“The Class of 2014 has been our most impressive, determined, and accomplished group so far,” says Dean Alan T. Shao, School of Business. “We are especially proud of where our graduates are headed into the job market after Saturday’s ceremony. While many are working for top companies in Charleston, others are headed to the northeast, west coast, and to their native countries.”
Companies who have hired or are interviewing this year’s graduates include BB&T Corporate, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International, Kaleidoscope Youth and Family Marketing, Gildan, PeopleMatter, The Cambridge Institute, Blackbaud, Momentum Marketing, and more.
RELATED: Watch a video about the MBA program.
This group is the fourth to complete the one-year program, which continues to evolve in quality and diversity. Of this year’s 40 graduates, six are from China, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, and Italy. Collectively, the class had an average GMAT above 600.
Two students recently scored in the top 99th percentile for the national exit exam that all MBA graduates take upon completion of a program. In addition, two graduates will return to the Charleston School of Law to complete their joint MBA-Juris Doctorate degrees.
Each year, the MBA cohort travels abroad to study foreign markets and cultures. The Class of 2014 traveled to Brazil, the world’s 7th largest economy. During the trip, students were immersed in Brazil’s political and economic landscape, attended lectures at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, the largest university in Rio de Janeiro, and visited international companies including Petrobras, Coca Cola Bottling Company, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, and the 2014 World Cup Soccer and Olympic Stadium. Past MBA classes have traveled to Vietnam, China, and Dubai. In 2015, the students will return to Brazil.
Approximately 75 percent of the students are paired with a senior-level executive mentor who helps to guide the mentees in their career aspirations by helping them navigate industries, corporate contacts, and organization structures. In many instances, the mentors are also paving the way for job placements for the new MBA graduates.
“The mentor program strengthens and builds on our pragmatic, student-focused program,” says Jim Kindley, director of the College’s MBA program. “We want every one of our MBA graduates to enter and succeed in a satisfying career. The professional development and mentors help them in that regard.”
Saturday’s keynote address will be delivered by Steve Swanson ‘89, a math major and Charleston entrepreneur who launched and led of Automated Trading Desk (ATD) which was acquired by Citigroup, Inc. in 2007. Today, he is the managing partner of Eladian Partners, LLC, the chairman of the College of Charleston Comprehensive Campaign, a member of the College of Charleston Foundation Board, a member of the School of Business Board of Governors, and a former member of the Honors College Steering Committee. He and his wife, Emily (class of ’89, biology degree) reside in Charleston and have two children.
The School of Business will begin accepting applications for the MBA Class of 2015 in October 2014 at mbacharleston.com.