A unique opportunity for new college graduates to earn their MBAs is being offered by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.
The NC Business Next Program is an initiative for recent graduates to earn their MBAs now, when the job market suddenly turned from hot to cold. The pilot program is designed for a small group of highly qualified graduates of UNC-Chapel Hill, other UNC-System universities and North Carolina residents from other universities.
“Recognizing the difficult and uncertain career opportunities for new college graduates in North Carolina, we decided to launch an initiative that provides a route to career success for them,” says Doug Shackelford (BSBA ’80), dean and Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation at UNC Kenan-Flagler.
“We view this as part of our School’s service to the state: educating our best and brightest in a field that fuels the state’s economic engine and innovation,” he says. “It is right thing for the people of North Carolina and embodies UNC Kenan-Flagler’s core values.”
“Students who graduate from college during an economic downturn struggle not just to get jobs, but also build the capabilities they need for long-term career success,” says Brad Staats, associate dean of MBA programs and an operations professor. “Our MBA program – with its focus on applied knowledge, experiential learning and career skills – will help them address this gap. In the unusual circumstances caused by the COVID-19 crisis, we have the ability to offer this opportunity to a select group this fall and help develop a new generation of talented leaders for North Carolina.”
NC Business Next is open to graduates from all undergraduate majors. Applicants from other states are welcome. The admissions team will evaluate outstanding academic performance, quantitative strength, letters of recommendation, demonstrated impact through leadership activities and internship and part-time work experience, exceptional motivation, interviews, GPA and standardized test scores. Recognizing the reduced ability to prepare for and take the GMAT or GRE, applicants may request a GMAT/GRE waiver. Applicants will be considered for fellowships as part of the admissions process.
Students will participate in the Analytical Skills Workshop to bolster their knowledge of critical business topics before they start their classes, and will take the first year of required courses together as a cohort. They will partner with MBA Dean’s Fellows and receive peer mentorship and guidance for success in the MBA program.
“Our stellar Undergraduate Business students are a model for the type of students we are seeking,” says Staats. “For many years our MBA students have learned with them through STAR consulting projects, elective courses, student-managed funds and mentorship programs. One of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s strengths is having MBA and Undergraduate Business students taught by one faculty in the same building, so we are uniquely prepared to serve this new group of talented individuals who will bring diverse experiences and perspectives to our community.”
Working with career and leadership coaches, students will receive strong support, says Melissa Hlavac, associate dean of MBA programs. “While accepting students with limited work experience is not common for the MBA programs at UNC Kenan-Flagler, we have done so occasionally in the past, generally from our dual-degree programs, and these students do very well, both in initial placement and in long-term career achievement.”