The Master Advantage

JB Locke w/MBA student

Introducing the Newly Revised MBA

 

Making what seems impossible possible is a traditional role for a successful concierge. The same can be said for J.B. Locke ’00 & ’04. Though she doesn’t work at a hotel, you will find her tirelessly assisting students as a success coach for University of Mobile’s School of Business.

“As the Master of Business Administration (MBA) Success Coach, I work with students from their point of interest in the program all the way through to graduation,” said Locke. “I guide students through the application process and registration, then follow their progress throughout the program, offering advice on coursework and career planning. I even serve as a sounding board if a student needs one.”

This personalized process is referred to as “UM’s concierge model” for adult and graduate studies. Through this model, students benefit from a personal success coach who will support them throughout their academic journey. Locke said that, as a success coach, she works with the student to facilitate admission, scheduling and even helps with textbooks.

“If students have any questions, need some encouragement or just need to know that they are not alone through this path, I will be there,” she continued. “I believe that students should have the smoothest process possible so that their main concern is the actual coursework in the classes. I will work with them to ensure they register for the right courses during the right semester to keep them on track to graduate on time.”

 

Program Enhancements

In addition to the concierge model, the newly revised MBA program offers a reduction in credit-hour requirements along with a flexible pace and convenient online or seated formats.

“The UM program is designed to be ‘user-friendly,’” said Dr. Jane Finley, professor in the School of Business. “The enrollment process is streamlined and personalized for the convenience of prospective students, and the flexibility in course scheduling enables students to meet their goals for degree completion.”

“The UM program is designed to be ‘user-friendly,’” said Dr. Jane Finley, professor in the School of Business. “The enrollment process is streamlined and personalized for the convenience of prospective students, and the flexibility in course scheduling enables students to meet their goals for degree completion.”

The non-cohort 30-credit-hour program allows students to begin classes at any time – fall, spring or summer – and complete their degree at their own pace in one or two years. The hour requirement has been streamlined by removing a 3-hour comprehensive examination requirement and modifying the capstone course to emphasize integrative leadership skills. The MBA is offered in three formats to fit students’ preferences and schedules: online, seated and in a hybrid format.

“Graduate faculty members collaborate to lead the program’s capstone course,” said Finley. “In addition to case analysis and application of concepts from all the core MBA courses to examination of an actual firm, class members benefit from experiential learning that takes place through a simulation where they make decisions through team collaboration. Our program boasts teams that consistently score among the top teams in this global competition.”

Finley said students with non-business undergraduate degrees now may take “self-paced, flexible, online foundation courses” to meet prerequisite requirements at an affordable cost.

 

Successful Graduates

Among the positions that UM’s MBA graduates currently hold include president and CEO, FBI special agent, chief financial officer, vice president for operations, marketing director, and critical facilities manager, to name a few. With advanced study in business and an emphasis on ethics from a Christian worldview, earning this degree frequently results in broadened career opportunities.

“When you figure out what you want out of life – work toward it – work hard toward it and when you do that, you’ll get it. It’ll happen,” said Jared Freeman ’11, president and CEO of Alabama State Employees’ Credit Union, speaking on his own academic and business career.

Davis Pilot III also earned his MBA at University of Mobile in 2011. Since then, he has been promoted to Critical Facilities Manager at Southern Light where he oversees the data center operations department, company-wide facilities management and facilities network growth strategy. He is a Certified Data Center Specialist and a Certified Data Center Facility Operations Manager, serves on the Board of Trustees for UMS-Wright Preparatory School and the Dumas Wesley Community Center, and recently accepted a position on the board of Volunteers of America, Southeast Region.

“What really set this program apart was the hands-on experience with faculty that you get here,” said Pilot. “You can tell the business faculty care about the students. They want to see you succeed. They get to know you on a personal level.”

“What really set this program apart was the hands-on experience with faculty that you get here,” said Pilot. “You can tell the business faculty care about the students. They want to see you succeed. They get to know you on a personal level.”

“The MBA graduate from UM can be confident of having completed a full, standard MBA curriculum that includes a balance of critical thinking skills, integrative skills, technical skills, communication skills and an ethical approach to business decision making,” explained Finley. “Employers report that they highly value these skills.

“Further, the general MBA is highly useful in careers outside of business, including government and the nonprofit environment. Any competing organization can benefit from leadership that uses an integrative approach toward sustainability, understands external impact, and takes an ethical approach in decision making.”

UM’s School of Business is accredited by Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, modeled on the Baldrige National Quality Program. By virtue of the accreditation, UM hosts a chapter of the international Delta Mu Delta honor society that recognizes students who strive for academic excellence.

Finley said, “Employers will find value in knowing the applicant or employee graduated from a school that uses the same standards as those used by business, health care providers, and others to recognize excellence.”

“University of Mobile will provide students with the tools needed to be successful and the added Christian and ethical perspective that employers are seeking,” said Locke. “With an extremely competitive job market, earning this MBA degree will give students an advantage over other candidates vying for the job.”

 

For more information on UM’s MBA program, contact J.B. Locke at jlocke@umobile.edu or 251.442.2219.

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