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Rutgers' MBA program is on the rise in the rankings With 95 percent placement, business school makes leap into top 60 spot nationally

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Sharon Lydon is the executive director of the Rutgers MBA program.
Sharon Lydon is the executive director of the Rutgers MBA program. - ()

Mitchell Ezra thinks he made a good move.

The 31-year-old Piscataway resident is set to graduate with an MBA in May from Rutgers Business School. And he's already got a job lined up with Bristol-Myers Squibb. The future holds promise.

It wasn't as sunny in Ezra's world a couple of years ago, though.

Ezra was a research biologist at a medium-sized company in the Franklin section of Somerset that was bought by a larger company. The office he was working in was moving to Boston.

It left Ezra with a choice: Pick up and move to the new location, or go back to his alma mater to pursue an MBA. He chose the latter.

"It's been excellent right from the beginning,'' Ezra said.

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Rutgers' full-time MBA program is ranked 60th overall in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings of nearly 700 programs worldwide.

Its 95 percent placement rate puts it eighth overall in the nation for getting graduates into jobs.

The school's part-time program is not too shabby, either, according to U.S. News. Enrolling a student body of 1,000 students at Rutgers' New Brunswick and Newark campuses, the program is ranked 39th overall, moving up 30 spots from last year's ranking.

Sharon Lydon, executive director of the Rutgers MBA program, said the new rankings — not yet released in print — are a reflection of the school's emphasis on student development and its focus on meeting the needs of employers.

"We're very employer-centric, trying to focus on employers' needs," Lydon said. "When we meet with recruiters, we find out what they're looking for, and we're very good at knowing our students."

And there are plenty of them.

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Rutgers awarded 445 degrees in 2013. That's down from the 496 handed out in 2012 but still the most in the state by far.

In addition, the school's Camden campus awarded 101 MBA degrees in 2013.

Despite the high numbers, Ezra said he felt like anything but a number.

Just months after beginning the Rutgers MBA program, Erza was paired with a second-year student mentor and was introduced to people in the pharmaceutical industry he wanted to enter.

Along the way, there were resume workshops, mock interviews, critiques and tips, he said.

"They guide you through the whole process,'' Ezra said. "It's definitely geared toward getting a job when you graduate, and they prep you very well.''

Keith Brown is a freelance writer based in Neptune.

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