Mendoza expands program eligibility
By NICOLE MICHELS | Friday, August 30, 2013
The applicant pool is open – individuals who attained undergraduate degrees with non-business majors are now invited to apply to the One-Year Masters of Business (MBA) Program within the Mendoza College of Business.
Brian Lohr, director of MBA and Masters of Science and Business (MSB) Admissions, said the changed policy recognizes the achievements of individuals who honed business expertise in the workplace. He said applicants are welcome to apply to the program if they can demonstrate “significant knowledge of fundamental business concepts.”
“The change in requirement takes into consideration more recent trends in the education and employment landscape by recognizing that candidates often have developed considerable knowledge about business through a meaningful work experience after graduation,” Lohr said. “They may have landed in a role that required them to manage budgets, manage projects or supervise others and they gained a lot of on-the-job training in essential business operations.”
Lohr said this policy revision was a joint effort between several Mendoza representatives, including both Lohr and Dean Roger Huang. The group changed the policy in order to facilitate the addition of diverse perspectives to the One-Year MBA Program, though the requirements for admission have not changed, Lohr said.
“We look for three primary items when we evaluate candidates: academic excellence, leadership and a consideration for others,” Lohr said. “These three components have not changed, this just allows us to look at a little bit of a broader pool.”
According to the program’s website, its requirements are, “an undergraduate degree from an accredited university where English is the primary language, a demonstrated proficiency in fundamental business knowledge and skills usually gained through significant work experience, three credit hours of financial accounting and three credit hours of statistics.”
His own experience working in a field he did not study as an undergraduate pushes him to advocate for the extension of eligibility for Mendoza’s programs to prospective students who did not study business during their undergraduate careers, he said.
“I am one of those folks,” Lohr said. “I was an English major as an undergraduate but I worked for Lockheed right when I got out of school. About a week after I was hired, I went to my boss and asked him why he hired me, since I didn’t have an engineering or business degree.”
He said he felt this experience showed him how when people with distinct backgrounds work collectively to solve a problem, a more innovative solution can be reached.
“I think that’s what makes the classroom environment so different at Notre Dame, those backgrounds allow you to look at problems from different perspectives. I think that is a really good thing that we have going on in Mendoza: about a third of my two-year class is from business, about a third is from math, science or engineering and a third is from humanities.
“The diversity makes for interesting discussions and allows students to look back on their experiences to attack a problem from a different angle,” Lohr said. “This [type of education] is unique and fostered here.”
Lohr said he expects the extension of eligibility to graduates with non-business majors to increase the quality of Mendoza’s One-Year MBA Program.
“I’m not sure how this will impact the applicant pool, though I feel strongly that it will grow significantly because of that change,” Lohr said. “That just makes sense for Notre Dame, to [work to] attract the best and brightest candidates … to hinder that with stringent prerequisites didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
“Our ability to bring in the best and brightest MBA candidates in the world is critical to our continued success.”
Lohr said the program has continued to climb Businessweek’s rankings since its inception, and he hopes this change will facilitate the rise of Mendoza’s program.
“In 1997 we were not ranked within the top 50 MBA programs and now we’re a part of the top 20 programs based on Businessweek’s last survey,” he said. “We’re excited about what the future holds.”
Contact Nicole Michels at [email protected]