Millsaps College business school ranked in Top 10

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Published: January 1,2007

JACKSON — Each year, The Princeton Review publishes “Best 282 Business Schools.” For the 2007 edition, more than 18,000 students at 282 business schools were surveyed, and the information that they reported was used, along with school statistics provided by school administrators, to create 11 ranking lists. None of these lists purports to rank the schools in terms of overall quality; but by using the lists in conjunction with the “Students Say” profiles and the school statistics, prospective students will be able to identify the attributes of a business school that are important to them.

The idea is that students using the review will be able to generate a list of the schools that can best help them achieve their personal and professional goals.
Millsaps College is one of the schools on the list.

“We’re not sure how we got onto the list to begin with,” said Bill Brister, assistant professor of finance at Millsaps. “When they contacted us, they said that in order to be considered for the Top 10, they’d need access to our students.” Students in the MBA program at Millsaps were given a survey that asked questions for the 11 ranking lists.

“We are so excited to have made the Top 10 list in the category of Best Professors. According to the ranking, Millsaps was ranked number eight out of the 282 schools profiled, just above Harvard and Duke.”

Brister explained that the complete list of schools in the review is not ranked. “Only those schools in the Top 10 are ranked in the various categories.” Brister said that the student survey dealt with the professors’ range of knowledge, accessibility to students and how interesting their classes are.

“Our small class size at Millsaps gives us a definite advantage,” said Brister. “The average size of our classes in the MBA program is about 12 students.” He said that the qualifications of the professors is impressive, as well. “We rarely use adjunct professors. Most of our professors are Ph.D.s in various areas of business, and we use ‘terminally qualified’ professors, meaning that if it’s a business law class, it is being taught by a lawyer.”

Brister said that a point of pride at Millsaps is that it is the only private school in the state to be accredited by the American Assembly of College Schools of Business. “It’s the highest accreditation you can have. We are actually one of the smallest schools in the country to have the AACSB accreditation.”

The Else School of Management at Millsaps offers a rigorous MBA program. “We do some innovative things in our classes, such as ‘team teaching’ classes with two or more professors,” said Brister. “There is a real passion and love of teaching among our faculty, and the students appreciate that.” Admission into the school is an honor. “We are fairly selective on admission. We want only the top students. But once there, we offer generous scholarships to qualified students.”

Hillary Henley, a student in the MBA program at Millsaps, actually participated in the survey that helped Millsaps gain its Top 10 status.

A second-year student in the program, Henley said that it has been the most comprehensive education she’s ever received.

“The attention to detail by the professors is exceptional. They apply everything to real-life situations. We even do projects with businesses outside the school to get experience outside of the academic realm.” Henley said the professors are always accessible. “They have an open door policy. If you need them, you call them and they’ll meet with you any time, for as long as you need them.”

Henley is a Madison native who did her undergraduate work at Millsaps. “I am currently working with John Palmer, former ambassador to Portugal and founder of SkyTel. I began there as an intern at Millsaps, and am now assisting him with a variety of projects.”

Henley said that her work experience combined with the excellent professors at Millsaps has made her more motivated and excited to learn. “I’m planning on eventually getting my Ph.D. I really want to continue learning, and that’s because of the education I’m receiving at Millsaps. I feel blessed to be here.”

Lee Anne Blakney is currently a student in the MBA program at Millsaps, and she certainly agrees with the ranking the school has received. “I got my undergraduate degree at Ole Miss, and started the graduate program at Millsaps in July. In my experience, the professors are extremely knowledgeable. I know the structure is different, but I feel I’ve already learned more since I’ve been here than I did in my four years in undergraduate school.” Blakney said she likes the fact that the professors give the students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to real-life situations. “Once we learn something, they give us scenarios and we are challenged to apply what we’ve learned in deciding what we’d do in that situation.

Blakney said she finds the professors to be very accessible.

“We are actually encouraged to call or e-mail our professors here if we need help or have a question. I talk to my professors all the time outside of class, which is something we didn’t have the opportunity to do in undergraduate school.”

The Corinth native plans to go to law school and open her own law firm. “But after going through the MBA program here, I think I may explore what options are available to me after college. I want to be able to use my MBA before moving on to the next step.”

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