The Tech MBA Online's first campus residency kicked off in August 2010. Eleven students from four states traveled to Houghton for the immersion experience focused on initiating the two-year online program.
“It’s just the type of graduate program that keeps Tech relevant, as it gives students the skills to advance their careers and lives,” says President Glenn D. Mroz.
“The Tech MBA Online combines great online education with hands-on learning on and off campus.”
Holly Lehto ’02 was impressed with her initial experience. "It's been good: a lot of work!" says the finance management grad, currently working in risk management for Excel Energy in Denver. "It's been a great experience from a networking aspect, and competing in the capstone program has been great."
In the capstone, the students ran companies using very sophisticated simulation software. Professor Dana Johnson led the sessions with four real teams and two virtual teams managing manufacturing companies.
“The students are really competitive,” Johnson says. “It’s educational and experiential. They had to come up with strategic plans, run their companies out for three years, and then see how they followed the corporate plans. It’s very realistic.”
Lehto thought she could use her experiences with the Tech MBA Online for future consulting work, either internally at Excel Energy or externally.
Connie Koutouzos brought a different background to the exercise, as a vice president of health care services for NorthStar Health Systems in Iron River, Michigan. She is earning her MBA to enhance her education that includes a BS in Nursing and an MS in Nursing Administration from Northern Michigan University.
“It’s good for completing my skill set,” she says. “I have life and work experience in a different setting, in health care administration. My classmates have technical skills and more recent academic involvement than mine. I’m polishing my skills to get to the same place.”
Associate Professor Mari Buche is looking forward to teaching the online information systems class this spring.
“It will focus on decision making,” she says. “We use case-based examples for analysis and discussion.” Buche also appreciated the program’s personal interaction.
“They don’t feel so isolated,” she says. “ The residency is really important.”
“We are very happy with the enthusiasm that the students, faculty, and staff have brought to the first residency,” says Darrell Radson, dean of the School of Business and Economics. “ The learning in the residency forms the foundation of education that we will deliver online. The residency also gives students the opportunity to meet each other, their instructors, and the staff members who will be supporting them through their online classes.”
Next August, the Tech MBA Online students will be back on campus to complete the second residency, focused on leadership development. A third international residency will follow in summer 2012 and will focus on how technologically based businesses are developed in another part of the world.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.