Learning Experience

Pursuing an MBA should be about more than knowledge. It should be about acquiring new knowledge, gaining valuable professional work experience and developing the career management tools needed to advance your career in a competitive global economy.

At Willamette, students develop the tools needed for success and the confidence that comes from an MBA experience as doers, communicators, leaders, team-members, decision-makers and problem-solvers.

Real Knowledge

There is no better way to develop your knowledge than to participate in a program with an excellent faculty and an innovative curriculum. The Willamette MBA faculty are award winning teachers, scholars and mentors. They believe that great MBA teaching includes emphasizing the importance of an integrated understanding of management decision-making and the practical application of what you learn to real organizations. They are also easily accessible and dedicated to the success of their students and alumni.

The Early Career and Career Change curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for the next step in their career ... and beyond.  It provides a wealth of new knowledge and experience, a strong background in the principles of management, in-depth knowledge in one or more areas of interest, and the respected enterprise-wide view of decision making. Areas of interest include:

Real Experience

As a national leader in experiential learning, the Willamette MBA helps students build the resume of professional experience and knowledge employers value.  From the first day of class, students apply what they learn to real organizations through the unique PACE program, client based consulting projects, internships and highly experiential elective courses such as the Student Investment Fund (Finance), Design Thinking (Marketing),  New Ventures to Launch and Angel Investing (Entrepreneurship), Experiential Global HR (Human Resources), Fraud and Controls (Accounting), Supply Chain Modeling and Analysis (Operations), Not-for-Profit Management, The Business of Government and more. 

Real Results

Willamette's powerful combination of real knowledge, real experience and a complete program of career management services brings real results that jump-start your career. From the first step of self assessment and identifying your goals, your strengths and your management styles ... to working with mentors, learning to network and building your network ... to interviewing and negotiating for salaries ... to landing internships and job offers; your professional development is a top priority of your Willamette experience.  You will be ready. In fact, our history shows that more than 80% of Willamette MBA Early Career and Career Change graduates generally receive job offers within 3 months of graduation. {learn more}

The collegial and student oriented atmosphere of the MBA program also results in excellent student retention.  Of the students who entered the Early Career and Career Change MBA program in fall semester 2011, 90% graduated in May of 2013 (which is the 21 month period for which the program is designed) and 93% had graduated by the end of August 2013.  The majority of students who choose to withdraw from the program generally do so to accept a job, pursue a different career path, or for personal and family reasons.


The Willamette MBA Is:

  • A Bloomberg Businessweek Top Business School for 2014.
  • A top 75 "Best Business School" based on return on investment by Forbes
  • Among "Poets & Quants" top 100 business schools in the U.S.
  • One of the world's top 25 MBA programs for social responsibility, ethics and environmental stewardship as ranked by "Beyond Grey Pinstripes"
  • Among the "top 15 programs in Marketing' by Princeton Review
  • One of ten schools featured in Inc. magazine’s listing of the top 10 entrepreneurship courses in the U.S.
  • The only MBA program in Oregon that is a member of the SAP University Alliance program
  • One of two MBA programs in the world dually accredited for business (AACSB International) and public administration (NASPAA: The Global Standard for Public Service Education)

What Our Students Say

"The academic atmosphere is one of demand and fun at Atkinson. Professors liven up class with personal stories of their life before teaching, and students are expected to perform at the highest level of excellence. The demand of this program (combined with regular class work) gives young MBAs the time management skills they need to cope with the real world."

"The academic nature of the program is highly competitive, extremely unique and substantially empowering!"

"In the Pacific Northwest, Willamette’s MBA program is widely recognized for its excellence. Many, many alumni from the school are employed by the largest employers in the U.S. in a variety of industries. The networks the school provides to its students are great."

-Source: Vault Business School Buzz Book