Mr David Smith, Ohio State University MBA

Read an insightful interview with Mr David Smith, Executive Director of the Graduate Programmes Office at Ohio State University MBA.

Mr David Smith, Ohio State University MBA

The Ohio State University is one of the world's largest educational institutions, with over 50,000 students enrolled. By contrast, the MBA program is one of the smallest of leading MBA programs, with a class of 150 or fewer students enrolled annually. A small program within a large research university allows Ohio State to offer an MBA student the best of both worlds - personal attention and access to vast educational resources. The program is one of the most economical choices for MBA studies.

What sets your program apart from other MBA programs?

We are one of the smallest of leading U.S. MBA programs, allowing us to give each student individual attention to help them realize their own potential. But our modern campus is located within one of the world's largest and most highly respected research universities, so all of our students benefit from the university's vast resources. Every Fisher MBA completes a major, sometimes specializing by taking classes in 120 other graduate programs offered at Ohio State. And we focus on leadership and professional development with special activities and workshops outside regular classes. And our low tuition cost and generous financial aid makes the Fisher MBA degree more affordable for more students.

What can you tell us about your school's success in finding its graduates employment?

Fisher's Office of Career Services is widely recognized for its success in MBA placement, having been recently recognized by the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal as first or second in the U. S. in career placement. Among schools listed in U. S. News and World Report's top 30 business schools for 2007, Fisher's placement rate of 95.4% was tied for first among the top 25 schools. At Fisher, each MBA student is assigned a career counselor who will help with such things as writing cover letters and resumes, interviewing techniques, and networking. Career Services also provides consultation on job and internship search preparation and on-campus interviews. In 2006, over 95 percent of Fisher College MBAs accepted a full-time position within three months of graduation, with an average starting salary of over $80,000 (USD).

Do you have any advice for studentslooking to get an MBA?

Too many students overemphasize rankings. This leads them to ignore personal fit and not adequately consider return on investment in the education decision. Narrowing the search by concentrating on schools ranked among the top 30 or 50 schools does makes the search manageable, but many aspiring MBA candidates make the mistake of looking only at the top ten or fifteenschools. Apply to two of the top ten schools, and no less than three and no more than seven of the other leading schools to gauge funding opportunities available to you at various levels. When you have received all of your admission and funding offers, you can make a value decision based on your actual cost, balancing price against quality, much like other consumer decisions you make every day. Many aspiring MBA students miss excellent opportunities for highquality and low-cost MBA degrees by focusing only on a few elite and expensive schools.

What are the characteristics you are looking for in applicants?

Our entire application process is designed to evaluate three things:

  1. intellectual ability
  2. leadership potential
  3. passion for business.

Strong candidates for admission will demonstrate all of these, but the best candidates will also be able to show how an MBA degree will help them to accomplish their educational and career goals and be able to articulate how their experience will combine with the MBA degree to enable them to reach these goals. Furthermore, since much of the learning that takes place in the best MBA programs comes from fellow students, we want to see how a prospective student's unique experiences help us to build the leaning community that we have created here at Fisher.

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