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Girard School’s New Master of Science in Management

December 14, 2012
“I would absolutely recommend this program to a friend.”


            Early career professionals enjoy the flexibility of the Girard School’s new Master of Science in Management program. Whether full-time or part-time students, they say it develops their self-confidence and makes them feel more professional.

            “I would absolutely recommend this program to a friend,” said Sarah Holcomb ’08, who returned to campus as a part-time student and full-time financial reporting accountant.

            She ticks off reasons for her enthusiasm. Students can attend one year full time or two years part time, and there are “wonderful professors, a well thought-out curriculum, faculty support and full use of the college resources, all of this at a price that is way more affordable than similar programs.’’

            Forty students enrolled in the MSMgt program’s initial semester, double the number the school projected. Their backgrounds vary widely – from returning Girard graduates like Holcomb, to fifth-year Girard students to fifth-year Merrimack graduates without a business degree to graduates of other colleges, both domestic and foreign.

            For working students like Holcomb, all classes are offered in late afternoon and evening. The program includes an experiential learning option allowing compensated co-ops and internships and a series of career resources for internships, a career exploration program and professional development resources.

            “These programs together make me more confident on a daily basis,” Holcomb said.

            Fifth-year Girard student John Massey ’12 agrees.

            “The MSMgt program has given me confidence and fueled my ambition to be successful,” said Massey, who starts in January as a CPA in Newburyport.

            “Every organization needs leadership, regardless of the industry,” he added. “Management and leadership are fundamental in any organization, and a Master of Science in Management represents competency in both.”

            Massey points out how graduate school is structured differently from the undergraduate programs, even if the same faculty members are teaching both.

            Dean Mark Cordano explained how faculty had to develop new, in-depth, case-based courses “so they are not re-teaching undergraduate material.” The curriculum emphasizes creative problem-solving skills, integrity and responsibility, and a global perspective.

            “Before this program, I hadn’t done many presentations,” said Carla Grieco ’12, a fifth-year Merrimack student with a degree in Italian studies. “I was not a business undergraduate and this program has definitely helped me become a better professional.”

            Her next career step will be seeking accounting or finance internships.

            “I think that anyone with even the slightest interest in business can benefit from this program,” Grieco said.

            Another student without a business background, Matthew Raitt came to the MSMgt program to enhance his communication skills as a lab technician for Smith & Nephew. A 2010 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, he says three of his co-workers have 15 or more years experience. He wanted to know how best to interact with them.

            “None of my co-workers have management, marketing, or finance skills, and what I have learned so far has made me invaluable to the department,” Raitt said. “Communicating properly and effectively with customers has also become easier with what I have learned from the program.”
            For an international student like Yi Liu, of Urumqi, China, the faculty’s careful teaching methods are important.

            “What made me feel good about this MSMgt program is every teacher is caring,” said Yi, a restaurant owner looking for real estate investment opportunities. “They want us to understand every bit what we are doing and why we are doing it.”

            Fifth-year students especially are concerned about their job search. Grieco, who has worked with the college’s O’Brien Center for Student Success, said the MSMgt program’s Executive Development (our professional development program designed specifically for our graduate students) workshops provided additional resources for her search.

            And the Merrimack network is invaluable to all students, says Holcomb: “Being involved in the Merrimack community is a wonderful networking tool and, because of the preparation the college gives you, a student will always feel confident in any professional situation.”

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