School of Business Launches Mobile App to Bolster Student Engagement, Success

Don’t be alarmed if you see business students on their phones now more than ever. Despite the delayed start to in-person classes, the College of Charleston School of Business is still meeting students right where they are — on their cell phones.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25 — the first day of the fall 2020 semester — the School of Business went live with QUEST, the student engagement and professional development mobile application powered by Suitable.

“We’ve been working behind the scenes for two years to implement this new program that will provide the next level of student engagement opportunities for our business students,” says Cory Werkheiser, assistant director of career and professional development for the School of Business Student Success Center.

Read more at The College Today.

CofC MBA Waives Application Fee, GRE/GMAT Scores to Aid Applicants Impacted by COVID-19

The College of Charleston School of Business‘ one-year MBA program has changed their admissions requirements in response to COVID-19. The decision was made to ease the stress of the application process and to support professionals who have been laid off due to the pandemic.

Effective immediately, the nationally-ranked program has waived its $50 application fee. Additionally, GRE/GMAT test waivers are available upon request for qualified individuals. The general application deadline has also been extended to June 1, 2020.

According to a 2012 study by Stanford University, millennials who graduated during the Great Recession of 2008/2009, earned less, on average, over the next 10-15 years when compared to colleagues who graduated during a strong economy. To delay entry into the job market, could save a graduate nearly 30-40% in wage losses over a 10-year period. Now, more than ever, is the time for individuals to consider furthering their education.

“We understand the immense pressure that many are feeling during the COVID-19 crisis,” says MBA admissions director Seaton Brown. “Pursuing a graduate degree is a great option for those who have been laid off from their jobs or who are graduating into a recession.”

But the value of an MBA is strong in any economy. According to Keyana Russ, the College’s director of MBA employer relations and professional development, for mid-level managers or employees looking to fast track their careers, an MBA is the stamp of approval often needed to stand out in a competitive job market. And Brown agrees, “a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. A master’s degree shows a prospective employer your commitment to the industry long term.”

The value of a Charleston MBA is enhanced by the executive network and professional development resources that the program provides to students across industries and job functions. And the proof is in the data. The College of Charleston MBA program was recently named first in the nation for job placement three months after graduation by U.S. News & World Report 2021 Edition. This is based on data provided by the 2019 cohort — whose average salary increased by 39% after graduation.

The College of Charleston School of Business continues to make decisions that help professionals to excel in their careers. Although COVID-19 has affected the local and national economy, the MBA program is committed to delivering a top-notch master’s education and post-graduate placement.

(School of) Business Partners feat. Marcia Snyder, MSc ’93

Sometimes life comes full circle. For the College of Charleston School of Business assistant dean of student learning and accreditation, Marcia Snyder, it certainly did. After graduating from CofC’s business school in 1993, she worked abroad in the U.K. only return to the b-school — this time as an employee. Recently Snyder was honored with the Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Person of the Year Award for her significant contributions as a business leader to her profession, community and alma mater.

We sat down with Snyder to find out more about the award, her time at the College and how she chooses to make a difference in the lives of students.

We understand you went to the College! What was your time like as a student and what did you study?

As a student, I studied economics and was working full-time. It was sometimes brutal. Many times, I would be working 60 hours a week at the district office for BP Oil in addition to attending class. Going to school full time during that time was crazy.

In your opinion, how has the College and the School of Business changed since you attended?

There were a lot fewer students back then in the late 80’s and early 90’s. There also didn’t seem to be as many student organizations in the business school like there are now. Back then, students mostly went to class and did their work. Now there is a better level of student engagement outside of the classroom.

Can you tell us about your post-graduate career after leaving the College?

I graduated in 1993 and BP Oil had just closed their offices. My husband got transferred to London that same time, so the day after graduation I got on a plane and moved to London. While there, I went to graduate school at University College London. I enrolled in a graduate program for environmental economics and then I worked part time at the Navy offices in London.

Why did you decide to return to CofC?

My husband and I loved Charleston. We had previously moved here in 1980 and Charleston just became home to us. I couldn’t find employment when I got back to the States from London, but I knew I loved the College. I had a temporary position and then I started working in the Tate Center for Entrepreneurship. 

Could you describe your current role at the School of Business? What is your typical day like?

Currently, I am a senior instructor in the Department of Finance. I also teach economics and I am  the assistant dean for student learning and accreditation for the School of Business. Basically, I am the school’s chief accreditation officer. There’s not a typical day. There are days when I’m doing a lot of student advising since I advise most of the student-athletes who are in the business school. I also manage data for the school.

How is what you’re doing now different from what you thought you would be doing?

I never thought I would teach! When I first started college, I thought I wanted to be a biochemist; I wanted to be a researcher. I was good at science and I loved it. But after I took my first economics course at the College, I fell in love with it. One of our former chairs of the Economics department kept telling me that he wanted me to teach. He thought I would be good in the classroom and I kept saying I don’t think so. I would have never imagined me being a teacher. I learn so much from the students. It’s a two-way opportunity for learning.

How do you try to positively impact the lives of students?

During advising sessions, I get them to think about what they want to do in the future, what they are passionate about and where they see themselves. A lot of students don’t know all of those answers because they haven’t thought about it enough. If there’s one thing I can do, I want them to think about career options in terms of what they enjoy, not necessarily what they think they have to do. What brings passion into their lives? They can do both. I love advising and trying to open up their world. 

What did receiving the Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Person of the Year Award during Fall Alumni Weekend mean to you?

I was humbled by it and so honored. Howard Rudd — the award’s namesake — was the first dean of the School of Business and he did so much for me. He was the one who hired me when I first came back from London and is such a kind person who cares about everyone. He was a visionary who was way before his time. He was the kind of person that I want to be.

What is your favorite thing about the School of Business?

The students — I love the students.


MBA Student Wins People’s Choice Award for Best Graduate Research Poster

Last week, our very own MBA student Lexi Gravino ‘20 won the People’s Choice Award for this year’s Graduate Research Poster Session hosted by the College of Charleston Graduate School.

The annual event showcases the impressive research CofC graduate students conduct professionally and in the Charleston community. This year’s Graduate Research Poster Session included a record-breaking 26 participants. Each category had two judges who were familiar with the assigned topics of study.

Gravino’s poster analyzed marketing research, health informatics and higher education trends to uncover market gaps in the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) master’s in health informatics (MSHI) program.

The goal: to make the program more attractive to prospective students. Based off of her research, she concluded that the MSHI program should have multiple start dates, various concentration areas and become accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.

Gravino says she is incredibly grateful to her boss and former CofC MBA alumna, Jessie Bradley, for giving her the opportunity to work on this project. Bradley is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications for MUSC’s College of Health Professions. Gravino also shared her appreciation for MBA marketing professor Julia Blose, Ph.D. for her feedback and guidance on the project and expressed an overwhelming gratitude to her parents; family members; and CofC MBA faculty, staff and peers for their continued support.

Talk about a poster child for MBA success!


School of Business, Charleston Metro Chamber Partner to Support Local Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Profs on Call

Profs on Call

The College of Charleston School of Business and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to provide pro bono consultations to Charleston-area businesses affected by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in a new initiative called Profs on Call.

Profs on Call aims to help business owners and their management staff navigate this unprecedented time by matching College of Charleston School of Business faculty with members of the business community for 15-to-20-minute consulting appointments. These conversations aim to address each business’s most critical needs — all at no charge.

At this time, more than 20 professors have signed on to the program with areas of expertise ranging from digital communication security to small business financing and taxation.

“I believe one of our greatest responsibilities as a business school is to support the business community,” said Alan T. Shao, Ph.D., dean of the College of Charleston School of Business. “As many of our local businesses face uncertain futures for their business operations, we want to assist by connecting them with our business experts and tools that will help them navigate this difficult period.”

The College of Charleston School of Business is nationally ranked. It has several Centers of Excellence and initiatives that support specific industries, conduct research and help to strengthen ties with the local, national and global business community.

“Profs on Call clearly demonstrates the community’s commitment to support each other during this unprecedented time,” said Bryan Derreberry, Charleston Metro Chamber President and CEO. “We are extremely grateful to the College of Charleston School of Business and their faculty for quickly responding to our business community’s needs.”

The Chamber continues to support its 1,700-member organization — as well as the thousands of other Lowcountry businesses — throughout this challenging time by providing additional resources (including local, state and federal guides) ­that can be found at

For more information about Profs on Call or to set up an appointment, please visit

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Reflections on the 2020 Women for Women Summit

Around 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, women from across South Carolina filled Sterling Hall at the Hyatt Place Hyatt House Charleston Historic District for the first-annual Women for Women Summit presented by the College of Charleston School of Business. Energy ran high as Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” erupted from the speakers and over 200 women filled the ballroom. Their mission? To celebrate, elevate, share and connect with their peers; embrace change; and be inspired to become leaders in their industries.

“It was an honor to be there,” says College of Charleston senior and communication major Grace Samuelson. “The room was decorated beautifully, and it was such a positive atmosphere.”

Joanna Lau, founder and CEO of executive consulting and investment company Lau Technologies and member of the School of Business Board of Governors, was the visionary for the Summit and provided direction to a group of talented women who supported the W4W planning efforts.

“Having been a woman in business for the past three decades, as well a mother to a young professional woman, I am humbled to promote the advancement of women in the workplace and the economy with our first-ever Women for Women Summit,” says Lau. “Studies have shown one of the greatest predictors of success and happiness is social connection. It is my hope that the Summit fosters personal and professional success for attendees through a shared sense of community.”

The sense of community was palpable as attendees soaked in tokens of wisdom from the powerful W4W speakers who continue to break barriers in their fields.

Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America, kicked off the day by encouraging the crowd to use their own superpowers — not someone else’s — to be effective in the workplace. She also doubled down on the importance of life-long learning saying that there isn’t a functional discipline that cannot be learned over time.

Communications coach Micky Kerwick taught attendees how to own the room, reminding them to never chase their audience and always create a plan to get attention back if it should drift. She outlined a structure of “think, edit and then speak” for approaching meetings in order to be most effective.

Former Ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, was also in attendance to receive the 2020 Woman of Courage Award. After accepting the honor, she gave brief remarks that challenged the women in the audience to set themselves up for success. “Ask for things that will allow you to be your best person,” she said. “Everyone else is.”

After a panel on taking action in the office and a workshop on coping with betrayal, the Summit closed with an emotional panel discussion on courage and tenacity. The big takeaway came from local broker associate Sarah Coleman-Lee, when she reminded us, “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

After more reflection on her experience at the Summit, Samuelson says she is reminded that there isn’t one right way to launch your career because everyone has their own journey. “I learned that I need to be confident and true to myself no matter what!”

And Samuelson isn’t alone. The uplifting atmosphere of the W4W Summit left women asking, “what glass ceiling?”