Diamonds in the Rough: The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School

MBA applicants tend to overvalue rankings and can thereby overlook some strong business schools that might be a good fit. In this series, we profile amazing programs at schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Placing 12th in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2014 rankings of full-time MBA programs, the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has earned a reputation for graduating exemplary business leaders. Students complete a curriculum of required core classes in their first year, all of which put leadership and teamwork at the forefront while also allowing students the flexibility to choose from six optional career concentrations. The Leadership Immersion capstone course refines students’ leadership skills, pitting them in an Apprentice-style team competition and providing them with coaching from executives and faculty. But what really sets Kenan-Flagler apart is the robust sense of community among its students. Teamwork seems to pervade all aspects of the MBA program, from small class sizes that employ the case study method, team projects, and group learning, to the Student Teams Achieving Results program, or STAR, which offers hands-on consulting experience for teams matched with partnering corporations and not-for-profit organizations. While taking the required core curriculum “modules,” students also work closely with an assigned study group, allowing them to develop lasting collaborative relationships.

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