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Master of Business Administration program earns top social media ranking

By Ryan Hope
On February 6, 2013

UCFs Master of Business Administration program is embracing social media as the way of the future now that more administrators and faculty use it in their curriculum and to communicate with students.

UCF was recently ranked ninth on the top 10 social media friendly MBA programs in the nation by OnlineMBAPage.com, which gathered data from social media accounts of more than 400 campus-based business schools.

The website ranked the schools based on their presence and activity levels on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Flickr.

Paul Jarley, dean of the College of Business Administration, said since social media has become so important in peoples lives, it has become a tool to use in the world of business as well.

[Social media] has revolutionized marketing. Our ability to target messages to people has never been greater, and getting your brand in front of the customer by providing blogs and other sorts of things that give them information is really important, Jarley said.

Eric Bogen, an MBA graduate student, helped make a Facebook page dedicated to the one-year MBA program students, which helps them keep in contact and share documents with one another.

With the MBA program its difficult, because a lot of people work, so you dont have that much time face to face, and social media makes it so we dont have to meet face to face, Bogen said.

Carolyn Massiah, a marketing professor, also believes social media is a strong aspect in the marketing field.

Social media has given [marketers] an instant window to come directly to the consumer, and it is important because it has cut down that lag time we usually have had in marketing, Massiah said.

She said she feels that UCF is growing in social media and believes students need to know how to use it correctly in order to succeed in business.

We are using [social media] for marketing. HR people are using it for recruiting filters to see what theyre finding and what theyre not finding in the social media realm for possible candidates, Massiah said.

Jarley said he wasnt surprised UCF ranked so high in social media friendly programs because that was one of the things that attracted him to the position of dean.

UCF has a strong reputation nationally in its electronic presence both in terms of online learning and sophisticated use of social media," Jarley said. Were pretty far ahead of the curve.

Jarley said he believes that the most underappreciated use of social media is leadership. He said a problem most leaders of big organizations face is trying to get their message out unfiltered. He said he would like to see more classes focus on that aspect.

Through social media I have the opportunity to reach out to all of [the students in the MBA program]. I dont have to depend on my associate deans or department chairs to tell other faculty what Im thinking or what my message should be. I can tell them directly, Jarley said.

Jarley has been using Twitter for five years now, and he uses it to see what UCF students are saying about the university and the College of Business as a way to monitor student opinion of the program.

Bogen has learned through the program the crucial element of success.

The key to a successful business is communication. You need to always be able to communicate with partners and other people that will get you to your goal, and thats what [social media] lets us do, Bogen said.

The MBA program has started to implement social media into its courses, specifically in the marketing field, because it is an important tool in getting the message out.

[Social media] has revolutionized marketing so much, Jarley said. You cant come out a competent marketer today without having a good understanding of it.

Jarley said the challenge with using social media in the curriculum is that social media evolves so rapidly, which makes staying on top of it difficult.

Massiah faced this challenge because by the time a new textbook is released, social media has already changed. She does give students articles in class to show how companies are using social media to increase presence.

Luckily, she said, there is a soon-to-be textbook release about the principles of marketing that will focus a chapter on social media.

[The textbook] looks at the different formats that there are, the mobile apps, maintaining Facebook and LinkedIn pages and looking at the effectiveness of that over time, Massiah said.

Bogen has had teachers who use social media, such as Wikipages, to keep in contact with students, but said he would like to see more of it at UCF in the future.

All the MBAs, for the most part, take the same required classes, so we can all help each other even if theyre not just in a one-year MBA class. If they are in one of the other MBA programs we can still help them, Bogen said.

Jarley also said communication is the key to advancing into the future.

I would like to see a broader platform for student engagement about the life of the college, because students can impact what goes on here a lot more through using these tools and developing conversations with administrators and faculty," Jarley said. I think it could be really keen.

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