Students in Isenberg’s Online MBA Program are doctors, bankers, engineers, and other professionals who want to advance their business knowledge to enhance their careers. In general, they’re successfully working full-time jobs and often have family obligations and hobbies as well, and they find that our online format allows them to complete coursework at a manageable pace.
Busy professionals appreciate the flexibility the degree program allows—the Online MBA can be completed in as little as two years, or more slowly to accommodate busy lives. Many students take a single class per fall, winter, spring, and summer terms.
Our students also find that the information they learn in their courses makes them better at their jobs right away. We spoke with three recent graduates of the Isenberg Online MBA Program about their experiences earning their master’s degrees while working full-time as established professionals.
Professor of Neurology & Ophthalmology and IUHP Specialty Liaison for eConsults at Indiana University
“I never thought as a physician with an MD that I would ever go back to school,” said Melissa Ko, who started taking a few Isenberg business classes through the school’s partnership with the American Association for Physician Leadership when, as a medical director, she found herself spending lots of time on daily operations. When she learned that she could apply the credits for the classes she had taken toward an online MBA degree, she figured she might as well earn the extra credential.
“For those who realize they have solutions and ideas and feel that they need to amplify their voices, an online MBA is a tremendous opportunity,” she said. “I already had the ability to talk clinical and have other doctors understand me, but when I need to speak with business administrators, they need to understand me and I need to understand them,” she said.
As a busy mom of three, Ko decided to take one class per semester for about four years. She benefitted immediately from the skills she gained. “The ability to interpret and understand financial statements is a critical piece and that was something that was taught in multiple courses,” she said.
But Ko wasn’t expecting the program to impact her career trajectory before she had even graduated. “Halfway through the coursework, it gave me the leverage to go to a new institution and a new job,” she said. “My most recent institution even sponsored me to complete the degree knowing that they were investing in me.”
Ko and her family traveled last spring to attend her graduation ceremony in Amherst, so her daughters could help celebrate what their mom had accomplished. “Learning keeps happening,” Ko said. “That’s how you grow and evolve.”
Director of Content Strategy at Gartner, Board Member of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas INC, Board Member of the International Association for Machine Translation
Natalia Levitina decided to pursue her MBA degree in order to better understand the language of senior management and create more opportunities for herself. Before she finished her coursework though, her company went through a restructuring and she found herself looking for a new position.
“I landed a job at a reputable market research company where I am focusing on a content strategy for non-English markets,” she said. “I am very excited about this new role and I credit this change to both my experience and the MBA degree.”
Levitina—who had previously had nightmares about returning to school—found the experience of studying online to be smooth. “I had no problems at all communicating with the professors,” she said. “And I really liked the flexibility of the online program since I was working full-time while taking the classes.”
Her Financial Accounting class stood out as particularly useful. “While very challenging, it was so well structured that it really helped prepare me for all the following courses,” she said. And she added that her Organizational Strategy course was “fantastic.”
“The professor managed to tie together so many things that we had discussed in other classes and made the strategy conversations both philosophical and practical at the same time.” The class prompted her to think more broadly about her own tasks at work, and to tie them to business objectives.
Chief of Anesthesiology at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, President of Sarasota Anesthesiologists, and Clinical Assistant Professor at FSU
When Sean Daley found that his leadership roles were expanding within his hospital group, he realized his clinical experience wasn’t enough to prepare him for his new responsibilities.
“I felt that there was a gap in my administrative knowledge,” he said. “This drove me to pursue my online MBA at Isenberg.”
The courses didn’t disappoint, and Daley found himself learning useful material right away. “I have essentially been able to use bits of knowledge that I gained from every course in my role as a leader in my private practice group,” he said.
“From financial and managerial accounting, to HR management, to business law, I’ve been able to utilize my new knowledge at work from day one."
In particular, Daley appreciated the skills he gained in Organizational Strategy: “It put me in the shoes of a real-life business manager and forced me to think in ways that were foreign to me as a physician. I was forced to see things differently in order to make strategic decisions that had significant influence on the success of the businesses in our case studies. I found it challenging, but also very enjoyable.”
He found the Isenberg Online MBA faculty to be easy to work with, communicative, and available to discuss course material online, which fit well with his busy schedule. “My work life and home life required that I have more control of my class schedule and length of program,” he said. “Taking one course per semester allowed me to maintain a solid work/home/school balance, while also getting the most out of each class that I participated in.”
The Isenberg Online MBA program is highly adaptable to your needs and schedule, and allows you to earn your degree in as few as two years. Students can take classes in the fall, winter, spring and summer terms. Students interested in completing their degree at a two-year pace will never take more than two classes at a time. Sample two-year plans are available. Please contact a Program Information Specialist from Graduate and Professional Programs for more information.