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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 3, 2009

Financial Times ranking reflects Tippie MBA focus on experiential learning

The Financial Times recently ranked the University of Iowa's Tippie MBA Finance program as the top public graduate finance program in the world -- an achievement that administrators say reflects the college's emphasis on learning by doing.

"The focus of our educational program is on experiential learning and providing opportunities for students to apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom in on the job settings," said Jay Sa-Aadu, associate dean for the Tippie School of Management.

The college will reinforce that focus in coming years as the Tippie MBA program puts in place a new curriculum that heavily emphasizes on-the-job learning.

The change will start next fall and reorganize the program around three academies -- Finance, Marketing and Strategic Innovation -- with each one led by a faculty member and a business director.

Curt Hunter, dean of the Tippie College of Business, said the business director will be a functional area professional who will help students find opportunities to use what they've learned in workplace situations.

"This new organization will provide the critical linkage to industry and to strategic partnerships that offer numerous professional development opportunities for our students, from mentoring by successful business executives to preparation for various professional certifications," said Hunter. "By enhancing and strengthening interactions between our students and professionals in the field, these career academies can dramatically expand the employment opportunities available to our MBA students."

The Finance Department's recent best-in-the-world ranking shows how effective experiential leaning is. In its annual ranking of management programs on Jan. 27, Financial Times ranked the Tippie MBA Finance program as the number one full-time public program globally, number nine overall.

Matt Billett, associate professor of finance and director of the Finance Academy, said the Financial Times results are especially rewarding because the newspaper ranks schools based in part on alumni surveys taken three years after the students have graduated, as well as corporate recruiters.

"They're asking someone who went through the program, and then went out and test drove what they learned if they thought their education was worthwhile," he said. "Their answer is a resounding yes."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

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