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MBA Orientation Part 1: In the Classroom

By Caroline Brooks

No room for back-to-school jitters for the incoming Full-Time MBA students at the Broad College of Business.

For their first week in East Lansing, the 69 students in the class of 2018 immersed themselves in MBA orientation activities that not only gave them a sneak peek into the academic journey they’re about to begin, but also offered a  deep-dive into emerging career tracks,  while allowing the opportunity for  students to make personal connections with fellow classmates.

When planning the class of 2018’s orientation, Broad’s MBA academic faculty wanted to take the opportunity to introduce the innovative career paths MBAs – from all universities – vie for in today’s market.

Tech day panel
Stakeholders from Dell, Intel, Hulu, and US Foods discussed opportunities within the tech sector.

Students’ interest in careers within the technology and consulting industries skyrocketed in the last few years. In fact, 26 percent of Broad’s master’s graduates secured jobs within the tech sphere, and those in consulting earned an average base salary of $107,500. Recognizing that these industries have the attention of incoming students, Broad dedicated an entire half of a day to technology, and another to consulting.

“The technology and consulting industries are both highly sought after by our students and these sectors are growing significantly. We pride ourselves on maximizing our students’ access to resources, people and educational opportunities that can help them be successful, and these foci are a key piece of our MBA strategy,” said Wayne Hutchinson, director of Academic and Program Services for the Full-Time MBA Program.

At the “Technology and Business Synergies” session, students observed a panel discussion where leaders from Dell, Intel, Hulu and US Foods discussed the importance of business-minded professionals to advancing the industry, and how integrating their business mindset with tech-savviness gives them a competitive edge (Amazon participated separately the day before). The companies gave separate presentations, then mingled with students to answer questions and discuss opportunities within the field.

During “Consulting @ Broad,” corporate representatives from AT Kearney, Ernst & Young, GEP Consulting, and McKinsey & Co. presented background on their companies’ niched services, which in turn provided students with a clearer understanding of the many opportunities within the industry.

“We provide students an opportunity to explore different functions and industries during orientation before they engage in the recruiting process in early October,” said Tony Mara, senior associate director, Graduate Career Services. “This diversity of opportunities for MBAs is one of the reasons the degree is so popular but it requires students conduct research to determine where they fit best. Orientation is a great time to get exposure to industries and functions outside the recruiting process.

While the week-long orientation was packed with sessions and academic-related activity, students had the opportunity to take their first successful steps as a Broad MBA. “We design the week so our students have a chance to really connect with their colleagues, and familiarize themselves with the MBA program as a whole. We want them to walk away feeling excitement for the journey they are about to undertake individually, and together as a cohort,” Hutchinson said.


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