International students in Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in the US have access to cutting-edge business leadership courses, networking opportunities at global enterprises, and internships that provide hands-on experience. The AACSB-accredited MBA program at Gonzaga University is no exception, with top 20% rankings since 2009 and a top-50 ranking for its part-time MBA program in 2021.* However, it is a commitment to students as well as the school’s holistic Jesuit educational model that sets Gonzaga’s MBA program apart from the crowd.
“In fact, I was myself an ESL (English as a Second Language) student; then, I started the MBA program in the US after about six months,” said Mirjeta Beqiri, PhD, programs director and professor of operations at Gonzaga, who is originally from Albania. “That’s a perspective I bring as we recruit students, but more importantly, when I work with our international students. International students have unique requirements and we tailor our services based on our students’ requirements. In Gonzaga’s MBA program, we focus on that one-to-one interaction between students and faculty.”
Let’s take a look at some of the top features that set Gonzaga University’s new Global MBA program apart.
A Challenging Education in the Jesuit Tradition
Gonzaga University’s School of Business Administration is in the top 50 of the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School rankings. Still, the high “Better World MBA Progam” ranking speaks to the university’s priorities and its Jesuit MBA identity.
Better World MBA programs are celebrated for their commitment to sustainability in course content and faculty research. Courses at Gonzaga, such as Business Ethics, Operations, Marketing, and Sustainable Business, to name a few, incorporate sustainability into the curriculum.
“Something that we are very proud of is our focus on educating and creating ethical and socially responsible business leaders,” said Beqiri. “We have a course that focuses on business ethics; yet ethics, as a subject, is incorporated and integrated into almost every single course.”
Graduate students who apply to Gonzaga’s business programs are asked three questions as part of the admissions process:
What matters most to you in life?
What are your short- and long-term goals?
“Gonzaga’s Jesuit culture is about a student’s holistic development,” said Liliya Ambartsumyan, managing director of Gonzaga Global. “It focuses on the extracurricular in addition to the academic.”
Living and Studying in Spokane, Washington
Spokane, Washington, is a medium-sized city located in the Western United States. Spokane is the second-largest city in Washington (after Seattle) and is known for its beauty and access to the mountains.
“It’s not too small, not too big,” said Beqiri. “It’s perfect for someone who wants to study, but there is also so much to do, like outdoor activities, visiting Seattle or Portland, which are not far away.”
Spokane is well known for startups and tech firms looking to expand in business-friendly municipalities. Apple, Honeywell, Insight, and Intrado all have a presence in Spokane.
“Spokane has certainly benefited from the recent trend of Silicon Valley-based firms moving their headquarters elsewhere,” said Ambartsumyan. “This has created a dynamic environment where small startup companies are establishing themselves in the area.”
As a result, Gonzaga business students have access to many internship and work-study opportunities.
“Most international students don’t know what to expect before they come to town; they only know that Spokane isn’t a major metropolis like Delhi, Beijing, or New York,” said Ambartsumyan. “But Spokane is a hub — it’s long been a medical hub and is now becoming a tech hub. Career opportunities abound.”
Admissions at Gonzaga Global MBA
The MBA program at Gonzaga will admit its first students through Gonzaga Global in Summer 2022. Admissions will be on a rolling basis.
By enrolling through Gonzaga Global, international students benefit from:
A streamlined application process
Visa application and interview support
A friendly welcome and guidance with adjusting to campus
Academic support, including English-language tutoring
Career development services
“What makes our MBA program even more attractive to potential applicants is its two entry options: the Advanced Masters Accelerator Program (AMAP) and a Graduate Direct route,” said Ambartsumyan. “The program is designed to give students the flexibility they need to succeed and begin building careers.”
The expanding business program at Gonzaga will also include a new full-time option in addition to the existing part-time curriculum and flex-learning program that began during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have 23 credits of core courses (11 courses), which incorporate both hard and soft skills, including the capstone course — strategic management. There are 10 to 12 credits as electives,” said Beqiri. “A student can either choose to do a general MBA program, MBA program with a finance concentration, or MBA with a concentration in project management, which we started three years ago. We offer elective courses on topics such as health care informatics, decision making for managers, financial modeling, and real estate, that allow students the flexibility to choose a concentration or build their own.”
Flexibility extends beyond the US: International partnership programs connect students to European business leaders working in sustainable industries. Gonzaga’s Career Trek program links business school students with corporate-level leaders, alumni, mentors, and Gonzaga business and enterprise contacts in cities as close as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, and as far as London.
“We encourage students to go to those Treks and get connected with individuals from Starbucks, Nike, and Microsoft, and a number of amazing small companies as well,” said Beqiri. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Zags for Zags
Gongaza has the career-building opportunities that many international students look for when they come to the United States to pursue their education, such as connections with industry leaders and opportunities to work closely with faculty and staff to plan and personalize their education. What sets the Global MBA program at Gonzaga University apart from many of its counterparts is the sense of community.
“One phrase sums it all up: ‘Zags help Zags,’” said Ambartsumyan. “International students find it easier to integrate into the tightly knit Gonzaga community with its smaller class sizes. Students enjoy more opportunities to connect with faculty and fellow students. They also enjoy access to networks of Gonzaga alumni, who are always excited to help out the next generation of Zags.”
Apply for your MBA with Gonzaga Global >
*U.S. News & World Report