University of Tennessee

Haslam Honors Grad Students during Graduate Education Week

February 11, 2020

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed February 9-15 Graduate Education Week to honor the more than 8,500 graduate students who earn their degrees annually from graduate education programs in Tennessee. The proclamation acknowledges the contributions of those programs, which have a $1.1 billion dollar economic impact on the state. 

In the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Associate Dean Bruce Behn, who oversees the Graduate and Executive Education programs, took the occasion to recognize the 643 Haslam graduate students currently enrolled. 

“In recognition of Graduate Education Week, we extend our appreciation to the hundreds of students who have chosen the Haslam College of Business as their partner in advancing their education and their careers,” he said. “This group of talented, capable scholars will represent the college with distinction in their professional capacities.”

Haslam faculty members also appreciate the opportunity to work with graduate students. Georg Schaur, a professor of economics who also teaches Haslam MBA, executive MBA, and executive education courses, shares an assessment of his students that reflects a common sentiment among faculty.

“The students who come through my courses are enthusiastic, energetic, full of ideas and ready to take on a challenge,” Schaur says. “It’s a pleasure to work with them.” 

Graduate students likewise said they highly value the programs in which they are enrolled. 

“I applied to many top business schools when seeking a Master’s degree in Business Administration and was impressed by Haslam’s reputation and rankings,” Max McGehee says. “But for me, it was Haslam’s people that ultimately influenced my decision. The graduate admission’s team made me feel respected, and I knew I would be cared for even long after graduating.”Haslam MBA student Max McGehee

Elizabeth Yang, a student in the Master of Science in Business Analytics program, saw several positives in choosing Haslam over other programs.MSBA student Elizabeth Yang

“This program had many great things going for it: it required industry experience through an internship and practicum, it had financial assistance available through assistantships, and it is a one and a half year program with a small cohort,” she says. “Also, the program’s focus on the business aspect is important because having the right tools doesn’t mean you can necessarily fix the problem. Understanding the business context and knowing what problem to solve is far more powerful.”

One student in the Masters in Supply Chain Management Tri-Continent program found the challenge of studying in other countries especially rewarding.

“We had the chance to integrate into German and Chinese culture to the degree we wanted, and I think that served as a litmus test for our ability to educate ourselves in the absence of structure or pressure, which is an important skill in the workplace,” Nainika Sudheendra says. “Although graduation surveys will attempt to place a dollar amount on the ROI TriCon gave us, I truly believe that it has been a priceless experience both in and out of the classroom.”Haslam MSCM Tricon student Nainika Sudheendra

Students in the executive education program – who are already working in the business world – also regard the Haslam experience positively. A.P. Cavender, a measurement and verification engineer at Trane Technologies and a student in the Professional MBA program, praised its thoroughness.

“My experience at Haslam has helped me understand all levels of business systems, from the broadest macroeconomic trends down to the finest details of finance and accounting,” Cavender said.

About the Haslam College of Business Graduate and Executive Education Programs

At the master’s level, Haslam offers the following programs: the Haslam (full-time) MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA (Global Supply Chain, Healthcare Leadership, Strategic Leadership), Aerospace & Defense MBA, Physician Executive MBA, Master of Accountancy, Master of Management and Human Resources, Master of Business Analytics, Master of Statistics, Master of Supply Chain Management Tri-Continent, and Master of Supply Chain Management Online.  PhD program areas include: Accounting, Business Analytics & Statistics, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Organizations and Supply Chain Management.

These programs address real-world challenges through an interdisciplinary approach where students develop new analytical and leadership skills. Its faculty are industry thought leaders, seasoned practitioners and accomplished researchers who work constantly to make the learning experience apply directly to each participant’s current or future job. Additionally, Haslam’s programs are well represented in key rankings, with five of its programs having worldwide recognition:

  • Custom Executive Education Programs – No. 20, worldwide (2019, Financial Times)
  • Executive MBA (Strategic Leadership, Healthcare Leadership and Global Supply Chain) – No. 23, worldwide (2018, Economist)
  • Full Time MBA – No. 26, worldwide among one-year MBA programs (2018, Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education)
  • No. 79, worldwide among all MBA programs (2019, Economist)
  • Supply Chain Graduate Programs – No. 3, nationally (2018, Gartner)

Read more about UT’s celebration of Graduate Education Week.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist (865-974-3589,