Three people collaborating on a MBA project

The Max. M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University has embarked on a journey to transform its Master in Business Administration (MBA) programs.

The reshaping of curriculum and its delivery began with enhancements to Fisher’s Working Professionals MBA (WPMBA) program and culminated this month in a new and uniquely student-focused redesign of its Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) program.

In 2017, Fisher augmented its WPMBA program by adding to its week-day evening format the flexibility of a weekend option for busy students who simultaneously juggle responsibilities with family, work and school. Now, students can access a top-10 nationally ranked program at Ohio’s flagship university through a weekend option that provides free round-trip transportation in Wi-Fi-equipped buses for students traveling to Columbus from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton.

Next, Fisher College of Business has turned its attention to its FTMBA program, making radical improvements through a comprehensive redesign of the program.

“Continuous innovation is a priority which is explicitly highlighted in the college’s strategic plan. This innovation guides our approach to how all of our programs are delivered,” said Anil K. Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher. “Whether through the added flexibility offered to our Working Professional MBA students, or recognizing that every Full-Time MBA experience can — and should — be unique, we’re meeting students where they are and equipping them to get to where they want to go.”

The redesigned FTMBA leverages Fisher’s strong relationships with employers and recruiters to cultivate career competencies sought by organizations. The program offers students an experience that is more personalized, applied and integrated than ever, adding to a functional curriculum delivered by a world-class faculty. Enriched with skills assessments, individualized coaching and hands-on opportunities, the transformed program puts theory into practice.

The FTMBA program utilizes student assessments to tailor an individualized experience that maximizes growth while addressing students’ professional needs. Each student has access to a team dedicated to their success: a conventional academic advisor, a career consultant, a mentor and a professional development coach. The comprehensive support team provides continuous feedback throughout the MBA journey.

Along with teaching by a renowned faculty, and built-in enhanced experiential learning with businesses, the program’s coaching and assessment component is a major differentiator among MBA offerings. Students will undergo an assessment at the beginning of their MBA experience to identify their strengths and skills gaps. The students’ journey will be tailored so they can build on these strengths, close the gaps and earn an MBA that fits and distinguishes them in the marketplace.

The revamped curriculum — led by an expert faculty from a variety of core disciplines — incorporates immersive, cross-functional projects with top companies and organizations locally and globally. Unique program elements such as the Global Applied Projects with international experience, Business Lab Project involving top companies, and the Core Capstone Experience with integrated content, provide MBA students with opportunities to apply insights learned in the classroom, shape business through consulting projects, and maximize social impact.

“The data-driven approach to this redesign has yielded a Full-Time MBA program that is able to maximize the potential of each student,” said Roger Bailey, co-director of Fisher’s Full-Time MBA program and a senior lecturer in marketing. “We are excited about how these many changes leverage Fisher’s strengths, and the increased value it will provide to our students, our alumni and the greater business community.”

Along with the enhancements to its MBA program, Fisher continues to innovate across its other graduate degree offerings.

Earlier this year, Fisher launched a Specialized Master in Business Analytics (SMB-A) to meet marketplace demand for business professionals equipped with data and analytics skills. The 10-month program has a hybrid format that blends online instruction with weekend classes to accommodate the schedules of working and non-working professionals.

“Just as the needs of businesses and industries change, the methods by which we’re equipping the next generation of leaders are constantly evolving,” said Walter Zinn, associate dean for graduate students and programs at Fisher. “These enhancements are great first steps, and we look forward to fostering continued innovation in how we’re shaping our graduate programs and our students.”

“Whether through the added flexibility offered to our Working Professional MBA students, or recognizing that every Full-Time MBA experience can — and should — be unique, we’re meeting students where they are and equipping them to get to where they want to go.”

Anil K. MakhijaDean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business