Most perspective MBA students seem to have an inherent competitive spirit – a sort of drive that makes them want to be the best in every situation they encounter. While these types are definitely present in every class, and across all universities, I believe that the University of San Diego is unique in building MBA cohorts that focus on more than being “top of the class.” I started to see this unique difference as early as orientation week, when the faculty seemed more concerned with building strong relationships than with somehow categorizing and labeling individual accomplishments. The focus was more on the unique qualities that the cohort shared, than the ones that could have separated the class. From that point on, this trend seemed to carry through.
The first semester of classes are anything but easy. In fact, I would venture to say that no single individual can make it through an MBA program. Instead, teams become heavily reliant on each other to lighten the tremendous load that comes with graduate level Business classes. For me, this was absolutely critical, as most in my team had the previous classes or experience that my political science degree did not prepare me for. This type of support is not isolated to the individual teams, but permeates throughout our entire cohort. It has created a culture in which no one team is trying to outdo another, but instead each team recognizes that the success of the cohort matters more than any single project or assignment.
It would be inaccurate to say that the culture created at the USD School of Business is built solely on the backs of the current cohort. Each one of the faculty play a critical role in addressing the current and future needs of all the MBA students. Additionally, the professors are perhaps the most passionate people that I have met to date. The small class sizes allow them to provide individual attention to any student who needs help, and they are always more than willing to accommodate.
I had several options for business school, some of which were ranked higher than the University of San Diego. Since beginning the program, I have come to realize that rankings are not everything, and should not be the sole determinant in business school selection. In fact, I feel that the culture of a school should hold equal weight to the rankings. That is because the University of San Diego is helping each cohort build life-long relationships, while giving students the critical business tools that employers are looking for in graduate-level employees. For these reasons, I am absolutely thrilled to attend the University of San Diego, and know that doing so will position me for a successful career in whichever business function I eventually land on.
-Submitted by Nathan McCutcheon, a first year
Full-Time MBA student in the General Management track and newly-elected president of the USD Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA). Prior to enrollment at USD Nathan was a medic for the US Army. Nathan is also a proud father to a three-month old baby boy. Thanks to a supportive cohort and great learning team members he has survived sleepless nights of fatherhood while managing a full-time course load!