Recent research shows that higher education enrollment numbers may be declining, and news continues to circulate on application numbers dropping for graduate programs specifically. However, at a time when universities are choosing to close programs, MSU is standing tall and taking strides to strengthen and prioritize its MBA program.

These efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The Broad College’s Full-Time MBA program has gained a reputation for success and has been ranked No. 1 by The Economist for return on investment for four years and counting.

“We are crystal clear on our objectives and we track all changes — all experiments — against these long-term metrics,” said Richard Saouma, associate dean for MBA, EMBA and professional master’s programs. “Judicious project reviews and constant communication between faculty and staff has resulted in a very intentional MBA program; it’s how we put points on the scoreboard in program satisfaction, job placement and postgraduate success.”

This year’s symposium welcomed 125 attendees from more than 60 universities across the nation to MSU’s campus.

Saouma spoke alongside other MSU staff, faculty and students at the 2019 MBA Roundtable Curricular Innovation Symposium, which the Broad College hosted earlier this month. This annual event is organized by MBA Roundtable and offers a chance for business schools to come together to share best practices and relevant curriculum innovations to further management education.

“It was the Broad College’s first time hosting this event, and we couldn’t be more proud to showcase how we’re prioritizing our MBA programs,” said Cheri DeClercq, assistant dean for MBA programs.

This year’s symposium welcomed 125 attendees from more than 60 U.S. universities to MSU’s campus. Sessions included curriculum design workshops, corporate lectures and keynote speakers, panel discussions featuring leadership staff from various universities, and open time for networking with sponsors. Lifelong learning and reimagining the MBA were major themes.

“Innovation in the MBA curriculum is moving at speeds not seen in the past,” said Jeff Bieganek, executive director for MBA Roundtable. “It was exciting to be surrounded by industry leaders as we discussed the opportunities and challenges of creating new models of MBA education that incorporate lifelong learning.”

The agenda also allotted time for an inside look into how the Broad College is transforming tomorrow’s business, featuring a tour of the new Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion and discussion with current and former MBA students, faculty and staff.

Shana Redd, a Ph.D. candidate in marketing and 2011 Broad MBA alumna, shared how the Broad MBA is transformative.

“It became evident that space matters and that the environment we operate in matters,” said Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta. “That is why we designed and built the Minskoff Pavilion with a single-minded focus on collaboration as a new space for our students to grow and succeed.”

Bieganek noted, “The Broad College of Business at Michigan State University set an extraordinarily high bar as this year’s host, and it was thrilling to experience their new, state-of-the-art Minskoff Pavilion.”

Current students shared their personal experiences and the kind of impact that the MBA program has had on their lives. Ayla Olvera (MBA ’20) said she chose the Broad College’s MBA program because she wants to change the world; she has been able to make a difference already by leading the creation of the college’s first LGBTQ+ student organization.

Tony Felder (MBA ’20) shared how he had yearned to belong to a community and how the Spartan nation delivers on that aspect so well. Charles Fobbs (MBA ’20), president of Broad’s MBA Association, also shared how he has grown as a leader and, most importantly, learned how to empower other teammates to lead as well.

Shana Redd, a Ph.D. candidate in marketing and 2011 Broad MBA alumna, summed up these sentiments: “This MBA has given us the power to change … We’re talking about transformative education [at this symposium], and the Broad College MBA program is doing just that.”