Brigham Young University Marriott School

ACADEMICS

As the official school of the Church of Latter-day Saints (more commonly known as the Brigham Young University shoulders the responsibility of conforming church ideology and ethics to some fairly secular academic disciplines. According to the largely Mormon student body at BYU’s Marriott School of Management, the business school here meets that challenge admirably. Explains one student, “The university and b-school are remarkably strong in moral responsibility and honor code. This is where the competitive advantage of the school is.”

Marriott offers five different graduate degrees: a tradition MBA and a distinct master’s degree in the following: accounting, public administration, organizational behavior, and information systems management. With the exception of accounting students, all Marriott grad students, regardless of their intended degree, enter in the fall and undergo a lockstep first-year core curriculum. First-year core requirements consist of eighteen courses; in almost all of the core courses, several professors share the podium, team-teaching cases from a cross functional perspective. This approach doesn’t please everyone; griped one student, “[there is an] overemphasis on case method. I FEEL o ‘m not getting the practical skills that will be valuable in the short-term.” Students note that “School is very challenging and fast-paced. First semester is packed with many group assignments. The second semester has allowed me to take two electives and do more work on my own time.” One benefit of all the group assignments, according to several students, is that “you make a lot of good friends.”

During their second year, Marriott students must complete three required courses (one in ethics, another in business policy, and a management seminar) but are otherwise free to pursue electives and develop specializations. Students agree that finance and accounting are the strongest areas at Marriott; writes one student, “Classes that are not finance- or accounting-related are too general. The school needs help to develop the marketing, human resources, and operations curriculum.” Many Marriott courses incorporate issues of international import, an area in which most Marriott students are comfortable: many Mormons serve as missionaries in foreign nations. Accordingly, many here are fluent in two or three languages and can speak knowledgeably about foreign cultures and intercultural communication.

Marriott students give their professors mixed grades. Some praise the faculty, telling us that “professors are very willing to consider student input when teaching” and that “most professors here have a healthy sense of how their course relates to the ‘big picture.’” Other students, however, warn that “We have some stellar names who are total lemons in terms of teaching.” Students appreciate the fact that “the administration is making great strides to improve the school.”

PLACEMENT AND RECRUITING

Students at the Marriott School have access both to the MBA program’s Career Services office and to the larger university’s placement center. The CS office also maintains a graduate resume book and a web-based job and application bulletin board. The Marriott Students participates in the West Coast MBA Consortium. Students report that “the Career Placement Center needs to be more effective at bringing companies to campus that students are interested in” and also warn that” for students struggling to find an internship, the schools’ career services isn’t the best source.”

Given the close-knit Mormon community worldwide, it should come as no surprise that placement opportunities here are greatly enhanced by alumni relations. An alumni-student mentoring program allows students to make connections with former Marriott School students. Although students report mixed feelings about the effectiveness of the Careee Services office, they have nothing but good to say about the benefits of their alumni contacts. Says one, “The alumni network is one of BYU’s great strengths.”

Merlene Reeder, Program Administrator

640 Tanner Building, Provo, UT 84602

Admissions: 801-378-3500 Fax: 801-378-4808

Email: mba@byu.edu

Internet: msm.byu.edu/program/grad/mba

STUDENT/CAMPUS LIFE

Students report that Marriott “is very Mormon, but non-Mormon do well here, too.” Several students took exception to Marriott’s reputed homogeneity, telling us that “the student body here is diverse in ways other than race. We have different experiences that mold together due to some similarities.” Writes another MBA, “Students do have different backgrounds. They are especially unique in that most speak another language, having lived in other countries.” Among the upsides of a nearly all-Mormon campus is that “people here look clean, neat, and decent. I feel safe on campus.” Another is that “students are very service-oriented” and “very friendly. My group first semester, first year,” writes one student, “was incredible. We still go to lunch once a week and are helping each other find jobs.”

Extracurricular activities here are devoted to church, family life, informal get-togethers, and outdoor activities in the nearby service projects such s reading to the blind and helping foreign students with English. There’s even a vice-president for community service. The Latter-day Sasint community is divided into “wars” of 100 or so families who meet for worship services and plan social activities. Nonchurch members are welcome to attend. There’s also an active “Spouse Association” that organizes diners and outings. Between school, family, and church responsibilities, “students are very occupied with studies and juggling other areas of their lives. We connect when it comes to school and enjoy the company.” Students enjoy Provo, where “The weather is mild and the cost of living is low.”

ADMISSIONS

According to the admissions office, your GMAT score is considered most important. After that, in descending order, your college GPA, letter of intent, letters of recommendation, language spoken, work experience, sand leadership activities are considered. Writes the school, “Though we look carefully at GMAT and GPA qualifications, we also look at the person behind the numbers. The letter of intent and letters of recommendation are valuable resources in getting acquainted with the person. Because of the international emphasis in our MBA program, we look favorably at applicants who speak a second and third language. As a result we encourage any undergraduate major except business, and we also encourage some work experience.”

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