By Jimmy Manion – Contributor
The Executive MBA program at UNO caters to those who have full-time professions but still want to complete their master’s degree in business administration.
UNO is lucky to have an established program to help those that may or may not have a business background, said Bill Swanson. Swanson, executive director and graduate of the program, knows firsthand what going back to school is like for those trying to make their lives better.
UNO’s program is the only executive MBA program offered in Nebraska, although several are offered throughout the Midwest.
The average age of students in the program is 39. The program provides an opportunity to those who want to receive an all-around business degree, no matter what degree they currently hold. Less than one-half of the students in the program already have a degree in business.
Swanson said he loves working with adult learners. Many of the students come from managerial or supervising backgrounds, with a company president coming in every now and then.
“Not just learning expert content from faculty but from fellow classmates who talk about specific things in their businesses is what really makes the program strive,” he said.
The Executive MBA program is an 18-month program that meets every other Friday and Saturday.
A bonus is that classes are never held on holiday weekends, Swanson said.
Students seeking admission need to have at least six years of experience in a practical business setting. Most students have been working an average of 16 to 17 years.
The class sizes are around 20 students, with about 15 to 20 who usually finish the class. Swanson said the classrooms are equipped to hold 32 students. Filling all of the seats is his primary goal.
While in the program, students are required to finish 36 credit hours, along with six hours of electives. Traveling abroad for a short time is also part of the process, with the program handling all expenses.
The program, now based out of Mammel Hall, begins each June and ends the following December.
“I gained valuable insight and skills from the program,” said Chris Carlson, who graduated the MBA program in 2005. “I also learned a lot from my classmates and developed solid friendships. The network and ability to tap into former alumni is a priceless resource.”
Swanson said what he likes most about the program is graduate success rates, the strong alumni network and Mammel Hall.
“These are all contributing factors to take UNO to the next level,” he said.