Welcome to Coles School of Business


At the Michael J. Coles College of Business, student success lies at the heart of everything we do. From developing new and innovative academic programs to building lasting relationships with the business community, each action we take is designed to improve the value that students receive from a Coles College education. 

This guiding principle means that our faculty are highly-respected in their fields – many had distinguished careers in industry before becoming educators – and that our staff provide exceptional support to the entire Coles College community.

Our students do more than simply earn a degree. They leverage the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to create professional opportunities and become the best versions of themselves.


Dr. Robin Cheramie, Dean of Coles College of Business
Dr. Robin Cheramie, Dean of Coles College of Business

To ensure that the Coles College of Business never waivers in its commitment to students, we strive to:

  • Career-readiness upon graduation begins with professional skill development throughout a student's journey. The Coles College Center for Student Success leads a series of three, required professionalism courses including practical internship preparation and one-on-one career coaching. Students are connected with local, national, and international employers via activities like the Tetley Distinguished Leader lectures, the All-Access corporate panels, industry-specific career fairs, competitions, workshops for building career skills, and more.
  • Students have a choice of where they earn their business degrees. Recent additions like the Master of Science in Digital Financial Technologies (FinTech) and the Risk and Decision Analytics track in our PhD program help keep the Coles College on the leading edge of business education and differentiate us from the competition.
  • Coles College faculty produce groundbreaking research that adds to the global business knowledge base, routinely getting published in Financial Times Top 50 academic journals. We also urge undergraduate students to conduct research through initiatives like the Bagwell Center for the Study of Markets and Economic Opportunity Undergraduate Research Fellowship and participation in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
  • Because the College designs its curriculum around the skills that businesses are looking for today, we have the University’s highest graduate placement rate, with many of our academic programs reporting at or near 100 percent placement.
  • At Coles, we celebrate the wealth of diverse excellence that exists in our community. We engage with one another with respect as fellow humans. We promote an understanding and appreciation of differences. We foster intellectual diversity that encourages curiosity, open minds, and the free exchange of ideas.

All of this represents just a small fraction of how the Michael J. Coles College of Business sets its students up for success. I invite you to learn more about us and discover why the Coles College is one of the country’s top business schools.  

Robin Cheramie, PhD
Dean, Coles College of Business and Professor of Management

Coles Mission & Strategic Plan

Our mission at the Coles College of Business is to offer business degree programs that provide students with exceptional value; sustain a teaching and research environment that attracts and retains a diverse pool of high quality faculty and staff; and support talent development in the business community we serve. We aim to be highly respected in both the academic and business communities by achieving prominence in selected areas and contributing to sustained regional economic growth.

We will achieve our mission by fostering effective and committed teaching, student career preparation and enhancement, research that is impactful and extends knowledge, and proactive engagement with the business community.

View the Coles College 2019 - 2024 Strategic Plan.

Our Impact

group of coles student outside having a conversation

There are many ways to measure the impact of a college, and just as many ways to make an impact. At Coles College of Business, we have intentionally examined our strengths, the needs of our students and the goals of our community to determine where we can make the biggest contributions. The result is four ambitious areas of impact that will elevate our world-class research, educate the next generation of leaders, connect us globally and support economic growth in our region and the world.

  • Preparing our students for career contributions in the local economy and beyond is central to the Coles College of Business mission. At Coles, we spend time connecting with our students and listening to business leaders. This helps our faculty create curriculum that pushes our students to aspire for more than just a degree, to aspire to lead and contribute from the moment they graduate. 

    Our students have access to guest lectures, mentorship, consulting opportunities and professional development programs that increase first-year employment productivity and employer return on investment (ROI) by as much as 40%.

    Opportunities to Lead and Learn

    Through initiatives like the Hughes Leadership and Career Program, our undergraduate students are prepared to compete in today’s challenging job market.  Designed by faculty using feedback from potential employers, students are immersed in activities created to develop their leadership potential, collaboration skills and negotiation tactics to name a few. The Coles College Scholars Program Minor offers a unique opportunity for our top students to learn with a diverse cohort, take advanced business courses and collaborate on business consulting projects with external companies.

    Business Internships

    Experience is the key to graduating career ready students, and our internship program encourages all Coles students to gain valuable hands-on experience outside of the classroom. In the past year alone more than 50% of our students completed a successful internship during their academic year, totaling more than 11,000 hours of experiential learning.

    Graduate Programs

    Our nationally ranked business graduate programs give professionals the deeper knowledge and leadership skills they need to advance in their career. For example, 88% of Executive MBA graduates cite an increase in their ability to be promoted and 94% report that their Coles business degree increased their value within their organization.

  • We’re Listening

    Businesses are talking and Coles College is listening. We’re committed to engaging with the business community to create innovative academic programs that meet the needs of today’s employers. Whether through a customized executive education program, a research endeavor or a business internship, we’re here to help move you forward. If you have a problem to solve or a partnership to explore, just reach out.

    Developing Future Talent

    When companies have a strong local pool of applicants to recruit from it strengthens their workforce and brings stability to the communities they operate in. By incorporating employer needs into our curriculum we ensure that our students are ready to meet market demands. There’s never been a better time to have a Coles graduate on your team.

    Fostering Entrepreneurship

    At Coles College we believe that entrepreneurship has the power to shape communities and fuel growth. We support entrepreneurs and small businesses through resources, education and partnerships. Learn more about the work of our Robin and Doug Shore Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center and our Small Business Development Center.

  • Programs & Partnerships

    At Coles, we reach beyond Georgia and across the globe to create partnerships and programs that strengthen our international impact. Through consulting, faculty exchanges and conferences we collaborate with top global business thinkers.

    Education Abroad Opportunities

    There’s no better way to learn about a different culture than to live it. At Coles, we provide many opportunities for our students to travel abroad and study alongside their global counterparts. These exchanges provide rich cultural experiences, build language skills and prepare students for today’s global business environment. Learn more about our study abroad opportunities.

  • View Student Success data for Coles College of Business below for Undergraduate and Graduate degrees and programs.


    # of Graduates 216
    % Employed In field Upon Graduation 56.1
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 10.1
    % Admitted To Graduate School 6.8 
    % Participated In Experiential Education 60.1 
    (i.e. internship/co-op)   
    # of Graduates  25
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 37.5
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 8.3
    % Admitted To Graduate School  0
    % Participated In Experiential Education  50
    (i.e. internship/co-op)   
    # of Graduates  153
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 48.5
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 22
    % Admitted To Graduate School 0.8
    % Participated In Experiential Education 64.4
    (i.e. internship/co-op)   
    # of Graduates  73
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 58.2
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 16.4
    % Admitted to Graduate School 1.8
    % Participated in Experimental Education 65.5
    (i.e. internship/co-op)   
    # of Graduates 19
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 84.6
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 0
    % Admitted To Graduate School 0
    % Participated In Experimental Education 61.5
    (i.e. internship/co-op)   
    # of Graduates 48
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 20.6
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 32.3
    % Admitted To Graduate School 0
    % Participated In Experiential Education 26.5
    (i.e. internship/co-op)  
    # of Graduates 222
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 47.3
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 22.8
    % Admitted To Graduate School 3.3
    % Participated In Experiential Education 63.6
    (i.e. internships/co-op)  
    # of Graduates 119
    % Employed In Field Upon Graduation 47.9
    % Employed Out of Field Upon Graduation 21.9
    % Admitted To Graduate School 4.2
    % Participated In Experiential Education 72.9
    (i.e. internships/co-op)  


    % Employed After Graduation 86
    Average Salary Before Entering The Program $96,199.67
    Average Salary After Completing The Program $109,002.67
    Types of Organizations:   
    Publicly Traded Company 60%
    Privately Held Corporation 40%
    Governmental Agency/ Non-Profit 0%
    Received Promotion During Program 16%
    Changed Jobs During Program  41%
    Changed Jobs and Received Promotion 24%
    Average Salary Before Entering The Program $96,199.67
    Average Salary After Completing The Program  $109,002.67
    Employed after graduation 82%
    Average Salary Before Entering The Program  $51,294
    Average Salary After Completing The Program  $56,840
    Types of Organizations:  
    Publicly Traded Company  11%
    Privately Held Corporation 18%
    Government Agency/ Non-Profit 9%
    Public Accounting Firm  60%
    Other 2%
    Employed After Graduation 100%
    Average Salary Before Entering The Program $97,200
    Average Salary After Completing The Program $146,600


The Coles College dedicated leadership team includes the following:

  • Keith Tudor, Interim Chair, Marketing and Professional Sales
    Khawaja Saeed, Chair of the Department of Information Systems
    Khawaja Saeed, Interim Director, Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality and Professor of Management
    Steve Smalt, Director, School of Accountancy
    Aniruddha Bagchi, Chair, Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis

Advisory Board

The advisory board provides the Coles College administration with support and advice regarding policies, programs, and the direction of the College, among other duties.

  • Ms. Nancy Berger
    AVP-Consumer Billing & Delivery Innovations
    AT&T- Financial Billing Operations

    Michael Clark
    SVP, COO; Family Office at Synovus
    Synovus Bank

    Mr. Kirk Gadebusch
    Associate Broker
    Harry Norman Realtors

    Stacy Haubenschild
    Chief Operating Officer
    Henssler Financial

    Mr. Rotimi Olumide
    Sales Director
    Microsoft Corporation

    Ms. Holly Quinlan
    President & CEO
    Cobb Travel & Tourism

    Ms. Robyn Smith
    Executive Vice President
    Jackson Healthcare

    Dr. Robin Cheramie
    Dean, Coles College of Business
    Kennesaw State University

    Mr. Joseph Handy
    President & CEO
    National Black MBA Association, Inc.

    Ms. Rachel Humphrey
    Hospitality Industry C-Suite Executive and Counsel

    Jonathan Partridge
    Chief Information Officer
    First Entertainment Credit Union

    Mr. Douglas Shore
    Co-Founder, Chairman, and Co-CEO, Retired
    Shore-Varrone, Inc

    Mr. Mark Wilson
    President & CEO

Executives In Residence

  • Michael J. Coles
    Benefactor, Namesake
    Co-creator of Great American Cookie Company
    Former CEO of Caribou Coffee
  • Executives in residence provide coaching and mentoring to Coles College of Business students.

    William G. Lako Jr., CFP, Principal
    G.W. Henssler & Associates, Ltd.

    Bob Kilinski, Regional Operating Partner
    Keller Williams Realty International

    Bernice Dixon, Founder
    Advising Angels

    Connie L. Engel, Partner
    Childress Klein Properties

    Barry Flink, Executive Vice President and Partner
    FlexHR, Inc.

    John W. Gamble, Founder and Principal
    Tenacity, Inc.

    Rita Izaguirre, Principal, Ideas

    Harry Maziar, President
    Zep Manufacturing Company

    Larry Stevens, Partner (Retired)
    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

    Harry Vardis, Founder and Principal
    Creative Focus, Inc.

    Steve Wurzbacher, Principal

    Erin Wolf, Founder and Managing Partner