Before I begin this topic I want to go ahead and throw out there that I am completely biased! While I did not obtain my MBA at Benedictine, I did complete my PhD here. I've also taught in the Benedictine MBA program for the past eight years. That means I've seen roughly four full generations go through the program. I’ve taught at least five different courses — with multiple sections of each one — and I've developed the curricula for three of them. I know this program and it’s benefits well — I am a fan.
A question I often answer about the Benedictine MBA program is how it’s unique from other programs like it. Now, I could go on about the graduation rates, career options, and the strength of our alumni network. But you can find all that on the program’s web page. I could talk about how great the campus is, or how even when you are in the online program and never set foot in Lisle, you still feel like you’re a part of the community. However, you’ll read similar information on many MBA programs you come across.
What I want to share are the three specific qualities about Benedictine’s MBA program that are atypical.
1. Benedictine is a Jesuit university, welcoming a diverse group of students. This means we’re focused on a Christian mission, but we’re not all up in your face about it. Unlike secular campuses where you may feel pressured to never offer any displays of a faith tradition, at Benedictine you are welcome to do that, even if your faith is no faith at all. And unlike some evangelical campuses where you are expected to only voice a particular faith tradition, Benedictine is welcoming to all faiths. Just take a look at some of the pictures on our website and you'll see it is a truly diverse community. I can tell you from firsthand experience that that welcoming spirit permeates through all programs.
2. Faculty are a distinctive blend of top-tier scholars who conduct cutting-edge research, and senior practitioners in their various fields. At Benedictine, we believe the graduate-level work you do should include foundational skills in research and it’s application, and you’ll learn from faculty who are the best in their field and topics. We make it a point to learn from each other to give our students the best possible experience.
3. All faculty care deeply about the students they teach. As an example, many years ago I had a student who, towards the end of class, was in a major accident and temporarily lost the use of both hands. All indications leaned towards a full recovery, but it would be a while. There was concern over course completion due to the lack of course assignments that could be turned in. I worked through several levels of approval to have this student “turn in” their final paper by doing an oral presentation instead, working with administrators to ensure academic quality issues would be met and that they wouldn’t have to repeat the class and waste the time already invested in the course, as it was so close to the end.
The school was amazingly supportive in providing an alternative that was best for the student. I’ve seen many challenging situtions in students’ lives over the years at various schools, and this incident is an exelempary example of how faculty support students in any way they can.
About the Author
Jimmy Brown, Ph.D. is a senior level management consultant with eighteen years of experience leading efforts to develop and implement practical strategies for business performance improvement. Dr. Brown has held senior level consulting positions at leading firms such as Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Accenture and Hewlett-Packard.
He can be reached at www.jimmybrownphd.com or via Twitter @jimmybrownphd