New Mexico State University alumna Britney Millet’s life is very busy as a design engineer for All State Insurance. The nature of her job prevents her from physically attending graduate classes.
“Technically I live in Las Cruces, but I work out of Chicago and I travel all over the country, and to Canada and India,” Millet said. “I wanted to earn a Master’s of Business Administration degree but was unable to because of this travel.”
The solution to help Millet earn a degree came when the NMSU College of Business began an online MBA program in 2015. She was among the first cohort that completed the program in July.
“This is the first time the College of Business has done the MBA program online,” said College of Business Dean James Hoffman. “It was very successful. I’ve been very impressed with all of the groups and individuals.”
The 25-member cohort was comprised of employees from Los Alamos National Laboratory, alumni living outside of New Mexico and educators in the Woodrow Wilson New Mexico MBA Fellowship in Educational Leadership program.
Recent graduates participated in the program from around the state as well as other parts of the country including San Francisco, Chicago and Beaumont, Texas.
“The fact that we can have a virtual class and don’t have to physically be in class is very convenient,” said Benitez Jones, who lives in San Francisco. “You can basically be anywhere in the world and do this program, as long as you are online for the scheduled virtual class. The flow of the classes over the Internet is great, too.”
Hoffman set a goal of having 100 students in an MBA program in three years. That goal is being reached with the 2016 25-member cohort and the 51 students forming two cohorts this fall.
One of the aspects of the program is that not all of the students have business bachelor degrees. There were professional electrical engineers, and a chemical engineer in the recent group.
Additionally, among the MBA cohorts’ members are public school educators and administrators who participated in the Woodrow Wilson New Mexico MBA Fellowship in Educational Leadership program.
These experienced educators benefited from the design of the program because it blends an education-based business curriculum with clinical experience in schools, corporations and non-profit organizations.
One of the biggest impacts that the program had on students is they now view the world much differently than they did before starting the course work.
“Now I understand why the corporation I work for makes the decisions that it does strategically,” said Amanda Sandoval, chemical engineer with Exxon Mobile in Beaumont, Texas. “As an engineer we tend to focus on the technical aspect of projects. The other side is the business justification. I am now more equipped to be able to answer those justification questions to make and aid in sound decisions.”