UCI’s own Graduate School of Management ranked 15th-best in the nation in its Executive MBA Program by the Financial Times.
The GSM sees this ranking as a reflection of what the GSM already has: prolific faculty and high-caliber students.
Internationally, the Executive MBA ranked 26th. Last year, the school placed 43rd globally and 24th among the business schools in the nation.
The Executive MBA program trains middle and top-level managers to ascend beyond their current management roles.
When UCI first opened, no Executive MBA program existed. What began were programs providing MBA Masters of Administration degrees. Later on they altered this to MBA Masters of Business Administration.
In 1985 the focus was changed and the Executive MBA program was introduced. What resulted was one of the best Executive MBA programs in the nation.
Recent surveys have clued into this program, which ‘is not as big as others,’ according to graduate student Feng Tian.
‘I think that the Graduate School of Management is a very good school,’ Tian said. ‘The professors are excellent and as a member of the Ph.D. program, I think the quality of the faculty is very important.’
According to Business Week, the GSM ranked fifth in Faculty Intellectual Capital, trailing just slightly behind Harvard and MIT.
Erik Charles, director of the Executive MBA and the Health Care Executive MBA programs, graduated from the Executive MBA program in June.
According to Charles, the exceptional faculty is part of the reason for the program’s success.
‘I can say that having had these instructors as my instructors, we have some of the best faculty in the nation here,’ Charles said. ‘Some of the ranking surveys take that into account.’
The school’s success can also be attributed to the students of the GSM.
‘The students build the quality of the program,’ said Joanna Ho, associate dean of the GSM. ‘The rank reflects student satisfaction with the program’s quality.’
Executive MBA students include entrepreneurs with an average of 14 and a half years of business experience. Many also hold positions as senior executives, senior managers and successful entrepreneurs.
The faculty discusses their latest research with their students, which turns into a discussion between a member of the faculty and a student with many years of business experience.
‘The classroom becomes applied theory immediately instead of waiting until graduation,’ Charles noted.
‘Part of the reason people come to the [Executive MBA] program is because of who they are sitting in the classroom with,’ Charles said. ‘What you, as a student, are looking for is not just what is coming from the front of the classroom, but what is coming from your sides. Before they even graduate, the students are already successful when they join the Executive MBA program.’