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Interview with Amanda Barth - Mason School of Business MBA Admissions Director

F1GMAT: William & Mary’s MBA program has put emphasis on leadership development and experiential learning. How is the curriculum structured to help MBA students?

Mason School of BusinessThe structure of our program mirrors the business world by combining theory with practice. The 1st year core curriculum is fast-paced and rigorous, but supportive with diverse learning teams which allow our students to exchange ideas and achieve their full potential. William & Mary’s Leadership Development Experience fosters mentorships from day one, pairing every MBA with their very own personal coach through our truly unique and expansive Executive Partner Network, a cohort of over 100 senior business executives from more than 20 different industries. Active, semi-retired or retired, these leaders are like no others. They are an integral part of our community and Mason Family.

Following summer internship, the 2nd year MBA experience immerses students into the business world. They take part in two Career Accelerations Modules, academic and experiential immersions that equip them with the skills and know-how to open countless doors of opportunities. The CAMs are followed by the Field Consultancy Project and a mixture of elective courses, Batten Fund (student managed investment fund) and Global Competitive Strategy in the spring.

Faculty commitment to teaching in the Mason School of Business has earned them rank for their dedication to student learning and development, receiving a consistent “A+” from Business Week for teaching excellence and a rank of #5 by Princeton Review in the “Best Professor” category. The small class size allows intimate interaction between faculty and students – creating a collaborative learning community.


F1GMAT: Can you tell us a little bit about Career Acceleration Modules?

CAMThe Career Acceleration Modules or CAMS as they are known at the Mason School are a revolutionary concept in business education designed to jump-start career success. They provide advanced academic training and direct contact with business professionals.

Each CAM is a seven-week intensive and students are required to select two CAMS from: Consulting, Corporate Finance, Financial Markets, Entrepreneurship, Brand Management, Business-to-Business Marketing, Enterprise Engineering and Real Estate.

Active chief executives of major global companies, owners of private firms in the region and most of our very own Mason School Executive Partners serves as CAM speakers providing diverse business perspectives and unique ideas. With focus on real-world business, company and sites visits – our MBAs witness first-hand how current business methods and analytical tools are applied to company decision-making processes.

Williamsburg’s advantageous location on the East Coast has allowed students to visit The Securities Exchange Commission, The World Bank, The Overseas Private Investment Bank, Morgenthaler Ventures, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, the Campbell Soup Company and Capital One, among many others.


F1GMAT: Mason's Field Consultancy Program looks interesting. Has any student been given full-time position after the consultancy? Which industries and companies have shown interest in William & Mary MBAs expertise?

Field ConsultancyField Consultancy at the Mason School of Business engages teams of students who manage real-world consulting projects for paying clients. Students dedicate their time to analyzing a problem and coming up with recommendations.

Over the course of the project, the client has first-hand observation of potential hires.

As a result, every year students have been hired or offered jobs through Field Consultancy including companies such as: Genworth Financial Services, Cox Communications, Huntington Ingalls, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Lumber Liquidators, Amerigroup, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield and Riverside Health Services. These students typically become the point of contact liaising between the client and William & Mary for future consulting projects, strengthening the relationship between the Mason School and its corporate Field Consultancy sponsorship partners


F1GMAT: What are some of the unique courses and activities offered in the MBA program?

Leadership DevelopmentGlobal Business Juntos are the newest feature in our line-up of unique course offerings. In response to student interest for enhanced flexibility outside of the 1st year core curriculum, these student-led groups were inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s Junto (1727-1767, predecessor of the American Philosophical Society), a club dedicated to mutual improvement.

Today, our revolutionary thinkers at the Mason School pay tribute to this style of learning with Juntos which are designed to give students more control over their education, apply concepts from the core curriculum to current business conditions, integrate meaningful leadership opportunities and increase interaction by providing a forum of the exchange of ideas.

Students select topics they are passionate about, immerse in research, analyze findings and learn to lead through self-guided meetings and school-wide presentations.


F1GMAT: How is the student life at Raymond A. Mason School of Business?
 

Student life, as depicted by our MBAs, is truly like having an extended family from all around the world. The small class size allows our students to get to know all of their classmates and faculty and the rigor of the program brings every together in a supportive and collaborative learning community.

The Mason Family extends well beyond the MBA students themselves and includes a vast network of Mason alumni, W&M alumni, faculty, Executive Partners and staff – all providing academic, professional and personal support. The student-run MBA Association sponsors clubs and committees and hosts career development opportunities, guest speakers, volunteer service projects and social events throughout the year.


Student Life CulturalThe most popular events include cultural celebrations and festivals sponsored by the International Student Association such as Diwali, Chinese Lunar New Year, Japanese Matsuri Night, Thai Culture Night and International Night. In addition, many students participate in intramural sports throughout the year with the W&M campus at large. Other opportunities include Global Business Immersions which have taken our students, faculty, alumni and staff to Brazil, Chile, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Cuba, Germany and Austria.

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business was also tapped with the esteemed honor of being selected by GMAC as Team MBA’s 2015 All-Service Award Winner for our commitment to philanthropy with events including: Water Walk for Nuru International, Toys for Tots, Mason Charity Golf Tournament for Wounded Warriors, Spring of Giving Canned Food Drive and the Yorktown Victory Run that contributes to local and national charities such as: Susan G. Komen Foundation, KIVA.ORG, Kidz-‘N-Grief and the American Red Cross. Mason MBAs work hard and play hard – but most importantly - the community is, the Mason Family!

F1GMAT: The Raymond A. Mason School of Business has been termed as “military friendly.” How do you ensure that military service members and veterans make a smooth transition to management studies?

Military SupportApproximately 20% of the MBA Class of 2018 has served or is serving in the U.S. Armed Forces including: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines. In addition to our Full-Time military MBAs, we also host an accelerated program specifically designed to offer a dual curriculum in public policy and logistics called the Major General James Wright MBA Program, which has a cohort of 10 Fellows – integrated into the full-time core curriculum, leadership projects and student life. Williamsburg is located in proximity to 22 of the nation’s premier military installations including Department of Defense, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Navy.

One of the greatest challenges our military MBAs report facing is the new dynamic of teamwork and consensus through compromise, which are not dominant means of decision making in the military. The organization of a team, management of personalities and lack of rank structure is always new for our MBAs – classes like Organizational Behavior teach strategies to facilitate team cohesion.

The 360º feedback assessments within the teams, techniques for administering constructive criticism and many other OB topics help them integrate better with their peers and develop life-long civilian business skills. Military members in the Mason Family are respected for their service and sacrifice. Knowing this makes it much easier for them to seek out help, in needed, from peers, faculty and EPs – all of whom make it abundantly clear the value-added of our military MBAs. Aside from the school pride in our military MBAs, they are not treated any differently from civilian students and are expected to pull their weight. They have learned and applied academic and business principles from their civilian peers, teammates and Executive Partners and they have also contributed their work ethic, discipline, incredible leadership and global perspective.

A concrete example of ensuring a smooth transition is the distribution of 1st Year learning teams where military members are divided evenly among the cohort. Our military MBAs are just like every other candidate in the program – but are shown a tremendous amount of respect because of their selfless decision to serve our country.
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F1GMAT: What are some of the post-MBA opportunities available for MBA graduates?

The Mason School Graduate Career Management Center and Corporate Relations teams work both sides of the employment equation – supplying the talent for the demand of next-generation business leaders. Our students have successfully followed careers in the areas of marketing research and analytics, supply-chain, operations, corporate finance, consulting and general management.

Given our proximity to Fortune 500 companies in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads, we have a terrific set of offerings from corporations including: Allianz, Booz Allen Hamilton, Berkeley Research Group, Deloitte Consulting, Capital One, CarMax, ExxonMobil, Genworth Financial, IBM, Norfolk Southern, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Reckitt-Benckiser, SnagAJob.com, Swisslog, Smithfield and Volkswagen to name a few. The rise in the healthcare industry has resulted in a spike in employment opportunities: Amerigroup, Deloitte, Riverside Health Care and Sentara Healthcare.


F1GMAT: Can you give our readers a snapshot of the latest class?

Full-Time MBA

94 MBA candidates + 11 Major General James Wright MBA Fellows
35% international
Over 15 countries represented
65% domestic
20% U.S. ethnic diversity
40% female
12% military


Average GMAT: 620
Average TOEFL: 100
Average GPA: 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
Average Work Experience: 5 years
GMAT range: 500 - 780


Academic Background

Humanities – 20%
Engineering, computer science –
15%
Business, finance, marketing
31%
Economics –
9%
Math, science –
7%
Other –
18%


F1GMAT: What are some of the defining characteristics that you look for in a William and Mary Full-time MBA candidate?

At William & Mary, we are looking for revolutionary thinkers who are able to strongly contribute to the learning experience and inspire excellence in their peers through academic inquiry, professionalism, leadership, global competency, and service. Candidates should have a solid academic foundation, professional work or internship experience and a lifelong commitment to the Raymond A. Mason School of Business through professional affiliation and alumni engagement. Admissions decisions are made holistically and all requirements of the application process are considered in evaluation by the Admissions Committee.

To learn more about the William & Mary Mason School of Business, please visit our website at: www.mba.wm.edu or you can Apply now
 
About the Author

Amanda
Amanda Barth is the Director of MBA Admissions at the College of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business.
Prior to returning to William & Mary in 2009, she served as Development Officer for Parent Programs at Arizona State University Foundation. She began her admissions career at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio which is also her undergraduate alma mater. She completed her Master’s Degree in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership at the College of William & Mary in 2006. Amanda focuses on recruitment, directing the Admissions Committee, scholarship and graduate assistantship selection and providing a highly personalized experience for all candidates through the admissions process.




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