Bryant University

College review by Lisa Bleich

Bryant, located in Smithfield, RI, has a very pretty campus and is organized in a circle.  It looks like a very large corporate park with large quads and ponds in the center.  The business building is very nicely updated, but many of the insides of other buildings are clean, but a bit dated.

Students sported jeans, sweats, and athletic garb and some students were wearing business attire.  Students were friendly, close-knit, and involved.  The student body was ethnically diverse with an international population of about 10% of students are international and a majority from New England, NY, and NJ.

All students must take a minor in the opposite school of their major.  So students majoring in Business must minor in something from the liberal arts college and vice versa. Students are also required to study abroad.

Most students major in business.  There is a real divide between the honors students and the regular students.  There are a lot of group projects and our tour guide said that often 3 out of 5 students do the bulk of the work.  Our tour guide represented the honors, high achieving student.  He was majoring in business, very involved with admissions, his fraternity and his girlfriend.  He said that most of the time he and his girlfriend went out into Providence at least three times a month.  He was wearing business attire and was highly articulate and energetic.

Bryant Tour Guide

asked him the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good:  excellent business, strong sense of community, lots of opportunity to get involved.

The Bad: Since students do so much on campus, sometimes it seems like you never escape Bryant.

The Ugly:  Not all students contribute and engage in the same way as the more motivated students.

Bryant recently became Division I in sports and that has added to the school in terms of spirit and diversity.  Men’s basketball and lacrosse are the two top sports.

Professors are very accessible and helpful and many offer outside review sessions. Academic support is also available as well as several accommodations including extended time, note taking, and writing help.

I had dinner with a professor of Finance, originally from Turkey, who teaches investment strategies, micro finance, and the stock market.  Seniors have the opportunity to manage a portfolio with a current market value of $640K.  Students do research on the stocks and present recommendations to a Board for approval before making the trades, however it is mostly perfunctory as the students do a great job.

Bryant shines in its career support and students ability to get jobs during school and post graduation.  Posters outlined workshops ranging from resume workshops to mock interviews to strengths inventory to help students focus their search.  A senior described his job search journey while at Bryant.  He got his first job as part time sales consultant for AT & T and found his passion in sales.  He started a sales organization and competed in sales competitions and also discovered that he liked management.  Then he went to the Career Center and took a personality test and found his strength in entrepreneurship and management.  With a business major and dual concentration in Finance and Marketing, he had the opportunity to help manage the fund on campus focusing on the technology sector. He managed $180K on his own which gave him something substantive to discuss at interviews.  He applied to 15 companies through career services during the fall of his senior year and had 3 offers by New Years.  He took a position as District Manger for a food service company managing 5 stores. This type of path is not uncommon and why 98% of 2011 graduates went onto full time employment or graduate school.

Bryant Student Center

Admissions:

Admissions is select, but holistic.  Admissions recalculates students’ GPAs and the average accepted student has a 3.4 out of 4 GPA. The average SAT is 1150 for CR/M (They do not look at writing.)

Bryant offers several merit scholarships ranging from $9,000 to $30,000 per year based on the student’s GPA.  They do track demonstrated interest and recommend admissions interviews or engaging with an admissions representative at your school.  Students can arrange an interview with a local representative for their region over the summer.

Bryant is a great school for students looking for a friendly, nurturing environment and want to pursue a career in business.  It is also a good place for students who enjoy working in groups and would take advantage of strong career services.

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