FTMBA Recognized in Princeton Review’s “Best Business Schools in 2022” Categorical Rankings

The full-time MBA (FTMBA) program at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business was recently named by Princeton Review as one of the “Best Business Schools in 2022”.

The Princeton Review does not formally rank the best business schools in the country but it does rank schools categorically.

The Mason School’s FTMBA program appeared at the top in five categories: #4 in Greatest Resources for Minority Students; #5 in Best Professors; #5 in Best MBA for Human Resources; #7 in Most Family Friendly Program; and #8 in Best Students.

A Focus on Resources for Students of Color

Research shows that diversity of cohorts is not enough to properly prepare MBA students for the real world of work. Fostering inclusion, equity, and belonging is equally important.

The ranking by Princeton Review recognizes the number of resources available for students of color, which is largely due to the efforts the Mason School has made to create spaces to learn, network, and grow academically and professionally.

“It’s really easy to say we’re a diverse community but when people come here, we want to create a holistic experience where students feel included in the academic, social, and professional aspects of the program,” said Carlane Pittman, Assistant Dean, MBA Programs. “There has been a shift in higher education to focus on inclusion through education, programing, and simply engaging with students in an authentic way. We really want to prepare students for today’s workforce and there is a standard set by employers that they are well-versed in these subjects.”

Many of the new efforts are student-led. The MBA Association established a Diversity & Inclusion committee to create a safe space where students could productively address concerns and promote change throughout the Mason School. Additionally, a group of current and recent FTMBA students reestablished the Black Business Student Association as a way for students across campus to socialize and network.

“I hope the Mason School continues to support these student-led efforts by bringing down silos to allow students to run with different ideas or initiatives,” said Leon Fields, FTMBA ’21. “It’s okay if we don’t know what the outcomes of those initiatives are going to be or if they’re going to be successful. The fact is, the students are willing to take the time to try. It ties into the foundation of what we learn at the Mason School, which is to “Own It”. Sometimes you have to take calculated risks, and sometimes that has to do with a social initiative.”

Mason School alumni are getting involved as well.

“We created the Alumni of Color Network (AoCN), in one respect, to support the student experience,” said Pittman. “We had an undercurrent of alumni who recognized there weren’t many resources for them when they were here, and they saw an opportunity to create an organization where they themselves can network. The Black Business Student Association is now connected with the AoCN which can support our current students by providing mentoring, guidance, and networking opportunities.”

But perhaps one of the most unique resources available to students of color is the Executive Partners Program. Executive Partners are active, semi-active, and retired business executives who participate in formal and informal activities at the Mason School, including one-on-one mentorship.

“There were a lot of players in my journey at William & Mary but namely were the Executive Partners,” said Fields. “We talked a lot about the higher education environment and how to navigate it, and I developed a lot of personal relationships. They sat and listened to me, and shared things about them personally too. It was an amazing resource to lean on and network with.”

The Mason School sponsors programs to support students of color who also come from other historically marginalized or underserved populations. The Women in Leadership Program has held virtual programming for the last two years, and the Center for Veteran Transition recently launched a special initiative for veterans of color accessing services.

Additional educational opportunities and resources are available to all of the students to further promote a better understanding and awareness around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This includes a combination of academic, such as integrating the McLeod Library’s DEIB LibGuide into various curriculum, and the “Diversity Goes to Work” podcast; participatory in the case of the D&I Perspective Series; and community-oriented as with Cultural Heritage Month celebrations and recognitions. The Mason School also plans to launch an anti-racism training program in 2022.

“All of these programs serve the same goal of creating opportunities for students of color to make sure that they have the resources that are going to help them thrive,” said Pittman. “We want to make sure we are being the best version of ourselves and the way to do that is to prepare our students for the workplace that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”

In addition to the Princeton Review rankings, the FTMBA program appeared on the Financial Times’ Global Top 100 FTMBA list.

The FTMBA program was also ranked for the fourth consecutive year as a “Tier One” program by CEO Magazine. The Mason School’s Executive MBA and Online MBA programs were also named as “Tier One” programs in their respective categories.

For more information about Mason School program rankings