Bloomberg ranks McCombs among top MBA programs in the country

Nancy Huang

Financial software and media company Bloomberg released a report Feb. 9 rating the Masters of Business Administration program at the McCombs School of Business as among the top business programs in the country.

McCombs scored #1 in both strategic thinking in consulting and communication skills in energy out of 103 business schools for its MBA degree. The data came from a survey of recruiters in 11 industries, who ranked each school for communication and leadership attributes from June to August 2015. This is the first time Bloomberg has measured business schools based on these factors. McCombs was previously ranked 15th overall out of 74 business schools in a 2015 Bloomberg survey.

Stacey Rudnick, director of MBA career management at McCombs, said the report rated the school’s top features.

“We were top-rated in communication skills, in all three of those categories and strategic thinking, leadership and creative problem solving,” Rudnick said. “It’s interesting and accurate that those were areas that best represented our student population and also the areas that our students tend to gravitate towards.”

Rudnick said the school’s MBA+ leadership program differentiates McCombs from other MBA programs.

“One of the things that’s offered [in our MBA plus+ leadership program] is communication skills coaching,” Rudnick said. “We have over 30 second-year peer advisors and so they’re working actively on their pitch, their resume and … interviewing skills.”

Brett Chikowski, a first-year MBA student, said the faculty and classes are applicable to real business scenarios.

“We have a lot of real-world case analysis that we have to do, and we’re taught things that I think would be very useful in the business environment,” Chikowski said.

Rudnick said the MBA program includes a microconsulting project where students can engage in projects for real companies.

“{Students are] not scared of messy problems,” Rudnick said. “They’re not scared of messy data. They really take a holistic view of problems and try to pull in interesting and creative solutions.”

Dhanalak Shmi, an international applicant to the MBA program, said the school appealed to her because of its class size.

“They have a small class of 270 people, so the whole program seems very personal,” Shmi said. “For me, it’s important because it’s in the city of Austin, which is one of the most booming cities in the U.S.”

Rudnick said leadership is also essential for business students to utilize.

“Our tag line at McCombs is ‘leadership is earned,’” Rudnick said. “That’s something we really believe in.”