Corporate connections are a major selling point at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox School of Business. Located in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the school offers its MBA students access to a large network of corporate representatives and recruiters—from the 22 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the area to a global university alumni base in excess of 110,000. One highlight of the networking resources Cox provides is its Alumni Association, which has chapters in more than 10 countries. The Economist ranked Cox’s small, collaborative program 20th for “potential to network” in 2016. In addition, Entrepreneur magazine has ranked business-friendly Dallas second among U.S. cities for entrepreneurs.
With 18 Fortune 500 companies located nearby—including UnitedHealth Group, Target, and U.S. Bancorp—the University of Minnesota (UMN) Carlson School of Management also boasts a robust network of corporate ties and high-profile recruiting opportunities. In fact, the Twin Cities placed first in Forbes’s 2011 rankings of the best U.S. cities for finding employment. Carlson also prepares its students with a pronounced hands-on approach to building leadership, management, and problem-solving skills.
Among the school’s more distinctive offerings, Carlson’s four Enterprise programs expose students to the areas of brand, consulting, funds, and ventures. The Enterprise learning experience is rather unique insofar as it operates as a full professional services firm, serving multiple clients and allowing students to work through real-world business challenges with senior management at major companies. In the Brand Enterprise program, for example, Carlson students have developed key marketing strategies for such brands as Cargill, Boston Scientific, Target, 3M, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes. Students in the Consulting Enterprise program have offered services to such companies as Best Buy, Northwest Airlines Cargo, Medtronic CRM Division, and Polaris. With approximately $35M in managed assets, the Carlson Funds Enterprise program ranks among the three largest student-managed funds in the world. Finally, the Carlson Ventures Enterprise program puts aspiring entrepreneurs in contact with experts, professionals, and investors.