Marriott MBA program ties No. 1 in the nation

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BYU Cougar Capital is a venture capital and private equity fund run by second-year MBA students. (Spencer Clegg)

The Marriott MBA program has tied for first place with Georgetown’s McDonough Business School for best-trained graduates entering the workplace, according to Bloomberg.

The Marriott School of Business currently enrolls approximately 3,300 students and has trained students to “serve with a purpose,” according to Jason Hall, recruiting and marketing manager of the MBA program.

Hall said he has seen the greatness of students within the school even though he has only been with the university for five months.

“Most of our MBA students are returned missionaries, so they have the professionalism that comes with serving a full-time mission,” Hall said. “They are responsible, have a good work ethic, know how to network and they know how to talk to people.”

Students are also required to have two years of work experience prior to applying for the MBA program, according to Hall. He said the preparation that comes from a mission and work puts BYU students above other universities in regards to being prepared to enter the MBA program.

Like in undergraduate programs, Hall said, experiential learning opportunities are available to all MBA students to gain real-life experience, which helps them be prepared for the workforce.

“Experiential learning gives students hands-on experience with resources from BYU. So, they are dealing with real companies, real money and are building their resumes,” Hall said.

Spencer Clegg is currently enrolled in the finance track and will be graduating with his MBA in April.

“The MBA program has multiple experiential learning clubs where you can get involved in real-world stuff,” Clegg said. “For example, I am in a group called Cougar Capital, a student-run venture capital fund with almost $4 million under (its) management. We do research and invest that money in real companies. This type of real-world exposure leads to better training and better performance on the job post-MBA.”

Clegg said he believes the rigorous nature and helpful spirit of the students makes for a great learning environment.

BYU Cougar Capital is a venture capital and private equity fund run by second-year MBA students. (Spencer Clegg)

“Cooperative competition is the prevailing environment,” Clegg said. “Students work really hard, but it’s not dog-eat-dog, and students are very quick to help one another.”

Clegg also believes a gospel-centered learning environment contributes to the success of students and graduates.

“My favorite thing about the Marriott School is its anchor in the gospel,” Clegg said. “One of my highlights of the program has been listening to successful business professionals come guest lecture in class about how they have been able to keep the gospel a part of their lives, even during their business careers.”

Hall said he believes a gospel-centered learning environment plays a large role in the outcomes of graduates from the Marriott school.

“The students coming in all have a direction in life,” Hall said. “They all serve with a purpose that is not selfish, and they try to better their educations with serving others in mind.”

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