Interview with Jackie Brito - Assistant Dean (Rollins MBA)

Rollins MBA1.What is the biggest misconception about Rollins Early Advantage MBA program?

The biggest misconception about the Early Advantage MBA program is that students need work experience or an undergraduate business degree to pursue the program.  The average amount of work experience of each incoming class is eight months, while 60% of our students did not major in business during their undergraduate careers.  In fact, our curriculum is designed to fit all undergraduate majors.

Another misconception is that the program is only for recent graduates.  Our program is also a good option for career transitions.  In the past few years, we’ve had several students join our program after completing 5-10 years of military service, who are now seeking a professional transition from a military to a civilian career.  In addition, we’ve had students who have experience in one area of business, who now seek a complete change of direction.  The focus and full-time engagement of our Early Advantage MBA program, including the many experiential learning opportunities, and services and resources from our various Centers of Excellence, aid them in making these transitions.

2. What are some of the networking opportunities provided by Rollins MBA Graduate School of Business?

We believe a key aspect of the MBA experience is building your professional network, so we work hard to fill our students’ calendars with broad-based networking opportunities, which include:

Career Development Center 

Corporate Reception –This unique reception is hosted annually to welcome local recruiters and our corporate partners, to facilitate a more intimate and personal introduction.

Company Information Sessions – One-hour lunch or evening sessions hosted by employers seeking to provide students and alumni valuable information about their organizations and the type of employees they seek.  Recent Information Sessions have included Disney Finance and various Federal Government agencies.

Business Etiquette Dining Simulation – Not your ordinary etiquette dinner!  During this dining simulation with executive coaches at each table, students enjoy and learn the proper etiquette for their next business luncheon or dinner.

Seminars with area business leaders, with topics such as Recruiter’s Perspective featuring a panel of experience recruiters, Salary Negotiation, and Take Control of Your Career, featuring Pat Williams (Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic).

Center for Leadership Development 

Bagels with the Board – Students meet and interact with members of the various Boards that support and advise the Rollins MBA School.  Enrollment in these sessions is limited, thereby providing opportunities to network with community leaders while learning about their insights and philosophies of leadership.

Bright House Lunch & Learn Series – Experienced business professionals are invited to talk with students about a leadership topic in their area of expertise.  These workshops include a Q&A session and a wrap-up in which students discuss what they learned and how they can apply this to their own leadership development.  Bright House Networks is a sponsor of these programs.

Leaders on Leadership Lecture Series – Business leaders from a variety of industries and organizations are invited to campus to address students, faculty, staff and the community.  In these programs, speakers share their leadership insights and experiences. 

MBA Nonprofit Board Program – In partnership with the Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center, students may apply to serve as full voting members on the boards of Central Florida nonprofit organization. 

Rollins MBA TeamworkCenter for Advanced Entrepreneurship

C.E.O. (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization) – This student-run group organizes our Venture Plan Challenge and Elevator Pitch Competitions.  Both of these events are judged by successful entrepreneurs in our local area, giving students the chance to interact and network.  C.E.O. also hosts roundtable events with advanced entrepreneurs.

• The Entrepreneur Consulting Program - This provides students with substantive experiential learning opportunities within an entrepreneurial company and has proven to be a useful source of jobs upon graduation.  Teams of four-to-five students are assigned to both domestic and global companies to assist in solving problems on a variety of business issues.

Center for Alumni Relations

• Alumni Networking Receptions
- Ongoing events both locally and in major cities across the U.S.  All current students are always welcome to join our alumni, to begin building their connections.

• Mentorship Program – Students are paired with a Rollins MBA alumnus to provide support and guidance for the duration of the program, and possibly beyond.

3. How is the student life in Rollins MBA Graduate School of Business?

Student life is very strong for our MBA students.  Our programs are team-based, and we work hard to integrate students from all backgrounds, both geographic and academic, so no one population feels disconnected or excluded.  Our international and domestic students work together on teams, and spend time as integrated groups outside of the classroom.

Through our Student Associations, students are able to participate in a range of events, from annual conferences to meetings with professionals in the community.  Associations are available in a number of areas of interest, including Entrepreneurship, Toastmasters, Women’s MBA, Finance and Marketing.

We have graduate housing available exclusively for our Early Advantage MBA students, which provides convenient, comfortable living, along with the chance for students to forge even stronger connections.  Our school is also located in beautiful Central Florida, which provides students several opportunities to participate in many outdoor activities year round, from pick-up soccer games, to tennis and golf, and water sports.  We are also within driving distance to beaches and world-class tourist attractions, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and Sea World.
4. Every school promotes its MBA program based on its Accreditations, ROI, Job prospects and Unique learning methodologies. What makes Rollins MBA stand out from the competition?

Other schools are now admitting younger students, however our program is designed with recent graduates (as well as those in career transition) in mind.  The Rollins MBA Graduate School of Business has been offering the Early Advantage MBA program for over 15 years, and feature many experiential learning opportunities for students, particularly through internships, and domestic and global consulting projects.  Our Career Development Center provides executive and career coaching and strategy sessions to our students, and we incorporate Career Management into the curriculum as a required course.  We also emphasize global business competency, through a required international study trip, and through a number of optional international experiences.

Another thing that makes us stand out is our dedication to our alumni.  The Career Development Center’s services are available to alumni throughout their careers. We also offer “free classes for life” to our alumni, allowing them to audit courses on a space-available basis at no cost.

5. What are the entry criteria in terms of the number of years of experience/GMAT/GPA for Rollins Early Advantage MBA programs?

We take a holistic approach to admissions, seeking students who will add value in the classroom, in the workforce and to their communities.  In terms of numbers, we do not require work experience.  Our average GMAT for our most recent incoming class was 574, with an average GPA of 3.49.  However, meeting these requirements does not guarantee admissions.
6. What are the post-MBA opportunities available for Rollins MBA Grads?

Most of our Early Advantage MBA students enter with little to no work experience.  However, they gain experience through the Career Development Center’s structured MBA internship program, and make substantial gains in terms of employment upon graduation. 

Some of the employers who have recruited our students in the past two years include:

• Darden
• Gartner, Inc.
• The Nielsen Co.
• Lockheed Martin
• The Walt Disney Co.
• Royal Caribbean International
• Federal Agencies
• Citrix Systems
• Regions Bank
• J.P. Morgan
• Nomura
• BlackRock
• Siemens
• Deloitte
• Toyota
The types of positions our Early Advantage students have been hired for include:

• Financial/Business/Reporting Analysts
• Leadership Training Programs
• Client Partners
• Commercial Banking – Loan Underwriter
• Consultants
• Management
• Marketing Specialists
• Entrepreneurs
Types of Industries our Early Advantage students have pursued:

• Technology
• Financial Services
• Pharmaceutical/Healthcare
• Energy
• Media/Entertainment
• Consulting
• Real Estate

8. Apart from the Full-time MBA program, what are some of the other MBA programs offered by Rollins MBA Graduate School of Business?

We offer one MBA, but with four different formats.  Our Early Advantage MBA program is a traditional, full-time program that takes 16-21 months to complete.  We also offer three part-time programs for working professionals.  At this time, the Early Advantage MBA program is the only one available for F-1 students.  Our part-time programs include:

Key Executive MBA – Designed for senior leaders.  This program requires one weekend per month in residency on our campus for 20 months.

Saturday MBA – Geared for mid-level managers, the Saturday MBA program meets each Saturday for 19 months.

Professional MBA – This program is for working professionals at all levels with an organization. It is a truly multi-generational program, perfect for a multi-generational workforce.

About Jackie Brito

Rollins MBAAs Assistant dean, Ms. Brito is responsible for increasing awareness of the Rollins MBA program and attracting candidates.  In this role, Ms. Brito will oversee marketing for the Rollins MBA, direct admissions for the school’s working professional MBA programs and is responsible for all aspects of the full-time MBA program. Ms. Brito joined the Rollins MBA in 2008 as director of the Full-time MBA and Career Development Center.  Through her leadership, the school has more than doubled the number of applications to its Early Advantage MBA program. She has also worked to ensure that students and alumni receive the skills and resources needed to compete in today’s business environment by overseeing the professional development for the school’s MBA students in each of their four programs, providing career resources for alumni and monitoring employment trends.

Ms. Brito brings over 15 years of professional experience to Rollins MBA. For nine years, she served as an HR consultant at the Orlando Sentinel, where she helped develop the company’s recruitment and retention strategy.  Prior to the Orlando Sentinel, she was an internal auditor at the Orlando International Airport.   

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