However, with top MBA programs scattered across the US, it can be difficult to know exactly where to study, especially if you're an international student who has never set foot in the country.
Virginia is a mid-Atlantic, eastern state that boasts a rich history and beautiful scenery. It is also within a stone’s throw of Washington D.C., making it a magnet for newcomers to the US, but there’s much more to Virginia than this.
Here's what you can expect by studying for an MBA program in Virginia.
Maritime trade opportunities in Virginia
As one of the most populated states in the US, Virginia offers a wide array of career opportunities that vary across the state.
Old Dominion University (ODU) Strome College of Business is based in Norfolk, which is considered part of Coastal Virginia. ODU offers a 21-month Flexible MBA, which can be studied in-person, online, or in a hybrid format.
ODU's prime location makes it an attractive destination for business school students, believes Kenneth Khan, a professor and dean at Strome College of Business.
The university's location in the Hampton Roads region means that the school offers beneficial connections with the maritime transportation and trade industry.
"The geographic region here is different from many other parts of Virginia—there's a huge opportunity to connect with companies in areas such as maritime, transportation, and hospitality," says Kenneth.
Many students from ODU have landed jobs at the Port of Virginia—the sixth-largest port in the US—in areas such as logistics, analytics, and supply chain management.
To gain insight into these jobs, MBA students at ODU can take courses in Operations & Supply Chain Management, Port Operations and Management, and Fundamentals of Business Analytics.
Military-friendly MBA programs
Norfolk isn't just known for its connection to water—it's also home to the world's largest naval base: Naval Station Norfolk.
In fact, ODU offers a military-friendly MBA program, with around 25% of its students affiliated with the military.
"Our MBA program offers a convenient and affordable way for those with military experience to advance their careers," says David Cook, assistant dean and program director of the ODU MBA.
Exposure to international opportunities
If you're an international student looking for an MBA program, you'll know how important it is to find a business school that is welcoming, supportive, and offers opportunities to advance your career as a non-domestic student.
"ODU is proud to be diverse, allowing students to find their place in the business school community," says David.
There are more than 300 student associations at ODU, including the African Student Association, Global Monarch Club, and Muslim Students Association.
Joining an MBA program in Virginia will also mean accessing links to international companies, with plenty of opportunities for MBA internships.
Some of the biggest companies based in Virginia include the world headquarters for Hilton Worldwide, Capital One, and Dollar Tree.
"The breadth of international opportunities here is something students might not gain access to in other states," he says.
The business school has pledged a target of 100% student participation in experiential learning opportunities.
Live projects in the MBA class offer a great way for students to boost their management and leadership skills, adds David.
These consulting-based projects enable students to guide strategy formulation and solve a real problem that a local company is facing.
An abundance of scenery to explore
If you're keen to pursue an MBA, you'll already know that business school is far from being just about studying and gaining work experience.
ODU is located just a short distance from Virginia Beach, offering a perfect location to unwind or socialize with friends.
"From an MBA perspective, you've got so many opportunities for entertainment and relaxation here in Coastal Virginia," says Kenneth.
If you're more of the mountaineering type, students can venture to the Blue Ridge Mountains for a weekend trip. There are also opportunities to ski in the winter.
Through the Outdoor Adventure Program at ODU, students can also participate in outdoor activities, including surfing day trips, paddle boarding, climbing, and mountain biking.
These initiatives are a great way to expand your personal and professional network in a relaxed setting and are just a few of the additional benefits of attending an MBA program in Virginia.