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School's New Executive MBA Program Helps Artists and Athletes Strengthen Career Success

February 26, 2015
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Ryan Mundy, a safety with the Chicago Bears arrives at the program kick-off dinner.

After five years in the National Football League (NFL), Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jason Fox (BS '09) is going back to school in the off-season. "I want to be well prepared for life after football," said Fox, who was a starting lineman for the Hurricanes before being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2010.

Fox is among the more than 40 participants in the first class of the School’s new Miami Executive MBA for Artists and Athletes program, which started Feb. 13. The class includes more than 20 current NFL players from 12 teams and almost 20 former NFL players, including nearly a dozen first-round draft picks.

As one of the School's specialized MBA offerings, this unique program teaches accomplished individuals with strong personal brands how to leverage their current career achievements into business success. It includes two-week residency modules, as well as online distance learning.

Michael Thomas, a Miami Dolphins defensive back and 2012 graduate of Stanford University, says this was the perfect time to enroll in the new Executive MBA program. "I feel fortunate to have this opportunity here where I am playing," he said. "I am also thinking about my family's future and want to be ready to make a transition into investment, real estate or some other business."

     
Jason Fox, an offensive tackle with the Miami Dolphins and a former Miami Hurricane, arrives at the kick-off dinner.

Trent Edwards, retired Buffalo Bills quarterback who spent eight years in the NFL after playing at Stanford, said he expects the program to improve his business skills and expand his professional network as he considers a possible career in real estate.

While running back Jerome Felton, now a free agent after eight years in the NFL felt the time was right to enroll before his next season in the NFL. "I wanted to take advantage of this program for me because it caters to the needs of athletes who are still playing," he said. "Now, I can study for the future, while getting ready for next season."

The program kicked off with a reception and dinner featuring keynote addresses by technology entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo and Van Jones, host of CNN’s Crossfire and a best-selling author.

"You have the discipline and the skills to be great leaders, so use your imagination," said Echeruo, encouraging the athletes to build new dreams for the future. 



    

Russell Okung, an offensive tackle with the Seattle Seahawks, arrives at the program kick-off dinner.

"It takes courage to go from a level of mastery in one field and humble yourself to try something new," added Jones. "Think of this as your new team and remember that as a leader you can make a difference in the lives of others." 

The class includes five former Hurricanes in total.

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