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Online MBA in the Military: Finding High Quality and Flexibility

24 Jun
Online MBA in the Military: Finding High Quality and Flexibility from the perspective of SCU MBA candidate Chris Dall
Chris Dall, MBA ’22 Candidate

With a 7-month Navy deployment scheduled to commence in May of 2019, and numerous work-ups to complete as we prepared the Amphibious Readiness Group for deployment, the thought of trying to begin business school seemed daunting, if not far-fetched. I knew I wanted to continue my education to prepare for life after the US Navy, but I was not sure how to go about it or what the best option would be given my unique situation.

In-person learning was probably not reasonable given the constantly fluctuating military schedule and around-the-clock demands of pre-deployment life. Online education seemed like it might miss out on some of the key aspects of business school like networking and face-to-face time with other students and professors. I also had to consider how to choose my concentration, as well as what type of exposure the university would provide to the business world given its geographic location and business connections.

With opportunities appearing slim, I decided to do a little research and see if there were any viable options that would work for me. I was already familiar with Santa Clara University; I had applied to SCU and been accepted as an undergraduate, but elected to go a different route at the time. Knowing the strong reputation of the Leavey School of Business, I decided to look into the MBA programs Santa Clara had to offer.

SCU’s Online MBA Finds Solutions that Fit Your Needs

While researching SCU, I learned that they offered an online program that promised immersion and exposure to some of the greatest professors, industries, and companies in Silicon Valley, combined with the flexibility of an online program. I decided to apply to the Online MBA knowing that my situation was a bit peculiar with my pending deployment. To my surprise, the administration was understanding of my situation and willing to allow me to enroll for one quarter, then take a leave of absence for the remainder of the year. This appeared to be flexibility at its finest, where I was able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Connections, Convenience, and Quality

It became evident early on that the professors at the business school were highly qualified, experienced professionals with hands-on knowledge of the subject matter they were teaching. Many had experience at some of the most cutting-edge technology companies in the Silicon Valley, as well as experience in venture capital and a multitude of other industries. There were also webinars frequently held by industry experts and professionals and sponsored by the business school. Significant opportunities for exposure to professionals, industry experts, and some of the best and brightest companies is clearly a focal point for the university.

What about the interactions between students in a virtual environment? As we are seeing today during the current global pandemic, businesses have been forced to move to a remote format themselves, making communication exclusively virtual. The need to communicate efficiently in a virtual environment is now more critical than ever. The Santa Clara Online MBA is the perfect program in which to practice and perfect these virtual communication skills among other students and faculty. Networking at the university has gone virtual as well with Zoom happy hours and other effective means of connecting with classmates.

The Online MBA program at Santa Clara has proven to be incredibly flexible, with many opportunities to connect to professionals at some of the greatest companies Silicon Valley has to offer, and it does a great job of facilitating coursework and networking in an online environment. If these are some of the factors guiding your business school decision, Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business would be a great option for you.

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