The Catholic University of America

Dec. 4, 2013 

MSBA Program Achieves 100 Percent Job Placement Record

  Director Stewart McHie talks with MSBA students.

In June 2012, when Winfred Amoako’s father met in Ghana with Brian Engelland, associate dean of the University’s School of Business and Economics, Amoako was still deciding what to focus on for his master’s.

Through Engelland, he was put in touch with Master of Science in Business Analysis (MSBA) Program Director Stewart McHie, who helped in the decision-making process. Amoako enrolled in the program and is now working in a media company in New York City.

The MSBA is a one-year program that draws students with a variety of backgrounds, but for the class of 2013, the 13 students had one thing in common. They were the first class to all land jobs within three months of graduation, a record time for the program, which has achieved 100 percent success placing students since the program started in 2010, but not at that quick a pace.

“The business community appears to really value the combination of liberal arts education and intense business preparation that our MSBA graduates offer. We are delighted to achieve once again a 100 percent placement of the program's graduates in interesting, challenging, and well-paying positions,” said Andrew Abela, dean of the business and economics school.

The MSBA program is designed for non-business majors. Students are taught by successful entrepreneurs and executives. The program is designed for those who have just received their bachelor’s degree or are only a few years out of college, as it teaches valuable skills important to young professionals. It places a strong emphasis on Catholic social teaching.

“[We teach] the practical foundation in business and Catholic social teaching … that there is a right way and wrong way for commerce to serve society,” said McHie. The focus on Catholic social teaching and the fact that students do not need work experience to enroll make this program unique among business master’s programs. Students usually have a liberal arts background, enabling them to complement their previous education with a more business-oriented focus.

Students often learn a lot about themselves and how to place themselves in the job market. “I worked in sales and retail for two years before joining the MSBA program. It was only in the MSBA that I discovered that my niche was in research,” said Amoako.

“I [currently] work as an assistant media planner with Carat USA and a lot of the skills that the program helped me develop [are helping me now],” said Amoako, who got the job through professional contacts he made while on a trip to New York with the MSBA faculty.

Though Amoako had some background in business initially, often students do not. Samantha Donohue, a theology major in college who had initially planned on becoming a second-grade teacher, came into the program with little experience.

After graduating from college, she got a job as a creative manager at a start-up advertising agency. She enjoyed the work, but the company folded. Donohue then had to decide whether she would go into business school or graphic design school.

“I went with my strengths, which are in business management. I applied for the MSBA program, took the GRE, and three days a week drove three hours away to the local community college to take the two prerequisite classes — business management and economics,” said Donohue. “By the end of the summer, I was ready to move to D.C. and begin grad school.”

Both Donohue and Amoako said that the program went beyond their expectations.

“My undergraduate studies [were] good in terms of education but this master’s program far exceeded just educating young ambitious people. [It helped me] build a strong moral compass for the future,” said Amoako.

Donohue said she was nervous initially, but she knew that the attention she received because of the small class sizes would ensure her success.

She said, after she started the program, “I was confident that I would receive one-on-one attention from all of the professors and that my success was in my hands.”

Students also benefit from networking connections and work experience. Students find internships with help from Marykate Kelly, the school’s corporate relations manager. They have served in internships at Discovery Channel, Amtrak, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and several Congressional offices, among others.




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