The George Mason University School of Business has launched a new Master of Science in Management (MSM) for nonbusiness majors. The program is designed to broaden the students' career prospects, enable them to brand and market themselves in diverse ways and expand their skills to meet the growing needs of potential employers. The 11-month MSM program will begin in August 2014.
The School of Business' Master of Business Administration and other graduate offerings will continue to serve students on a business track, many of whom have professional experience. The MSM will be tailored to recent bachelor's degree graduates who are looking for an edge in landing their first jobs.
Every degree and every employment prospect is enhanced and bolstered by foundational business knowledge, says associate professor Paige Wolf, the MSM program director. Students' expertise and passion for their undergraduate pursuit, combined with newly acquired business savvy, will help them secure not only their initial job but also subsequent positions.
"You see it on job advertisements over and over again," Wolf says. "These fundamental business skills are going to be applicable no matter what you do. We all work for organizations that have to do with money, whether it's nonprofit or profit. Having some background in business can really make you stand out. These skills will help them get the job and do better in the job once they're there."
The MSM program, approved this month by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, will be housed on George Mason's Arlington Campus. The program has no prerequisites and is open to graduates from any nonbusiness major, particularly in the liberal arts, sciences and engineering.
This program likely will appeal to Mason undergraduates as a fifth-year master's degree. But recent graduates returning to the Washington, D.C., area after attending a university outside of the capital region, or recent graduates who have moved to the area to enter the job market, might also be attracted to the enhanced career opportunities that the MSM program will provide.
Students will complete the 12-course program in four modules, beginning in mid-August and ending in late June the following year. Classes will take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., a schedule that will enable students to work in the afternoon on team projects, take advantage of career services and study. Afternoons, Thursdays and Fridays also are open for jobs or internships.
The MSM program will include a professional development experience course that can be an internship or an independent study. For a weeklong global residency, students will travel to an international destination, visiting local businesses, governments and universities.
The MSM courses will cover various aspects of management, including economics, marketing, statistical analysis, strategy, finance, accounting, organizational behavior and global business.
The School of Business' career services department, with its vast network of employers, will assist the MSM students with their job searches. Much of the MSM course work also can be applied toward an MBA should an MSM graduate decide after entering professional life to pursue an even more advanced business degree.
"The MSM could be very attractive to an employer who values the liberal arts background along with writing and critical thinking skills, but who also values employees who can talk about things that all businesses need to talk about," Wolf says. "We'll give them the edge in the marketplace not only through knowledge but also team experience, international experience and an internship. It takes them to another level."
Interested students can find more information about the MSM by visiting the School of Business website, by calling 703-993-2136, or by attending the School of Business Graduate Programs Preview Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the Mason Inn on the Fairfax Campus.