To MBA or not to MBA? It’s a question many find themselves facing after graduation or spending years in the working world. For students in the W.P. Carey full-time MBA program, however, it’s a no brainer.
The curriculum at ASU’s business school is rooted in self-transformation and preparing students for the uncertainty of the working world, whether their concentration is supply chain management or entrepreneurship.
Joan Brett, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Administration, says part of the staff’s job is to get students to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. “Technology will come and fundamentally change how people approach problems,” Brett says.
The program’s site states, “Success in the future can’t rely solely on where we’ve been — the road ahead needs a Forward Focus.”
“What we want to be able to do is help our students develop those skills that allow them to be lifelong learners, agile leaders and to really be able to deal with the unknown and the ambiguous because that’s one thing we know is certain.”
Another part of the program is its scholarship. All admitted students receive the Forward Focus MBA Scholarship, which covers the total tuition cost of the program. “What that means is all of the students that come then are fully funded and what that means is that we have a much more diverse student body,” Brett says. “We have students that are entrepreneurs that may not have been able to take out a loan for the MBA program because they’re trying to fund their business at the same time, so it brings a different perspective.”
The curriculum prepares students with internships, traditional courses, out-of-class experiences, executive connections, a Future Forward leadership course and learning labs — the latter three being unique to W.P. Carey’s MBA program.
The additions came from W.P. Carey’s desire to add the type of innovation ASU prides itself on and suggestions from current students, recruiters and alumni.
Sankalp Sinha is a full-time MBA student in the class of 2018. “We at Carey have a motto saying, ‘Business is personal here,’ and I think they take it really seriously,” Sinha says, adding that he hangs out with other students in his group every day.
Sinha is from India and coming to ASU constituted his first time in the United States. He got his undergraduate degree in computer engineering and spent about seven years working for IT firms and a few start-ups.
“I wanted to broaden my skill set and especially gain business perspective,” Sinha says. “I eventually want to start something of my own so I needed to have a business skill set in my pocket as well.”
The MBA program at W.P. Carey made its way to the top of his short list because of the school’s global exposure and diversity, its small class sizes and proximity to the Bay Area, where he eventually wants to work.
The scholarship helped as well.
“With the whole Forward Focus (scholarship), we were empowered with little to no financial burden and that was like the icing on the cake,” Sinha says.
Sinha says his experience with the program has been amazing and he has found each course and subject relevant to real world scenarios. “We are being trained to become potential leaders,” Sinha says.
The leadership focus is shown in W.P. Carey’s special interdisciplinary learning labs, which partner Carey students with non-business ASU master’s degree students to work on projects. “This is our chance to help our students develop their skills in working with people that speak a different discipline language than they do,” Brett says of the labs’ additions.
The program is continuing to expand and Sinha says current students are already working on improvements for future students.
“We actually get to work towards improving the program for our coming cohorts… it’s been driving us to give something back to the school, as well,” Sinha says. “That’s a unique factor here about it.”
For more information on the MBA program and the Forward Focus MBA scholarship, available to all Full-time accepted students, visit https://wpcarey.asu.edu/mba-programs/full-time.