How has the MBA for Professionals program impacted your career?
The Willamette MBA for Professionals program has really helped me in my career as a development director for a national non-profit.
What I found in every class, in every lecture, is that all the things that the professors taught us are directly applicable to the different industries my classmates and I are in. I don’t think there has been a day or a week that has gone by that I haven’t directly thought of a lesson or critical thinking skill that I could apply at work.
So for that, I am really thankful for having joined the Willamette MBA for Professionals program.
What is the most valuable skill set that you have gained so far?
If I had to pick a most valuable skill set that I’ve gained from the Willamette MBA for Professionals program, it would have to be data analysis. I found that course really refreshing because my gut reaction when I saw that course was that it wouldn’t be very applicable to my industry of non-profit management. During the course, I found that almost all industries pull together all this information but there’s not always a clear way to analyze and interpret the data we pulled in. So it was really interesting learning how to use R Studio and looking at the trends in the information that we compiled.
What has surprised you the most about the MBA for Professionals program?
When I first started the program, I thought I’d go to school, go to work, balance life, and get it done. What surprised me is how much I’ve bonded with my cohort. We’ve all really come together to lean on each other, to really learn from each other, and pick up knowledge that we wouldn’t have been able to without being in the same MBA program.
Another thing that I really like about the program is how hard the staff tries to be really friendly. I don’t think there’s been a time where I haven’t been immediately greeted when I walked into the Portland Campus. I feel like they really try to set up a warm atmosphere. It’s really nice to go to campus and know that you will see friendly faces and helpful people.
Why Willamette MBA for Professionals?
It’s very clear to me that every professor, instructor, and staff has a deep love and passion for the program and they really care about every student.
When I signed up for the program, I was a little bit hesitant about being able to balance work, life, and school. What the professors do very well is they are able to deliver deep meaningful content and accommodate students' busy schedules, knowing that we’re students and professionals that have a lot to balance at the same time.
I am so glad to be a student here because it’s so obvious that everyone cares.
Who is your favorite professor and why?
All of the professors at Willamette MBA for Professionals are amazingly knowledgeable and passionate about their area of expertise.
If I have to pick my favorite professor, it would probably be Robert Walker and the reason for that is, one memory of mine while our cohort took his class, really set him apart.
My cohort and I didn’t quite get some of the content in one of Robert’s classes. We decided to meet that upcoming Saturday to learn from each other and see if we could kind of crowd-source that knowledge to be able to move forward in the course.
Robert overheard this and volunteered to meet us on campus on Saturday to continue to teach us and make sure that we got the knowledge that we needed to be successful in that course. And I really appreciated him going above and beyond.
What do you like about the cohort model?
My favorite thing about the cohort model is the balanced course load. In the first semester, we had a data analysis class and another class that focused more on leadership. And together, it felt like a really rounded approach for a semester.
In another semester, both of my professors at the time worked together to make sure that deadlines and due dates didn’t fall on the same date. I really appreciated that as a busy working professional. The fact that the faculty really think how classes balance each other as well as when assignments are due, is really helpful for students in the program.