Suffolk MBA program ranked in top ninety-five

By: Shoshana Akins and Eleanor Kaufman

Financial Times recently ranked the Sawyer Business School in the top ninety-five best Executive Master Business Association programs worldwide.

The Financial Times (FT) is a UK-based business newspaper that is known as one of the world’s leading business news organizations. It has published its ranking of top Executive MBA programs for the past nine years, this being the first year that Suffolk has placed the list.

“It is a very elaborate process and a serious undertaking for the FT to do this ranking,” said Director of Executive Education at the Sawyer Business School, Mike Barretti. “They are putting their whole reputation behind this so it needs to be thorough.”

The ranking is compiled according to the results from two sets of surveys: one that is sent to alumni that graduated three years prior and one that is sent to the university.

“We’re very excited to be ranked and also very happy the alumni community wanted to be involved,” said Kristin Polito, Director of the EMBA program. “I’m glad the alumni and now the FT have recognized the value of going through our program.”

The data from both questionnaires are used to judge the university’s placement in 16 categories, everything from career progress to number of faculty publications. Added to these figures is also the data collected by the FT over the past three years.

Out of all the Universities with EMBA programs in New England, such as Boston University and Northeastern, Suffolk was the only university to make the list.

“This really suggests that we are the preeminent school in New England,” said Associate Dean/Dean of Academic Affairs, Morris McInnes. “I’m glad that Suffolk is finally getting the recognition it deserves.”
Alumni of the Sawyer Business School program are also proud of the organization’s achievement.

“It is a world class education… and it has done me justice,” said Robert Bradshaw, a 2005 graduate and the Chief Operating Officer at Cape Classics, one of America’s top South African wine importers. “I am proud to see Suffolk where it belongs.”

The twenty one-month long program is designed for mid- to senior-level business students who are looking to develop their leadership skills and advance in their careers while still working full time.

“Our program gives students the confidence to handle anything,” said Polito. “They can test their leadership, see how adaptable they are, and learn how to fail. It’s very rigorous.”

Most universities have one to two residencies in their program, while Suffolk requires four residencies: one management retreat, one leadership and team building retreat, one Washington policy-based seminar, and one global EMBA seminar.

Those who have finished their EMBA at Suffolk consider their experience outside of the classroom to be of their most valuable.

According to Alumni student John Vigilante, his coursework abroad was crucial in his education to become globally business-minded.

“It is the real deal,” said Vigilante. “Not like other institutions who pay only lip service to global intent.”

Students have the opportunity to travel to Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia and participate in global seminars as well as cultural activities to challenge and broaden their knowledge in a foreign setting.

While in the EMBA program, Bradshaw was working in the beer industry. He and his cohort traveled to Germany and visited the Paulaner Brewery in Munich where they did an extensive beer testing.

This real-world scenario forced him to communicate his business knowledge to some of the highest-ranking experts in the beer industry.

“I truly learned how to negotiate in a way where everyone can win,” he said. “And that is one of life’s greatest lessons,” said Bradshaw.

Suffolk’s integrated approach is on top in alumni’s opinion when it comes to preparing students for competitive global business careers and now the University has the awards and credentials to back that up.