, Europe has been the arbiter of these specialized pre-experience business school offerings. The US mainly kept focused on the MBA and its different versions, from online to full-time. However, times are changing as are the needs of applicants and students. So, US business schools are taking aim at this market. You can read more in “Masters in Management: U.S. v Europe.”

Initially, many thought these pre-experienced business degrees, particularly the MiM, were for those who “made a mistake” when they chose their undergraduate major, says Norm Bishara, associate dean for Undergraduate and Early Career Programs at the Ross school. Today, the school has a different perspective.

“We’re excited for their other backgrounds”, says Bishara.

Diverse student body

Students in the MiM program have previously studied a range of subjects, including economics, engineering, marketing, math, political science, dance, film, arts, and sciences. Perhaps, they thought they were headed in a different direction, but their previous interest can work in their favor as employers are enthralled with well-rounded candidates, says Bishara.

“We really learned these students are different,” he says. “Students are super curious and engaged. We push them.”

Because students come from these disparate groups and may not have experience in business, the school provides career coaching exclusive to this program. Bishara says getting students employer ready is one of the reasons the Ross MiM stands out.

“These graduates are ready for the job market,” says Bishara. “They have a generalized skillset and a certain level of confidence.”

Capitalizing on the Ross brand

Another benefit for MiM students is the integration with the rest of the business school and university. Students in the program can participate in student clubs and take appropriate classes for their studies even if they are based in different programs. As a result, they have many electives from which to choose.

The quick paced and condensed 10-month program begins in June and ends in April, the MiM began with 45 students, whereas today there are 86 students.

A rich network

Many go to business school in hopes of developing a rich set of contacts. It’s a misperception that they can’t do that in a MiM program, says Bishara. The students aren’t limited to the network of MiM alumni. Instead, they can reach out to Ross alumni – or even those from the greater university.

Graduating students often enter the world of consulting, while some have piggy-backed off their original undergraduate major and ended up executing political consulting or something similarly related to their past interest, others find themselves entering marketing and sales. But they have a range of options with this versatile degree, says Bishara.

“They have access to jobs they wouldn’t otherwise have,” says Bishara.

However, others find they use this program as a jumping off point for further education, and then they go to law or medical school, for example. What makes the Ross MiM special, says Bishara, is its connection to the University of Michigan community.

“The benefit of signing up for the MiM is the ability to carry the great Ross brand but also being integrated into the university,” he adds. “You get education and a whole lot of other things.”

Francesca Di Meglio

Francesca Di Meglio has written about higher education for two decades. She covered business schools and all aspects of management education for what became Bloomberg Businessweek from May 2004 to December 2013. Di Meglio was the consultant editor for the book Admitted: An Interactive Workbook for Getting into a Top MBA Program (85 Broads Publishing, 2011), which was written by admissions consultant Betsy Massar. In addition, she is a family travel and parenting blogger at the Italian Mamma website

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