Mays Business School’s Master of Science in Business program congratulated 40 students in its inaugural graduating class with a hooding ceremony at the end of the Spring 2017 semester. ‘Jon Jasperson, MS Business Academic Director, spoke highly of the Class of 2017, describing the students as a diverse group that quickly became a tight-knit community.

Launched in fall 2017, the Mays MS Business program is a one-year program for students who did not study business as undergraduates. The program offers core functional knowledge in the various business disciplines and provides students hands-on experience in creating and running a real business.

“This class drew students from a variety of educational backgrounds and personal interests,” Jasperson said. “The student culture in many majors, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), is very competitive and mostly based on individual performance. As the director, it was fun to observe the change in the students as they learned about cooperation and collaboration in a team-based classroom environment.”

Jasperson said the students began to bond as a family beginning with the first block of classes of the program year. “They met every day, Monday through Friday, in the same classroom from 1:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., for four weeks. This total immersion in the MS Business classes quickly led to establishing relationships with new ‘family’ members for the students. Not only did they meet together in the classroom and for team meetings, but they also began hanging out with each other and socializing.”

Graduate Garrett Svane said that one of the highlights of the program was the opportunity to participate in real-world experiences. “During the year, I took part in various simulations, which included laying off an employee, delivering a sales pitch, and communicating with actual business men and women during a formal dinner,” Svane said. “These experiences have been crucial for my professional development as I begin my career.”

Jasperson added that he had the opportunity to get to know the students well throughout the year, and he is confident of the trajectory on which the graduates are headed. “I feel like I added 40 additional children to my family in the last year,” he said. “Collectively, I think this group of MS Business graduates will become transformational leaders in their chosen careers.”

Graduate Kara McMurray, who studied Visualization as an undergraduate, said the MS Business program has prepared her for her new career in consulting. “I never imagined I’d be able to pursue consulting until this program made it within arm’s reach,” she said. “It made me comfortable with business, and I catch myself realizing just how much myself and my classmates learned in 11 months when I talk with other business professionals. And although I came to this program seeking a rewarding career in business, I left with much more a tightly woven community that’s like family and a higher awareness of who I am and what I want my future to be.”