Graduates of the University of Oregon’s Portland-based MBA for working professionals say that being part of a cohort of 50 midcareer peers from a wide variety of industries was the added value that has meant the most. They enjoyed being teamed with other professionals who have five to 15-plus years of experience and are committed to going from great to greater. Here are some examples.
“Hands down, the best thing about UO’s executive MBA is the relationships I’ve built and the amazing friendships,” Treniere Moser said. “My network expanded overnight. Everyone in my cohort is smart and talented. I appreciate the diversity of thought and experience they bring from very different industries.”
Moser is halfway through the program, but already sees real-time applications to her job.
“I can take the deep conversations and learnings from our classroom and adapt them to my work nearly instantly,” she said. “It’s not just information for down the road; I’m applying this now.”
It can feel like there is never a good time to go back to school. As a mother with two small children—her youngest was born just a few months after Moser started her MBA—Moser appreciates the condensed weekend class schedule.
“It was scary to commit with all my other responsibilities, but I finally found the courage to go for it,” she said. “I aspire to move up in the apparel business and this program is giving me the toolbelt I need to keep advancing.”
When Mary Miksch began looking for a way to expand beyond her niche in design and architecture, she chose the Oregon Executive MBA for the professional connections as much as for the caliber of the academics.
“Meeting other executives in person and learning from each other was the most valuable draw for me,” she said. “Now I’ve joined the alumni board of the program, so I’m staying connected to my peers and having more opportunities to learn. The executive MBA wasn’t just a two-year experience for me, but the beginning of a new trajectory.”
Trained as an architect, Miksch was a high-achieving salesperson for Neil Kelly Company when she started the program. Midway through the program, she was promoted to her company’s leadership team.
“Achieving the MBA validated who I am beyond my technical expertise and made me a more holistic businessperson,” she said. “Like many creative professionals, I was initially intimidated by the financial courses in the program, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them.”
An Oregon State University alum, James J. Dixon decided to cross rivalry lines and pursue his MBA at UO’s weekend program in Portland because of the opportunity to connect with other professionals in the cohort model.
“I’ve gained so much from those relationships,” he said. “Hearing my classmates’ perspectives opened my eyes to different ways to solve problems. It was lastingly impactful. Most of my cohort are local, so I still engage with them socially as well as pick their brains for ideas and expertise.”
Dixon was in middle management when he began the program. Since then, he’s achieved two promotions.
“Every rung you climb on the career ladder, you get in more rarefied air: fewer positions, more competitive,” he said. “I wanted to go from being a good candidate to being a great candidate for these roles. The MBA gave me a competitive edge. I’m not a finance guy, so learning that piece helped round out my resume. It helped me articulate a knowledge of business to position me for an executive leadership role.”
Taking it to the next level
The only executive MBA offered in Oregon, UO’s Portland MBA is designed to accelerate professional growth and career momentum. Its every-other-weekend schedule allows students to maintain their personal commitments. Students earn a graduate degree from a nationally ranked business school in 20 months—and take the summer off between the first and second years. The Oregon Executive MBA is distinctive for including a student global trip, executive coaching, and capstone projects. To learn how you can leapfrog your career growth while advancing your current full-time job, visit business.uoregon.edu/executive-mba.