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Executive MBA program leaps in 2013 rankings

Alex Cao | Monday, November 11, 2013

Notre Dame’s Executive MBA program jumped to the 15th spot in Bloomberg Businessweek’s biennial ranking of best executive MBA Programs as “the biggest mover” of the 42 programs included, the Businessweek website states.

 Suzanne Waller, director of Degree Programs at the Stayer Center for Executive Education in the Mendoza College of Business said the ranking key factor is the student satisfaction aspect.

“I think [the ranking] validates, to some extent, the experience the students have while they go through this program,” Waller said. “Really, our emphasis isn’t on the ranking but the student satisfaction piece. We want to make sure that students leave the Executive MBA at Notre Dame feeling that it met or exceeded their expectations.”

Cortney Mayfield, admissions and student services assistant director at the Stayer Center, also said the student experience was the most important factor.

“My number one goal is to have happy students,” she said. “So having a [No.] 15 ranking is great, but I think it’s completely because they had a great experience.”
Waller said improving student experience involves making each second in the classroom valuable.

 “One of the crucial pieces is the proper management pieces is the proper management of their time,” she said. “Knowing that the average student is about 37 to 38 years old, they are really pressed for time.”

Businessweek reported that the program in the Mendoza College of Business jumped up 12 spots to hit its current place, largely due to the student satisfaction response. Mayfield said she credits the significant move in rank and recognition to their rigor and faculty.

“We have a lot of rigor balanced really nicely with the Mendoza backdrop,” she said. “We provide a great opportunity to students who didn’t go here as [undergraduates] to get a Notre Dame degree.

“It’s rigorous but it’s balanced by great faculty and a great dean. You can’t beat that.”

Waller said the program is “continuing to grow” and plans to expand in the future.

“As [University President] Fr. John [Jenkins] shared with us, ‘Never let us be accused of dreaming too small.’ So it’s global for us.

“We are planning continue to share with students around the world the Notre Dame experience and make sure the composition of our class [mixes] individuals all over the world. we’re going to spend time in South America, Africa [and, a number of different places sharing the Notre Dame executive experience.”

Contact Alex Cao at acao@nd.edu