Mr Robert J. Dolan, Ross School of Business MBA

Read an insightful interview with Mr Robert J. Dolan, Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business MBA.

Mr Robert J. Dolan, Ross School of Business MBA

An interview with Robert J. Dolan
Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business

About University of Michigan

In 1999-2000, the University of Michigan celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding as a professional school of business. The first courses in “higher commercial education” were offered at the University of Michigan in 1900. In 1926, the School's first MBA graduates entered America's professional workforce. From the beginning, business education at Stephen M. Ross School of Business has set the highest standards for acquiring interdisciplinary knowledge, achieving a global outlook, applying theory to practice and instilling the values of community service and corporate citizenship. Today, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, supported by the strongest of its traditions and creative in its look to the future, stands tall among its peers as the innovative leader of professional business education.

Could you tell us more about your MBA Program?

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business is a premier management education institution nestled within one of the finest research universities in the world. We develop leaders, one individual at a time. This personalized approach to learning and career development results from our deep commitment to general management and our rich and flexible MBA curriculum. 

Michigan's signature brand of across-the-board academic excellence promotes a multidisciplinary, intellectually diverse community of individuals who thrive on collaboration and healthy competition. It is a community built upon the premise that solid understanding of the fundamentals of business is the single best preparation for long-term success in an uncertain world. 

At Michigan excellence in research and teaching go hand-in-hand. Business School faculty members are scholars in their respective disciplines and the business community. Their research infuses classroom learning with new thinking and fresh examples. Because it is the faculty who advocate the general management approach to business education, each considers a solid grounding in fundamental principles the best preparation for a lifetime of leadership challenges. Through lectures, case studies, project work and in-company assignments, you will learn from these men and women that leadership simply is not about producing results. Rather, true leadership is all about the kind and quality of results you produce — and the methods employed to produce them. 

Faculty and students choose to come to the University of Michigan and its top-ranked Business School because of the endless array of choices it offers — in fields of study, in diversity of people, in range of business partners, in global reach and in distinguished alumni. Students also choose to come to Michigan because of the breadth of career opportunities. The University of Michigan Business School is a favorite among recruiters across all industries. Representatives from the nation's blue-chip firms, whether consulting, investment banking, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals or high technology, actively recruit Michigan graduates to join their companies.

What is the profile of your participants?

Profile of the MBA Class of 2003

Undergraduate Majors

  • Business 24%
  • Economics 11% 
  • Engineering 31%
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences 25% 
  • Others 9% 

Full-time Work Experience Average 5 years
Full-time Work Experience Range < 1-16 years
Average Age 28 years
Women 28%
Minorities 21%

Geographic Distribution 

  • Northeast/Mid-Atlantic 22%
  • Midwest 26%
  • South 5%
  • Southwest 5%
  • West 13%
  • U. S. Territories < 1%
  • International 29%

GPA: Average 3.34

GMAT Score
Middle 80% Range 610 — 730
Average 676

Middle 80% Range 623 — 670
Average 645

Number of Applications 3,764 

Class Size 432

What makes the University of Michigan unique amongst business schools?

Three key things distinguish The University of Michigan Business School from other business schools. First, we offer best-of-class training in all disciplines and functional areas — from finance and marketing to strategy and entrepreneurial studies. Students master core skills and then augment this knowledge with a vast array of electives and dual-degree options. Since Michigan does not require its students to concentrate or specialize, students are free to choose the optimal way to refine and enhance their portfolio of skills. 

Second, Michigan excels at fusing theory (core skills) with practice (hands-on opportunities). Multidisciplinary Action Projects — domestic, international and entrepreneurially focused assignments serve as the capstone experience for first-year MBA students. Teams have worked inside corporate America and across the globe every spring for a decade, earning for their alma mater the reputation that Michigan MBAs lead and make things happen. In effect, the MAP (domestic), IMAP (international) or EMAP (entrepreneurial) experience enables students to put what they have learned in the Core to a real-world test. The last seven weeks of the students' first year of study are devoted to a MAP/IMAP/EMAP project. Assignments are with organizations located in the United States, on five other continents or with companies that are building new businesses. Four- and five-person teams work on the ground at the organization and are always in close contact with a faculty advisor and the company's senior management. Projects address real-world, real-time business problems that, when solved, have the potential to create real change within organizations. 

Third, The University of Michigan Business School is part of one of the world's great universities, with breadth and quality matched by very few institutions anywhere. The Business School has cultivated those strengths and established active connections with the rest of the University to deliver unsurpassed depth and breadth in interdisciplinary studies beyond business. The Business School draws on University strengths by offering dual degrees and special integrated programs, seminars, and conferences. Students may also enroll in graduate classes at other schools and colleges within the University as electives.

What type of financial package can your school offer to someone who is accepted at your school?

Scholarship and financial aid opportunities for international candidates exist; however, they are limited. Applicants are urged to investigate funding in their home country. Many government agencies, employers, and banks may offer grants and loans. 

The Business School awards more than 30 scholarships each year to admitted international students with exceptional admissions credentials. International students are encouraged to apply during one of the first two decision periods to receive full consideration for scholarships. Upon successful completion of the first year of the MBA program, awards may be renewed for the second year of study. 

International students may need to borrow from private loan programs to assist with financial certification. The University of Michigan Business School has named Citibank as a preferred private lender for our graduate students. In exchange, Citibank is offering loan funding through their CitiAssist program. This program offers an interest rate of prime without any additional fees. All students admitted to the University of Michigan Business School, including international students, are guaranteed loan approval through CitiAssist without a co-signer. International students will require proper INS documentation for loan approval. Please note that you must be formally admitted before applying for this loan program and proper visa status must be acquired. We believe that the customized CitiAssist program offers a very competitive lending opportunity. However, you are not required to choose Citibank as your private lender and may select any lender from which to borrow.

What is your school doing to remain at the forefront of business and management thinking?

The intellectual vitality of the University of Michigan Business School is rooted in the generation, application and dissemination of new knowledge. Our ten academic areas are comprised of 130 faculty members. Working individually and collaboratively, they are engaged in dynamic theoretical and application-oriented scholarship. 

As renowned authorities in their respective fields of study, faculty at the University of Michigan Business School are frequently called upon by news media to provide expertise for news stories in print, broadcast and online media outlets. In addition to serving as expert sources for breaking new stories, Business School faculty and their research are widely cited in the news, especially faculty research that has a great impact on the business world and society, in general. The Business School's Office of Communications connects news reporters and editors with appropriate faculty sources, as well as provides information about research and special events happening at the School. 

Michigan faculty members are true scholars, accrediting and disseminating the best available knowledge. Faculty must be up to speed in their field and skilled communicators so that they can share their passions with students. In addition, the school recently created additional seed funding for new research projects and has increased its administrative support to help faculty win and manage research grants. 

Perhaps most importantly, Michigan's faculty has designed the MBA curriculum to take full advantage of the dynamic research environment found at the Business School. Also blended into course offerings are the faculty's experiences from their individual consulting activities and the insights gained from teaching executives at the University of Michigan Business School's esteemed Executive Education Center. Exposure to this rich mix of intellectual capital is available to students on a daily basis. Students experience superb teaching, riveting classroom discussions and go way beyond best practices.

What business areas do your students generally enter after graduation?

Employers from an unusually wide range of fields continue to find exceptional management talent at the University of Michigan Business School. The top three industries attracting MBA graduates in 2002 were Investment Banking (21%), Consumer Goods (13%), and Financial Services (13%). In 2002, over 86% of MBA graduates accepted opportunities in three functional areas: Finance (43%), Marketing (27%), and Consulting (16%). 

Further, The University of Michigan Business School is a favorite among recruiters across all industries In Business Week's 2002 “Report Card,” Michigan received straight As from both recruiters (ethics, teamwork and analytical skills) and graduates (ethics and the curriculum). And, in the 2002 Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive survey of “Best Business Schools,” company recruiters ranked the University of Michigan Business School second among the top 50 schools, first among public business schools and the number-one school with an enrollment of more than 500 students.

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