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School’s First Online MBA Program Begins with Students From Across the U.S.

August 31, 2015
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A panel of four recent MBA graduates shared their experiences in the School's program.

Elviona Buxheli, a financial analyst with Garcia & Ortiz, a Tampa CPA firm, wanted to earn an MBA to enhance her business skills. She chose the School's new Online Professional MBA program because of its flexible scheduling and the "great reputation" of the University of Miami. "I am really looking forward to my first classes," she said.

On Saturday, August 29, Buxheli joined classmates from across the country at an orientation session to kick off the School's Online Professional MBA program. "Welcome to our community," said Gene Anderson, the School’s dean to the new students. "The MBA is still the best value in higher education today in terms of personal and professional development."

Joining Buxheli in the first cohort of the two-year program are more than 30 working professionals from a wide range of locations and backgrounds and 12 states across the country. Eric Savage (MS ’07) is a management information specialist with Bank of America in Jacksonville, while Stacey Humphrey (BBA ’09) works for a skin care and fragrance company in New York City. "I feel the time is right for me to commit to this program," Humphrey said. "The traditional classroom approach wouldn't work for me, so I'm looking forward to this online opportunity."

Canadian native David King moved from Texas to Miami to launch an innovative medical company, and is looking forward to the program for its networking opportunities, as well as the classes. "In business, health care and technology, the University of Miami is right in the center of the action," he said.


Students joining the Online Professional MBA program toured campus during their orientation.

The School now offers a family of MBA programs with the same faculty and underlying curriculum. "This is a great time to join our school and our university, which have tremendous positive momentum," Anderson told the class.   

In keeping with that welcoming theme, a panel of four recent MBA graduates outlined the benefits they gained from the program, and answered questions from the dean and students.   "The biggest benefit to me was taking courses outside of finance," said Spencer Duke (MBA ‘06), who was a financial consultant and now owns and operates a clothing business. "Understanding the customer service model and being able to leverage statistics to measure results were very valuable to me."

Jenna Redfearn (MBA ’15), a product marketing manager at Microsoft's Latin American headquarters, said the School's marketing classes got her really excited about this field. "I also learned how to work with people of diverse backgrounds and play to team members' strengths," she added.  

David Coggins (MBA ’14), who launched an investment management firm after working as a portfolio manager for a private bank, advised the new students to challenge themselves. "Make yourself vulnerable, and don't be afraid to make mistakes," he said. "Most of all, take advantage of everything the university offers you."

Rony Blattner (MBA '15) joined the School's Office of Alumni Relations and Development after working in commercial real estate. "Get to know the classmates on your virtual team, and share your experiences," she said, noting both faculty and staff were readily accessible to provide support as needed. "The program also builds your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while giving you more confidence on the job."

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