Meredith’s Accelerated MBA program allows the College’s undergraduate students to earn a graduate degree in just one additional year, saving both time and money. Also referred to as a “4+1 MBA,” the program launched in 2018 and the first cohort graduated in May 2020 with two students, Sydney Spadaro, ’18, ’20 (MBA) and Christina Cowperthwait, ’18, ’20 (MBA). Both had a 4.0 GPA and Cowperthwait was named MBA Student of the Year for 2020. She recently landed a new job after completing the program, and said she felt her MBA was a deciding factor.
“The job market was not what I imagined it would be when I began the program. I applied to nearly 75 jobs and only heard back from a handful of companies,” said Cowperthwait. “I decided to attend Meredith’s Virtual Career Fair and am so grateful that I did. I received an invite to interview with one of the companies and later accepted a position. I believe having my MBA at such a young age set me apart from other more experienced candidates who might have only had a B.S.”
The program continues to expand, with seven accelerated MBA students currently enrolled. Miranda Davis, ’20, who earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in the spring, is on track to complete her MBA in summer 2021.
“Because I studied business as an undergraduate, I was familiar with many of the MBA professors and eager to take their classes at a higher level,” said Davis. “The job market is more competitive than ever right now so I am hopeful that my MBA will allow me to set myself apart from other applicants.”
Ansley Friesz, ’21, ’22 (MBA) is an interior design major who is just completing her first class toward her MBA. Friesz hopes to eventually own an interior design firm and said she thinks having her MBA will give her additional employment options and an advantage in the job market.
“Although it can be challenging balancing the workload of my undergraduate classes with my MBA course, my professor has been amazing and the faculty is very supportive,” said Friesz. “The faculty are extremely dedicated to your learning, growth, and success.”
Assistant Professor of Management Lisa Delise said students accepted into the program are typically high-achieving students already engaged in activities on campus, so they are well-prepared to manage the demands of the program.
“Every 4+1 student I’ve had in a course possesses the integral time management skills they need to determine how to best handle the additional workload and higher expectations,” she said. “In fact, I often notice that my 4+1 students bring to the class a closer reading of the material than some of the working professionals, and they’re often the ones citing the articles and reminding the class of specific arguments from authors.”
In return, she observed, the 4+1 students value hearing the experiences of the working professionals.
“Their academic knowledge is truly supplemented by learning about situations their classmates have encountered and solutions they’ve implemented in the workplace,” she said. “When the 4+1 students are integrated into discussion groups, it’s easy to observe the mutually beneficial relationships in the classroom, whether face-to-face or virtual.”
Alli Barrow, ’20, ’22 (MBA) , said being enrolled in the Accelerated MBA as a senior helped with her job search.
“Being a part of the 4+1 MBA program was something that I could leverage in conversations with potential employers. It showed them I valued continuous learning and was purposeful in preparing for my future career,” she said. “Now that I am starting my career in project management at MetLife, I see it helping me to advance in the company.”
Qualified students complete a core set of business courses during their first three years at Meredith. During their senior year, students in the program will take two MBA courses that will count toward their undergraduate and graduate requirements. After earning an undergraduate degree, students will be able to complete the Meredith MBA with two semesters and two summer sessions.
Contact MBA Associate Director Carolina Diaz at (919) 760-2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to enroll in the Accelerated MBA program.