Program Provides Professionals Opportunity to Pursue MBA

Many professionals are location-locked, and the executive-style MBA program brings them closer to the coveted degree.

With the opening of the new Rawls College of Business Building, the on-campus component of the executive-style MBA program is better than ever.

With the opening of the new Rawls College of Business Building, the on-campus component of the executive-style MBA program is better than ever.

For working professionals, holding a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) likely improves their worth in the job market, but getting one is easier said than done. Many location-locked professionals cannot leave their employment to pursue an MBA, or find time in an already-full schedule to take night classes.

Texas Tech’s Rawls College of Business has equipped job-bound professionals with that coveted degree since 2008, with its popular Executive-style MBA program – available in a weekend-style or week-block curriculum, with a face-to-face component.

About 53 percent of current participants are from the Dallas/Fort Worth area; 23 percent from Houston, nearly 16 percent from the Austin area and almost 7 percent from San Antonio.

Jim Hoffman, associate dean of MBA programs and executive education, and 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.

“The program grew to the point where we had nine 30-40 person cohorts going at the same time,” Hoffman said. “We currently have two weekend programs going and three week-block programs. We are scheduled to have one new weekend and one new week-block program start later this spring.”

With the opening of the new Rawls College of Business Building, the on-campus component is better than ever, Hoffman said.

“The classrooms in the new building provide a great environment for learning. The new building is very impressive; our executive students will certainly tell their colleagues about it.”

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.”

The college is taking applications now for the next cohorts of the two MBA programs. Working professionals have the opportunity to earn their MBA in condensed formats that offer more flexibility for participants.

Scheduling Strategy

April Lewis works in Dallas as a procurement specialist for Pioneer Natural Resources, a large independent oil and gas company, buying services and equipment for its operations.

 A 2005 graduate in Texas Tech’s Human Development and Family Studies program, with a master’s in Development and Family Studies from the University of North Texas, Lewis has nearly completed her first year in Texas Tech’s MBA week-block program.

“With a busy life schedule, I like best that this program enables me to work at my own pace,” she said. “Every week is not the same; other programs require you to attend class two to three nights a week and commute to school, and in Dallas this can be a challenge. The week block gives me a time to set aside everything else for two weeks out of the year, completely focus on the task at hand, and the remainder of the year I am free to study as necessary to complete assignments by the deadlines.

“I chose the week-block because it was less travel to and from Lubbock as compared to the weekend block where you go once a month, seemed more cost efficient and less of a blow to my schedule.”

Lewis said she already has gained a great deal of knowledge in the nine months she’s been in the program.

“I have obtained business knowledge that I have applied to my work and shared with my co-workers. My strategy course helped me implement measuring key performance indicators within our department. I have also gained friends and we use each other’s strengths to help one another accomplish our goals in this program.”

Location, Location, Location

Jerry Thomas, who also is enrolled in the week-block program, earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1994 from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Complicating his quest for an MBA, Thomas has two places of residence: primarily in Beaumont and Shreveport, La. on weekends. Thomas is the administrative director of Perioperative Services for Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas.

“I chose the week-block program because it allowed me flexibility of juggling work and school,” he said. “It enabled me to focus without work interruption. My travel schedule is demanding and, quite frankly, weekends were not an option.”

Thomas expects this degree, coupled with his past experience, to open other doors professionally which were not available before.

“This was a goal to satisfy my deepest desires, to achieve graduate-level status,” Thomas said. “The ability to engage different avenues within the medical arena or into other industries is attractive.”

Thomas said he would recommend this program to others because of the Texas Tech staff and the level of expertise they bring to the table.

“Jim has succeeded in developing a team of individuals whose knowledge expands across a broad spectrum of experience. Their interaction along with fellow students’, assists with the learning process for those who maintain full time employment.”


The Personal Touch

Kimberly Jones-Ross, who lives in Arlington and works for Southern Methodist University as Contracts Manager in the Office of Research Administration, is enrolled in the week-block program as well.

“Having two young boys, this fit perfectly in our busy schedules,” she said. “The best part of the program to me was the flexibility and the timing of the weeks that we had to attend. It worked out perfectly with my kid’s school schedules and work schedule.”

Jones-Ross chose Texas Tech’s program for its flexibility but also because of personal attention from the faculty.

“Dr. Hoffman took nearly an hour to explain and talk to me about the program,” she said. “That impressed me, for someone like him to take that amount of time out for me and my future. I knew if they accepted me, this was the place for me. You just do not get that kind of treatment these days.”

Jones-Ross, having a science background, said she expects to gain better knowledge of the business world, and the program has helped her tremendously in her professional development.

“One day I hope they will offer a Ph.D. program like this one. I know I would apply,” she said. “I would recommend this to other business professionals because it is an awesome program that can increase your knowledge base, it has world-class professors who are the top in their fields, and it is flexible. The networking and the friendship that I have made are just additional benefits.”


Jun 24, 2022