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GSM degrees receive mixed marks in rankings

Boston University Graduate School of Management’s Master of Business Administration program ranked among the top 45 business programs in 2008, earning high marks for faculty, but low scores for career services.

BusinessWeek, the magazine that conducts the rankings, based its overall ranking on student and recruiter surveys from companies throughout the country, as well as data on job offers, selectivity and pay increases. This was GSM’s first appearance on ‘The Best B-Schools’ list, which was published Nov. 24.

MBA Faculty Director Michael Shwartz said he thinks the Graduate School of Management’s niche programs, like health care, team building, international diversity and the ability to customize programs, contributed to the high ranking.

‘What is reflected in our increasing score is recognition of what’s been going on here for 10 years,’ Shwartz, an operations and technology management professor, said. ‘There’s a lot of opportunity to specialize.’

GSM received an A for faculty, a B for both general management and analysis skills, which BusinessWeek evaluated based on recruiter surveys. GSM received a C for its career services, however, a score based on student survey results.

GSM’s C score for career services is something Career Center Assistant Operations Director Jennifer Remis said she hopes to improve. Within the past year, peer meetings, expanded online services and new staff have all been implemented to improve services, she said.

‘If we are receiving Cs, we absolutely want to know why,’ Remis said.

The large numbers of students who use the counseling center make it difficult to reach everyone right when they need it, which could account for the low ranking, Remis said.

‘I know it can be a little frustrating when students come in, and we can’t help right away,’ she said.

The negative score for career services represented false expectations on the part of students, GSM student Michelle Liberatore said. She said that she found career services helpful.

‘A lot of people think you’re going to get your job handed to you on a platter,’ she said. ‘The career center helped me to figure out how to present the skills I had developed.’

GSM student Sarah Guerette said the MBA program helped her’ job search by teaching her resume writing and interviewing skills. Though rankings were not a factor when she applied to business school, they are important in maintaining a school’s reputation, Guerette said.

‘It makes our degree more valuable when you graduate,’ she said.

GSM operations and technology professor Joseph Restuccia said rankings are not always accurate assessments because judges often base rankings on criteria that do not necessarily test a program’s value, such as Graduate Management Administration Test scores. There is also a lag time between improvements in the school and an increase in ranking, he said.

‘I would take them with a grain of salt,’ he said.

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