MICHIGAN CITY – A group of area residents looking for a boost in their professional careers received their MBAs this summer after 18 months of study that included some real-world experience on the other side of the world.
Indiana University Northwest’s first Weekend MBA Cohort in Michigan City graduated this summer and ended their 18-month program with an "unforgettable and rewarding experience in Finland and Estonia," according to Rocio Payne, director of graduate programs.
The journey started in the spring of 2018, when IU Northwest’s School of Business and Economics began offering its first offsite MBA for Professionals program at the Northern Indiana Education Foundation in downtown Michigan City.
"The first cohort drew students mostly from Porter and La Porte counties in Indiana, but also pulled some out-of-state students from Michigan and Illinois," Payne said.
Most of the students took advantage of GMAT/GRE waivers due to their professional experience, military experience or undergraduate coursework, she said.
Classes met every other Saturday for 18 months "with minimal interruption in their busy professional and personal lives," Payne said.
The MBA candidates had coursework in all functional areas of business, and also received executive coaching, she said. All earned the Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt certifications, and in their final semester, participated in the Capstone course, which included a simulation experience of strategy formulation, he said.
During their international business trip, students were able to meet with corporate executives in energy, transportation, manufacturing and banking.
The group was also able to meet the Senior Commercial Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Finland; tour research facilities and visit an incubator and innovation center at Tallinn University of Technology, Payne said.
"A recurring theme during these visits included technology and problem solving for their society," she said.
"I think the international trip really puts the rest of the MBA program in perspective," said Carl Barneyback, MBA 2019. "It gives you a chance to see how business methods and philosophies are different from what we are accustomed to in the United States, which is really important with globalization so much a part of our lives now.
"You will visit a variety of organizations and meet people in real-life situations. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy some good times with the people you’ve spent a year and a half working through the program together. So if you are not sure about going on the trip, just go for it. I'm glad I did," he said.
“As a manufacturer, it was nice to learn the role of the Commerce Department at the U.S. Embassy in Finland and how they advocate for 'Made in America' and assist companies with exporting questions," said Georgeann Palmer Quealy, another 2019 MBA recipient.
The next Cohort will begin in January 2020. For more information, visit iun.edu/business/graduate/weekend-mba-for-professionals.htm or email Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.