By Stephen Lewis
Current student in residential MBA and Data Analytics master’s programs
Coming from a small high school in Potsdam, N.Y., and then attending SUNY Potsdam, I was looking for a graduate school with reputable programs, small program sizes and the possibility of joining clubs. Luckily enough for me, I didn’t have to look far because Clarkson University checked every box. It would be easy to say that I only chose Clarkson because I’m from Potsdam and went to undergrad at SUNY Potsdam, but that is not the case. Clarkson had not only what I was looking for but also a few things that I had overlooked in my search, like networking opportunities, a variety of certification options and even a 100 percent job placement rate among its MBA graduates.
I double-majored in Business Administration and Mathematics in my undergrad, and I knew the next step was to get my MBA. The Clarkson MBA was presented to me in my junior year, and although I knew it would have been convenient to attend Clarkson, this is when I started researching other schools. On top of this, I knew I would miss the analytical work that I had done within my math major, and with Data Analytics (DA) being a rapidly growing field I was contemplating getting a master’s degree in DA instead.
I researched many schools that offered just an MBA or just a master’s degree in DA, while still on the fence of which path to pursue, until I heard about Clarkson’s dual degree program. Clarkson was the only program that I had found that offered a dual degree program where I could get an accelerated MBA and a master’s degree in Data Analytics in just two years. Having researched Clarkson’s accredited MBA program during my undergrad, I knew this was the best option.
I have gotten the opportunity to work with and collaborate with many of the same students in multiple classes throughout both of my programs, forming relationships that go beyond the classroom with many people that I now consider some of my best friends.
When attending a small school, I expect to have better interactions with professors in class, make more relationships rather than acquaintances and get involved more easily. Fortunately, Clarkson has lived up to my expectations. The majority of my classes have had between 20-30 students, and the professors talk to you, rather than at you. This has allowed me to form better relationships with these professors both through in-class interactions and office hours. I have also gotten the opportunity to work with and collaborate with many of the same students in multiple classes throughout both of my programs, forming relationships that go beyond the classroom with many people that I now consider some of my best friends.
A few of the strongest relationships I have formed at Clarkson have been with the staff in the graduate business offices. Not only are these staff members here to help you and and answer any questions you may have, they are here for you when you are having a bad day and simply need to talk to someone. They care about us and treat us like family. I have been lucky enough to be the graduate assistant and summer intern in this office, which I feel has only strengthened these valuable relationships.
When coming to Clarkson, I didn’t anticipate all the networking opportunities that we would be presented with. My undergrad program didn’t stress or heavily advertise attending our career fair, so this was a new experience for me. From day one at Clarkson, the fall and spring career fairs were mentioned, with extra attention given to preparing for the fairs. On top of the fairs, we’ve had the opportunity to attend different events where we could meet and mingle with alumni, enabling us to grow our network.
Clarkson’s accelerated, residential MBA boasts a 100 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation, and it’s become clear to me why that is. With the high quality education we are presented with and the opportunity to excel and grow, we leave Clarkson with skills that allow us to excel in many fields.