- Information About:
Welcome to the University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration MBA Conference
Farhang Niroomand, Dean
The MBA Conference is the single most exciting event of the Strategic MBA program. Over a period of eighteen months beginning in 2002, we asked program alumni and MBA employers how we could make your degree more valuable. One point was made over and over again: your education must be relevant, and you must have an opportunity to apply what you have learned to a real-world situation. Strategic MBA students at UHV have always been required to complete, individually and in teams, case studies that demonstrate their mastery of particular functional areas of business, and the capstone has always included comprehensive case analyses, often for presentation. So why is your experience going to be different? Because when you conduct your analysis and present your case, you won’t simply be receiving a grade from your instructor—you will be receiving feedback from a panel of qualified judges that will support you not simply in completing your management education, but actually owning it.
Since we launched the MBA Conference in December 2003, feedback from participating students has been overwhelmingly positive. Overall, participants indicated that they found the conference to be well-organized and a good experience for them. They've enjoyed the time they got to spend with their faculty and fellow students but, more than that, they've enjoyed the process of preparing and presenting an original case--and the confidence that the experience has given them.
Assessing student outcomes in higher education is receiving more attention than ever before. In the University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration, one factor influencing this emphasis on student outcomes assessment is accreditation by AACSB International. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. Major employers regard AACSB International accreditation as the hallmark of excellence in management education, and our accreditation adds value to your degree.
Beginning in 1998, we required all Strategic MBA students to complete a Major Field Test in business while they were enrolled in MGT 6331, which was replaced as the program capstone by MGT 6359 in Fall 2003. This exam required students to attend a face-to-face testing session which lasted three hours. While this assessment tool allowed us to benchmark the effectiveness of our programs against comparable programs around the country, as we redesigned our MBA curriculum we as a school came to believe that we could make better use of that time with a team case presentation. Thus, while our specific assessment tool has changed, the face-to-face component of your capstone class remains the same.
I understand, as does the entire School of Business Administration, that one of the characteristics that makes our program attractive to our students is flexible scheduling, and that blocking out the time to participate in the case competition may be challenging. However, I would like to assure you that this event is well worth the time that we are asking you to spend.
The case competition should not be confused with a thesis requirement. Our Strategic MBA is and has always been designed as an applied degree, and while research skills are critical to success in today’s dynamic business environment, our focus in MGT 6359 is on your ability to apply all of the tools you have acquired as an MBA student to solving a real business problem.
You will have an opportunity to give us feedback on the conference after the fact, and since this is an MBA requirement rather than a course requirement, we hope that you will evaluate this event separate from the course itself. If you have any other questions or concerns, please send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to meeting you in May and wish you much success in the case competition and your future career endeavors.
Farhang Niroomand, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Business Administration