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MBA up 8 places in U.S. News ranking

U.S. News and World Report logo.

The School of Management has again been ranked a best business school by U.S. News and World Report in its annual ranking of MBA programs. Ranked at No. 73 out of 471 MBA programs surveyed, the school climbed eight spots from last year and is in the top 15 percent of accredited B-schools.

“Across the school, we have worked hard to enhance the quality of our academic programs by focusing our resources on the recruitment of high-caliber students and top faculty, creating outstanding learning experiences and providing high-quality career development,” said Dean Paul Tesluk. “It’s gratifying to see those efforts reflected in our forward movement in these rankings and in our global reputation.” 

The ranking focuses on three major areas: quality assessment, placement success and student selectivity. The School of Management is the only business school in the Buffalo Niagara region to be included in the U.S. News business school rankings. 

Boosting business analytics

With an ever-increasing focus on using data to make business decisions, the School of Management is preparing students to make sense of the vast amount of information companies produce and collect every day. Here’s how:

  • For years, Frank Krzystofiak, associate dean of executive education and associate professor of organization and human resources, has taught a course in data modeling. Alumni frequently cite it as one of their favorites — and one of the most useful. The course takes a deep dive into Microsoft Excel and how to use it to manipulate data to provide information and make decisions.
  • In MGQ 408, “Business Analytics and Data Science,” Laura Amo, visiting assistant professor of management science and systems, and Dianna Cichocki, clinical assistant professor of management science and systems, teach students to harvest and mine data, identify patterns, create predictive models and put forth data-driven recommendations.
  • Students in MGQ 408 partnered with the Olmsted Center for Sight, serving as data analytics consultants for the local nonprofit.
  • This spring, a School of Management team participated in the Pitt Business Analytics Case Competition for the first time. Students presented their case to managers from Dick’s Sporting Goods at the company’s headquarters in Pennsylvania.
  • Full-time MBAs can select a recently launched concentration in analytics to receive foundational quantitative and analytical skills paired with application in specific management areas.
  • Data analytics are woven into undergraduate and graduate accounting courses taught by Lorrie Metzger and Kathy Nesper, clinical assistant professors of accounting and law.

The future of health care

After the Affordable Care Act video

This spring, as leaders across the country continued to debate health care reform, the School of Management launched a new speaker series to examine how business impacts society.

The inaugural event, “After the Affordable Care Act: A Nonpartisan Conversation on the Future of Health Care,” tackled the wide-reaching impact of Obamacare and how health care providers, insurance companies and patients were navigating the law’s uncertain future.

Nationally renowned experts from UB, Independent Health, Catholic Health and Kaleida Health came together for a discussion moderated by Larry Zielinski, who brings 25 years of industry experience to his role as executive in residence for health care administration in the School of Management. The panelists shared their insights on such topics as Medicare and Medicaid, prescription drug costs and the shift toward value-based payment models.

The event complemented the school’s growing portfolio of health care management programs and partnerships, including dual and collaborative programs that combine an MBA with a health-related graduate degree, the Accelerated MBA for Medical Residents and Fellows program, an MBA health care management concentration and non-credit-bearing programs.

In addition, the event kicked off the school’s Business and Society series, a periodic forum to examine important — and sometimes controversial — issues facing organizations and society.

“Business has many ways in which it impacts society, and through this series, the School of Management will bring together thought leaders for a focused, engaged discussion on critical issues facing all of us,” said Dean Paul Tesluk.    

Grad lounge gets extreme makeover

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From left: Ellen Ragus, MBA ’18; Brianna Tom, BS/MBA ’17, chair of the Graduate Giving Council; Jan Malof, BS ’82, president of Interior Solutions; Mark Wilson, BS/MBA ’18; Todd Czarcinski, CEL ’09, owner, Hamburg Floor Covering; and Lorraine Schunk, strategic account manager, Steelcase. Photo: Tom Wolf

The old graduate lounge received a major overhaul last spring, thanks to the generosity of three local companies: Interior Solutions, Steelcase and Hamburg Floor Covering, as well as numerous students who contributed to the Graduate Class Gift Fund.

The newly named Graduate Study Center was transformed from a lounge area to an aesthetically pleasing professional space featuring a stand-up height table with media scape, wireless technology, mobile whiteboards and comfortable seating. Over the past five years, the Graduate Giving Council has raised funds to help current and future students and give back to the school. Full-time MBA and Master of Science students chose to help fund renovation of the space to promote collaboration, teamwork and a strong work ethic. 

Accounting grads earn international opportunities

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Popovski. Photo: Tom Wolf

With their accomplishments this spring, three 2017 accounting graduates are already making an impact on their profession.

Brittany Popovski, BS ’16, MS ’17, earned a highly coveted postgraduate technical assistantship at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for U.S. companies and nonprofits.

Popovski was the sixth School of Management student in six years chosen for a yearlong position at the FASB or its counterpart for state and local governments, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

“At the FASB, I’ll enhance the critical thinking skills I developed at UB and my understanding of accounting standards from many points of view,” she said. “Afterward, I hope to make a difference in the profession by helping clients interpret and implement new standards.”

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Januszkiewicz accepts his award from Frank M. O’Brien, immediate past president, Internal Audit Foundation. Photo: IIA

Meanwhile, Kyle Januszkiewicz, BS ’16, MS ’17, and Wanyin Yan, BS ’16, MS ’17, took first and third place, respectively, in the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Esther R. Sawyer Research Award competition. This is the first time two students from the same university have placed in the competition, open to students worldwide in an IIA-endorsed comprehensive internal auditing program.

“Our students’ success has helped cement our reputation as a premier accounting program,” said Feng Gu, associate professor and chair of the Accounting and Law Department. “Our undergraduates gain the core skills the profession requires, while master’s students further hone their critical-thinking, communication and analytical skills through complex case studies. These abilities are critical for CPAs to be successful — today and tomorrow.”

Mastering business worldwide

A School of Management education means gaining a global perspective on business. This spring, students in all three of our MBA programs traveled abroad to experience a continuum of international learning — and engage with alumni all over the world.

In January, full-time MBAs experienced a broad spectrum of opportunities in China, meeting with alumni and executives at such businesses as China National Petroleum Corp., United Family Health Care, Rich Products, HSBC and Bloomberg, while also exploring historical and cultural landmarks in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Another cohort of full-time MBAs traveled to Europe in March, beginning with a stop in Budapest, Hungary, and continuing on to Warsaw, Poland. Throughout the trip students visited businesses and government organizations, including the Hungarian Parliament, Mosaik, 3M Poland and Apax Consulting Group.

“It was an experience and learning opportunity of a lifetime,” said Georgiana Franks, a first-year MBA student. “This trip allowed me to grow as a person and step out of my comfort zone, and I am so happy I did.”

Executive MBAs also traveled to China, with stops in Beijing and Shanghai in March. Their trip included visits to European Chamber of Commerce in China, Honeywell and BASF China, as well as the in-depth group projects related to their own organizations.

The Professional MBAs followed a focused path into international marketing. The group traveled to Milan, Italy, and Munich, Germany, in March, and met with executives at such businesses as BMW, Ketchum Pleon Munich, Leo Burnett Milan and Rancilio Group.

“Armed with a great educational foundation, we discovered the ‘why’ behind a company’s marketing choices based on cultural norms,” said Carrie Rollison, PMBA ’17. “The experience we gained applies far beyond classroom concepts.”

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Jessica Latt.