news-category: Academics GWU 10-Month Master of Business Administration Program Has Record Growth By Office of University Communications On August 22, 2020 Faculty Seek to Provide Students Individual Support in Fully Online Format BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Launched in 2019, the 10-month Master of Business Administration (MBA) program has become Gardner-Webb University’s fastest-growing graduate major. In one year, the fully-online, accredited program realized a 250 percent increase in enrollment. This growth helped push Gardner-Webb to seventh place on the Triangle Business Journal ranking of North Carolina MBA programs by enrollment. Gardner-Webb outpaced larger universities, such as UNC-Charlotte, Wake Forest, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Greensboro. The innovative format of the program is geared to meet the needs of active professionals, who realize the benefits of earning an MBA but are hesitant to commit to a two-year program. “I believe the 10-month MBA has been well received for three reasons,” said Dr. Bill Achia, assistant professor of management in the Godbold College of Business. “One, it minimizes the time to completion of a degree and makes it more appealing to the student who has competing priorities. Two, its online courses are convenient since there is no travel requirement; and three, the program’s faculty and staff have a very supportive approach to graduate education above and beyond what other larger institutions can afford their grad students.” Dr. Bill Achia To complete the degree in 10 months, students take two courses every eight weeks. The curriculum is structured to provide students with the managerial skills needed for successful leadership. Approaches to problem solving are stressed through the use of practical applications of academic concepts and theories. Achia teaches two courses in the program; one is a foundational course and the other focuses on how manufacturing, supply chains and operations impact success. “The students are very engaged. They take part in real-time Zoom sessions each week, and really appreciate the way we have structured each course to have a near similar feel, such that they know how to navigate each and every course quite easily,” Achia commented. “Many students juggle a full-time job, family and the high-paced MBA program, but after the first two or so classes, they settle into a routine and are able to cope very well.” Vladimir Jankov One of those students is Vladimir W. Jankov, of Ridgeville, S.C., who will graduate in December. He is a manager for a building maintenance company and also a first class reserve police officer. Jankov immigrated to America from Slovakia in 1995 when he was 27. The first step in his educational journey was to learn English. After studying the language and learning how to use a computer, he earned his associate’s degree in 2018 and bachelor’s degree in 2019, both with academic honors. Through his previous and current experiences, Jankov has found that time management is essential to success. “It is very important to draft a schedule based on tasks and goal importance,” he related. “I always try do my school tasks right away and do not wait until it is due. I don’t mind pulling longer hours at work or behind the computer or textbooks just to get ahead of the schedule. I am locked on the prize, and I always remember my long-term goals, keeping in mind my personal initiative and responsibilities.” Jankov appreciates the expertise and real-world knowledge of his Gardner-Webb professors. “Every class has given me something that I can implement for positions that I may pursue,” he shared. “The skills I am learning while at Gardner-Webb will help me enhance my ability and performance in any occupational setting, such as interpersonal skills, working effectively in a team, strategic thinking, critical decision making, better understanding of the market, communication and leadership.” For more information about the 10-month MBA, contact Dr. Felice Policastro, director of Graduate College of Business, at 704.406.3997 or email, [email protected], or Brooke Workman, director of Godbold College of Business Admissions, at 704. 406.4489 or email, [email protected]. Learn more about the 10-Month MBA. Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.