NMSU’s distance MBA helps alumni, execs fit learning into their lives

May 13, 2016 by Amanda Bradford, NMSU News Center

For Benitez Jones, a bachelor’s degree just didn’t feel like enough. Though the Detroit native who now lives and works in Socorro, Texas, earned his marketing degree online from New Mexico State University’s College of Business last year, he wasn’t satisfied and wanted to learn more about his field.

Benitez Jones of Soccoro, Texas, is a project engineer for Detroit-based construction firm Walbridge. An NMSU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, he says he enrolled in the College of Business’ cohort-based distance MBA program because it allows him to continue traveling with his job while working toward his degree. (Courtesy photo)

Benitez Jones of Soccoro, Texas, is a project engineer for Detroit-based construction firm Walbridge. An NMSU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, he says he enrolled in the College of Business’ cohort-based distance MBA program because it allows him to continue traveling with his job while working toward his degree. (Courtesy Photo) FEB16

“You can never have too much education,” said Jones, who works as a project engineer for Detroit-based construction company Walbridge. But his job takes him all over the United States, working on projects from a steel mill in Ohio to a nuclear plant in Georgia, so a classroom-based master’s program isn’t a good fit for the demands of his travel schedule.

Jones and many other alumni like him who work full-time and travel or live far from NMSU’s campus now have another option. And thanks to a new cohort-based distance MBA program, which is now wrapping up its first academic year, Jones is able to work toward the same accredited Master of Business Administration degree that’s offered on the Las Cruces campus.

“The fact that we can have a virtual class and don’t have to physically be in class is very convenient,” Jones said. “You can basically be anywhere in the world and do this program, as long as you are online for the scheduled virtual class. The flow of the classes over the Internet is great, too.”

The two-year program meets online one evening per week for a session that can be viewed in real time from work, home or live in the classroom. Students have the opportunity to ask questions, interact with both students and professors, and participate in class discussions. The class meetings are also digitally recorded so students can review them any time.

Students meet on campus for a three-day orientation period at the beginning of the program, so they can get to know the other members of their cohort, and will also conclude the program with an on-campus wrap-up session –- but all other requirements can be met entirely online.

“The distance MBA cohort is taught by the same award-winning faculty members who provide all of our classroom-based courses,” said College of Business Dean James Hoffman. “We developed this program to provide our alumni and other working executives with another option that gives them the flexibility to pursue their educational and career goals.”

Jones is hoping his completed MBA will help open new opportunities as he looks to advance with his company. “This program allows me to continue traveling with my job while working on my MBA,” Jones said. “It’s made things more convenient for my lifestyle.”

The College of Business is still accepting applications for the fall 2016 cohort of the distance MBA program. For more information, visit business.nmsu.edu/academics/graduate-programs/mba/online and contact MBA adviser John Shonk at mbaprog@nmsu.edu or 575-646-8003.


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