In the end, he said, the professors and faculty “really stimulate you and give you different ideas to become business leaders in different industries.”
The financial crisis has led many business schools, including Fordham, to restructure their curricula to manage an economy in constant flux, and address the so-called “black eye” on business head-on.
“The dialog has heightened over the last couple of years,” said Dawn Lerman, associate professor of marketing and chair of the marketing area at Fordham.
“The students are more interested in it, the faculty is putting a greater emphasis on it. We’re infusing it in our courses a little more strongly because this is the dialog that people are having in business and on the streets.”
Restoring integrity to the industry starts with re-energizing students’ passion for the MBA program and related professions upon graduation, said Falguni Sen, professor and acting chair of the management systems.
“If you really feel you can make a change—and I do feel we have to instill that back into the MBA—they are actually there to make a change and if they actually believe that and bring in that passion, then I think that will reflect more of what they would do in their personal lives and reflect that in what they would do in the corporate world.”
One huge bright spot in the industry right now is hiring: accounting, engineering and finance were the three industries that extended the most job offers to recent graduates, according to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
On average, MBA grads from the top 45 business schools in the country will make around $2.5 million in base pay and bonuses over the course of a 20-year career.
Hiring season for MBA grads has not yet rebounded from its 2007 highs, but nine of the 45 top MBA programs experienced small upticks in starting salaries in 2010, according to a report by PayScale.com.
“Two years ago, there was a sharp drop in the number of companies that would come to campus,” said Judy Paul, director of career management and advisement at Fordham.
She recalls that in September 2009 company recruiters did set up interview programs at Fordham, but then cancelled before finishing due to hiring freezes at their firms. It was a low point for the school, said Paul. In the past year, though, those recruiters are returning. “It’s not a hundred percent but we’re finding new companies that had never recruited here before coming to Fordham.”
Students with internships, a leading indicator of employment for business school students, are also making a comeback. “Most of them started with internships and are beginning to come back with full-time jobs as well," said Paul, "but we have more companies coming than ever before."