Ambitious professionals of all backgrounds often find themselves contemplating an MBA. They can’t be blamed. The qualification is known for teaching leadership skills, building professional networks, launching promotions and opening doors. These benefits manifest sooner for those who choose a high-ranking institution with an equally impressive programme.
Kansas State University (K-State)’s College of Business Administration is among the elite few to hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation — the hallmark of excellence in management education. Fewer than 5% of institutions worldwide can boast this. It holds supplemental accreditation from AACSB in accounting as well – about 1% of programmes hold both. Furthermore, it is home to a Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA) that is rated No. 24 best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Online MBA Programmes.
The programme was designed to offer busy professionals the freedom to grow academically while maintaining their existing responsibilities. Online delivery makes it possible; however, learners are never deprived of the vibrant student experience K-State is known for providing. Educators are still hands on, curricula are continuously adapted to student perspectives, and opportunities abound both locally and abroad. The Graduate Studies Advisory Council (GSAC) offers internships, student practicum projects, scholarships, jobs, and academic curriculum review. The collective experience ensures every student reaches their goals — these stories are proof:
Larry Cahill’s journey at K-State began and ended even before he graduated from high school. However, what he remembered from the short stint inspired his son to follow in his footsteps. When Cahill eventually returned to the campus to attend a football game with his family, he came across a PMBA infographic. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to “finish what he started,” without having to put his role as technical service and quality manager at Nazdar SourceOne on hold.
“I wasn’t in a hurry to complete the PMBA, so doing it at my pace helped me take advantage of my company’s education reimbursement programme,” he says. “Furthermore, pursuing this qualification later in life was better for me. I wasn’t ready for all the knowledge I gained [in the PMBA programme] as a bachelor’s student.”
Cahill’s determination to upskill helped him land his promotion to director of continuous improvement at Nazdar Ink Technologies, where he applies newfound knowledge — such as in data analytics, cost-efficient practices, understanding balance sheets and more — with confidence.
As assistant director of student financial assistance at K-State, Steven Luu was determined to take advantage of its quality programmes. Its flexible delivery meant he would be able to make full use of the investment he was making into his future. Luu eyed a career in the supply chain industry in a company that exuded a family feel similar to K-State’s, and shortly into the PMBA programme, that’s exactly what he achieved.
Today, the supply chain consultant at R+L Carriers is soaring higher than ever. “The PMBA has helped me have better conversations and make businesses more profitable,” he says. “I now understand loss, expenses and profits on a deeper level.”
Even in light of political events impacting the industry, Luu has yet to break a sweat thanks to the international mindset he has developed — partially thanks to his PMBA jetting him off to Taiwan, where he was able to network among K-State’s multinational cohort.
Flexibility made the PMBA especially appealing to Perla Oyer, a full-time buyer for Honeywell and a doting mother to her young daughter. “Semesters are just eight weeks long, which is great compared to the usual 16,” she says. “It’s quick and easy. Once you’re done, you move on to the next class.”
The process of designing her course sequencing was just as convenient. An advisor walked her through it with ample suggestions. Bill Turnley’s organisational behaviour sessions were her favourite — he effortlessly connected industry to the classroom, inspiring Oyer to pursue management at some point down the line. She’s spoken to her manager about doing so, and thankfully, her goals were well received.
Oyer feels a PhD would perfectly complement her next professional steps. “It’ll definitely be at K-State,” she enthuses. “I’ve had such a great experience here and I feel confident I will be able to excel in an academic setting.”
For educator Deborah Lewis, K-State excellence ran in the family. Apart from her parents having worked there, she had already gained a music education and general music qualifications from them before. Hence, she knew it was the best place to enhance her longstanding interest in business. “I’ve always had great success here and I’ve always appreciated the faculty,” she says.
Her decision proved fruitful. As an online learner, she’s never felt disconnected. The Manhattan, Kansas resident resides just a stone’s throw away from campus, making it all the easier for her to attend orientations for newer students. “It’s nice to put names to the faces I work with online,” she says.
Lewis and her friends grew closer on their PMBA trip to Taiwan, where they explored museums and dabbled with calligraphy. The fun was paired with comprehensive lessons that opened her eyes to the global nature of business. In no time, she was ready to begin applying to the organisations that once didn’t see the value in her academia-filled CV. Shortly after graduating, she began a new chapter at Terracon as an instructional designer.
Such seamless transitions are typical of K-State’s PMBA luminaires. Ready to begin plotting yours? Click here to apply.