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EDUCATION
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Cal State Fullerton plans to launch 16-month MBA

The degree program aims to arm students will ‘soft skills’ in addition to academic knowledge.

BY BRANDON RUSSELLPublished: March 24, 2011 07:53 AM

Photo by endostock – Fotolia
Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics in the fall will launch a 16-month MBA that’s focused on arming students with real-world “soft skills.”

Components of the program will include specialized academic advising, focused career development services and counseling, internship opportunities, and dedicated career management assistance, which students can take advantage of for up to six months after graduation.

“Business leaders generally feel that graduates of most MBA programs come out of school with academic knowledge, but few soft skills – what we see as the blend of interpersonal, leadership, communication and decision-making skills,” explained Anil Puri, dean of the business school. “We are responding to that need by creating a program that provides these specific skills in an accelerated setting. It will allow the students to get into – or return to – the working world in less time than most programs.”

The program is open to all majors and will include 15 courses in accounting, finance, management, economics and courses relevant to the student’s concentration.

Students will learn by participating in simulations, demonstrations and role-playing exercises; in turn, they will receive immediate feedback from their instructors.

Van Muse, director of MBA programs, highlighted Mihaylo’s more hands-on approach.

“In other MBA programs, ‘soft skills’ are offered as lectures or PowerPoint presentations, either at the beginning or end of the program. We have integrated these lessons throughout the program by having intensive workshop sessions taking place in the middle of the 16-week semesters,” said Muse.

In addition, the program will include an international cultural experience and global business study during the January intersession between the first and second semesters.

“The opportunity to travel to an international location and learn about business practices firsthand from companies and executives in a foreign location is an invaluable part of any MBA experience,” said Muse. “By including this experience as part of the overall program – and connecting it with our soft-skill development program – our students will be able to learn and test effective practices on an international scale.”

The inaugural 35-member class is currently under recruitment.

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