April 3, 2009
Beginning in Aug. 2008, the Rawls College of Business began offering a cutting edge MBA program designed for working professionals.
After being in business 25 years, most everything he learned in school had become obsolete.
Paul Scioli, successful in financial planning, insurance and employee benefits planning, already had his hands full with his career and family, but knew having an MBA would not only add value to his business, but bring him up to date on current trends and practices.
Finding the time to fit schooling into his already busy life seemed daunting, until he found the Rawls College of Business Executive Master’s of Business Administration programs.
The Rawls College offers three unique programs – a week-block curriculum, weekend-block curriculum and a physicians/dentists program. The college is taking applications now for the next cohorts of the three MBA programs. Working professionals, doctors and other healthcare professionals have the opportunity to earn their MBA in condensed formats that offer more flexibility for participants.
Scioli enrolled in the week-block program because it worked best for scheduling his business and family activities around weeks he would be in the classroom.
“I needed to reset my sights on my goals and objectives, and relearn how to think in this much faster-paced world,” he said. “This MBA program has given me a whole new outlook.”
Jim Hoffman, director of the programs, said that in business it is critical to stay close to the customer and be aware of the customer’s needs. “Such as it is also with this program,” Hoffman said. “Our customers are those working professionals who cannot leave their jobs to secure an MBA.”
According to Hoffman, the Texas Tech curriculum is all about creating value.
“We have a fantastic team of faculty tasked with teaching these professionals how to create and assess value on both an individual and organizational level,” Hoffman said. “We want graduates of our program to be able to create value in others around them and in themselves, create value for their customers and create overall value for their company or organization.”
Harvey Richey III, a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo, and a physician in the military and in private practice for 20 years, chose the Rawls College physician/dentist program to enhance his own knowledge and skills.
Richey said the program emphasizes the things in which physicians don’t get trained.
“In medical school we’re taught how to help people, but we are not taught how to make a living at it,” Richey said. “The program allows time to meet with other physicians and discuss common problems. The business school training provides a new insight into the challenges we all are facing and we can exchange possible new solutions to these problems.”
Much of the process focuses on theories and skills that the students can apply immediately to their corporate situations. Hoffman said because they all work, they can apply the learned principles directly to the jobs they have, making them more valuable to the company.
“The top key ingredient is the great team of professors – the program has a high level of integration among business areas. Second is the applicability of the program to their current work situations. Another key component is that each class and lecture is recorded to DVD,” Hoffman said. “But interestingly enough, the other two major key components are comfortable chairs, and great food – lots of it throughout the days of classes.”
Students are encouraged to come early to class; to have time to eat together, network and exchange information. Comfortable chairs and delicious food are essential to that process.
And Scioli, describing the program as challenging but rewarding, said the return on investment is immeasurable.
“If you are in a position to do this – financially and time-wise – you are doing yourself a great disservice to not take this program,” Scioli said. “I’m only a year into it, and it has paid for itself many times over. It empowers you in every area of your life.”