Blayton Peach was looking for a solid return on his investment when researching Master of Business Administration programs.
“With the realistic competitive changes in the global market, the economic conditions for the aircraft industry and city were not acceptable for me and my family. Though I was certified in specific disciplines, I knew that my overall value needed to be increased,” he said.
Blayton had several choices in the Wichita area, but he said Friends University’s program stood out to him.
“They challenge you with high standards and expectations that are sound, ensuring an accessible staff at all levels of the administration, while encouraging an assured belief that their MBA program will increase your investment,” Peach said.
One of the University’s leading strengths is its educators in that “they involve the professional student perspective, experience and input,” he said.
The cohort format was a driver for Peach’s success, as well.
“In all of my professional years of collaborating with teams and groups with large companies and other organizations, I can honestly say that my MBA cohorts are on the top of list,” he said. “We made each other accountable, as we challenged each instructor to go beyond the traditional facilitation with factual application that enables your ability to comprehend and make leadership decisions.”
Blayton graduated from the Friends University MBA program in fall 2010. Within three months, he had two job offers, one of which he accepted as a senior design quality engineer for a Fortune 500 company.
“I am thankful to say that my total experience with the Friends University MBA program has equipped me with resources, both personal and professional, which have had a large part in dramatically increasing my present and future wealth,” Peach said.
Stacey Woolington earned more than a degree when she completed the Master of Business Administration program at Friends University. She garnered a real-world skill with practical applications to her career.
Woolington, who graduated in 2010, said much of that real-work insight came from her instructors, particularly George Vega and Randy Novak, both adjunct professors.
“I learned a great deal from both of these instructors,” Woolington said. “The final project, our business plan, was a very good culmination of all our hard work and dedication in the two-year program. My group used bits and pieces of knowledge from all of our coursework. It was a great way to put classroom concepts to actual use. It is one thing to read something in a book or take a test on a subject but putting our knowledge into real world applications was a great experience.”
The other students in her cohorts were also a great motivator for Woolington.
“I also enjoyed having other working professionals in my class. It really helped bridge the book, theory and conceptual framework with actual real-life experiences that other classmates could share. We all learned from each other as much as we learned from the course work,” she said.
Woolington came to Friends University by way of the University of Kansas, where she earned a master of public administration degree.
“I wanted to build a stronger knowledge base in private sector accounting and management. I decided it would be good for me to return to school and obtain my MBA to give myself more career opportunities,” she said.
Woolington currently works as a financial administrator for Shawnee County, Kan., and she says that her education at the University is part of why she is so successful at her job.
“Friends University gave me that private sector piece of finance and management that I didn't have prior. I learned about some IT innovations used in the private sector that could be meshed with government to improve processes and therefore save money and increase efficiencies,” Woolington said. “Learning more about marketing definitely helped me learn more about demographics and the detail you can get to when looking for a marketing strategy. If it works for the private sector, why can't the government use it as well for reaching out to the public with information on health clinics, immunizations, and parks and recreation events?”
Woolington said she has encouraged several friends and colleagues to look into Friends University’s opportunities.
“I did my research and looked at all my options. Some colleges required a prep course for a fee or required I sit for the GRE again. I found both of those requirements a waste of time and money as a professional returning to school for a second masters degree,” she said. “Friends has a great program and curriculum, and gives you the flexibility to continue to work while you obtain your degree. It is challenging but Friends staff and instructors were always there to give me the resources needed to succeed.”