First Smeal management and organizational leadership grads finding success

May 23, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For many graduates, turning the tassel at graduation means pivoting from the certainty of classroom success to the uncertainty of the job market. For many in the first Penn State Smeal Master of Professional Studies in Management and Organizational Leadership (MOL) graduating class, commencement marked success in the transition from the classroom to the work force.

A preliminary report indicates that 60 percent of the 30 MOL students who graduated on May 6 have received an offer of employment. Others are weighing offers or exploring other options.

“At our pre-commencement celebration, a number of parents approached me and thanked Smeal for offering the MOL program. They commented on the transformation that they noticed in their son or daughter over the past year and the value of the program,” said Brian Cameron, associate dean for Professional Graduate Programs.

“It was very gratifying to hear how we transformed lives and helped students start on new and exciting career paths that often combined their undergraduate majors with the business foundations, leadership, and communication skills acquired in the MOL program," he said.

Program administrators are excited by the caliber of companies that have hired students from this year’s class, such as Accenture, ExxonMobil, General Dynamics, Highmark, IBM, Naval Air Systems Command, Oracle, RSM US LLP, Target, and United Technologies, among others.

Graduates who have accepted job offers will be working across a range of roles that combine backgrounds in areas like engineering and technology with the business skills gained in the program.

“We’re very encouraged by the variety and caliber of companies who have offered employment to our first class of students,” said Paul Poissant, director of employment relations for Smeal’s MOL and MBA programs. “These companies, and many like them, are already indicating to us that they will be recruiting our MOL Class of 2019.”

That excitement and momentum has manifested itself in the incoming MOL class, which will start in August 2018.

Smeal Director of Admissions Michael Waldhier said the second class has grown to 50 students and the average GPA has risen from 3.15 to 3.45. He said there are a few seats left for recent graduates from technically oriented, non-business disciplines.

“As word has spread about the benefits of the program, the competition for admittance has stiffened,” Waldhier said. “Students who were unable to pursue a business minor as undergraduates and others who know they want to accentuate their undergraduate studies with a range of business concepts have shown interest.”

The MOL is modeled after the first year of the internationally ranked Penn State MBA program. It features the same faculty, core MBA course content, and a tight-knit environment with an emphasis on teamwork, collaboration and communication.

Waldhier said that a growing number of sophomore and junior STEM students are inquiring about the program as they plan for the future. 

More information about the program and an overview of the application process can be found online. Specific questions can be directed to or 814-863-0474.

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Last Updated June 07, 2018