The Master of Business Administration Program at FSC offers opportunities to network and gain valuable experience for students wanting to excel in the business world with its easy schedule and living case studies.
The program has been around for nearly 30 years, but it was “revamped” three years ago, as Nicholas Nugent, director of the MBA Program, says.
Students begin the 16-month program in August, gaining international field experience, a mentoring program, corporate partnerships and networking. The classes are hands-on with many projects and group work.
Students have the option of a Monday through Thursday schedule or a hybrid model on Saturdays
“As soon as you meet your cohort, you get to stay with them for the next 16 months, and then everyone graduates in December,” Nugent said. “So it’s very easy to remember, and it’s very efficient.”
The hybrid model entails a Saturday class, twice a month. With the Saturday class, students have the option to be in-class or attend class online with virtual classrooms, webinars and podcasts.
Marketing Strategies, CEO Leadership and Foundations are a few examples of classes offered. Students must take three classes during the school year and one in the summer.
The class in the summer may be an international field experience, an internship, directed study or regular class.
Tuition is approximately $29,000 and according to Nugent, the retention rate is very high, at 95 percent.
The program thrives on its living case studies, engaging students in current situations to have the ability to work with and better companies that are having issues in the world today.
“Traditionally, MBA programs focus more on quantitative skills, textbooks, lectures, stuff like that,” Nugent said. “We do living case studies, which means these are problems that companies are having right now. As opposed to just looking at a problem that a company had back in 1987, we have the ability to change the company’s future as we’re moving forward.”
According to Nugent, the program is very competitive, accepting 50 students. Nugent says the program does not want to expand because it is more personal with 20-25 students to a class. Acceptance is based on GPA, GRE/GMAT scores and work experience.
“The MBA is probably the most important degree in Business right now that you can get,” Nugent said. “It’s training you to become a manager as opposed to just trying to get a job afterwards.”
The program is not limited to Business majors. Accounting, Law, Nursing, Marketing and Music Management are a few examples of other majors in the program.
“We’re lucky to have a very eclectic group,” Nugent said. “When you go out in the work place, you have to figure out how to work with each department.”
To work with experts in the field, the mentoring program allows students to create a relationship with someone experienced in their area of interest.
Students may contact their mentor with any questions or tips they may need to further their skills.
“It’s almost like a professional big brother, big sister,” Nugent said. “The mentor is responsible for maintaining a relationship with the mentee, and they talk with them about what it’s like to be in that area.”
Similar to Junior Journey, the program also offers an international business course during the summer.
Places in the past have included Brazil, China and Switzerland. Food and housing is included in tuition, and students must simply pay for a plane ticket.
“The companies we visit…allow our students to see what it’s like to do international business,” Nugent said. “Instead of a study abroad trip or learning a language, which is good, we conduct international business meetings.”
Companies such as Bank of Central Florida, Geico and OPEC have a relationship with the program, working with advisors and getting students to work for them.
“We talk a lot about international business in the classes,” Nugent said. “It would be hard for us to talk about that without an opportunity to experience it.”
Nugent says he wants to be as interactive as possible and to take advantage of technology through utilizing e-books and e-readers to engage students.
“This is not the traditional three hours of lectures,” Nugent said. “We’re a lot more interactive and up to date with technology.”
Nugent wants students to exit the program feeling prepared and ready for the real world of business.
“Our goal for the MBA Program is to have you ready to be put into a managing position,” Nugent said. “Every lecture, case study, project is meant to be what it would be like as soon as you leave. Students are ready to rock as soon as they leave the program.”
For more information on the MBA Program, students can visit the webpage at http://www.flsouthern.edu/KCMS/Master-of-Business-Administration.aspx.