Maybe you’ve heard that Babson is marking its 100th birthday this year. Heading full steam into its second century, the graduate school is celebrating by introducing a fresh, newly redesigned MBA. Students entering in May 2019 and beyond will enroll in a program that’s been updated from top to bottom.
What’s changed? The new Babson MBA now has more room for customization and is more in tune with the job market than ever before. It’s still offered in full-time (one-year and two-year) and part-time (evening and blended) formats, but for the first time no matter which track you choose, everyone will complete the degree in 45 credits. Most exciting of all, a full two-thirds of the curriculum is made up of electives, meaning students can quickly roll up their sleeves in the areas they’re most excited about.
To learn more about what makes the new MBA different, we sat down with those who know the program best—the team that helped design it. Here are their favorite parts of Babson’s newest program:
An Intentional Core Curriculum
“The faculty who designed the new core curriculum are beyond passionate about teaching and learning,” says Beth Bristol, assistant dean. “I’ve been inspired watching the faculty week after week discussing, debating, sharing ideas, and extending meetings into multipage email brainstorms.” All MBA students will now take common core courses that are rooted in three fundamental business strategies: recognizing opportunities, leading innovation and growth, and hands-on experience operationalizing an initiative.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work in partnership with the divisions and our associate dean to help develop an elective portfolio that aligns with our students’ entrepreneurial curiosity and career goals,” says Bristol. With students now poised to take upward of 10 electives, there’s more opportunity than ever to explore different subject areas or pursue concentrations. In addition to taking traditional courses, students can pick and choose from classes that are client-facing, those that take them abroad or to our hubs in Miami or San Francisco, or fully online or intensive weekend classes.
The resources available to students within the on-campus academic centers are one of Babson’s biggest perks. As part of the new MBA, all students have the opportunity to opt into an intensity track, choosing electives in specific areas such as family business, tech ventures, social innovation, women’s entrepreneurship, finance, and more. “Babson’s academic centers help you maximize the value of your MBA,” says Graduate School Dean Keith Rollag. “Intensity tracks, which are led by the centers, allow you to build the network you need in order to be successful in that area after graduation.”
“I love that the new MBA wasn’t designed in a silo, and reflects input from employers,” says Dean of Graduate School Admissions Monica Moore. “It makes the MBA valuable to students and industry in equal measure. Now, when students get to Babson with all their past experiences, we can better help them connect their passions and their post-MBA expectations. It’s a very future-looking learning experience.”
Relevant to the Real World
Cheri Paulson, senior director of the Graduate Center for Career Development, is most excited about program changes that will help students be more successful in their post-MBA job search. For example, a course that helps students know themselves better and identify skill gaps will now be part of the first semester, giving students a faster focus and helping them be more intentional in planning their future course of study.
“In every conversation I had in the design process, I listened for how to give students intentional skills that fit in the world of work,” says Paulson. “It’s not just about taking popular courses; it’s about understanding how to choose courses and build skills for career relevance. And, I’m thrilled at how incredibly supportive the faculty have been.”
After leading the extended Babson community through more than two years of focus groups, design workshops, and prototypes, nobody on campus is more excited than Dean Rollag to launch the new MBA. “The entire process has been very true to our entrepreneurial DNA,” he says. “Entrepreneurs have a make-it-happen mindset and know how to create positive change in their communities. Why shouldn’t they have an MBA to match?”
“It’s such a special year with our Centennial celebration,” echoes Bristol. “I can’t think of a better birthday present to Babson than to see our faculty and students embrace the new MBA.”
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