Talk about good business.
The moment students enroll in the Baylor University online Master of Business Administration program, they gain access to more than 25,000 professionals via the powerful Baylor Business Network, a component of the Baylor Alumni Network.
"Our message will continue to be that we have thousands of resources," said Dr. Gary Carini, vice provost for graduate professional education. "In alumni and current students across the graduate business programs, there are several like-minded people. If you are looking to move your career forward, this is a great resource."
The Baylor Business Network has flourished in the last decade with numerous specialized groups and city chapters, most notably in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Seattle and, of course, Waco. The states with the two largest alumni groups outside of Texas are California and Illinois.
"They do regular meetings, mostly breakfast meetings," said Mary Reinhardt, associate director of the online MBA program. "You sign up to go, and they have different speakers. It can be business meetings or business leaders in town for the day. Sometimes it's Baylor athletics coaches. It's good for our alumni because they get to meet people who were maybe not a business undergrad when they were at Baylor but are now at a certain level. They can network in different areas."
Bears Helping Bears
In addition to networking in person, graduates of the Hankamer School of Business are typically willing to lend other Baylor students and graduates a paw. In the video above, you can see a real-world example of this.
"If they want to call a Baylor graduate, or when they have actually done so, the network seems to be so tight that the Baylor grad will take that call," Carini said. "Other universities can say that, and I'm sure other schools do that, but Baylor students and alumni out of our online program are reporting that they're definitely a part of that greater Baylor family, the Baylor community. I think that's a real advantage."
Some graduates will immediately turn to Baylor when their companies need a position filled.
"What's interesting is -- and this has happened about four times since last year -- when our online students are needing to hire somebody, they've called and said, 'Hey, Mary, let me talk with your career management person because we're looking for somebody in this position. Do you have a student that's graduated?'" Reinhardt said. "We also have the Career Services Network that allows our students to reach out. They're also helping us place Baylor students."
Baylor graduates have also been known to help students with their work within the MBA program curriculum.
"I have an assignment in my global strategies class where students have to interview two executives about strategy topics we've covered in class," Carini said. "It's kind of a dreaded assignment, but in many cases over the last three times, those students have called Baylor alumni to interview them for the purpose of this assignment.
"So, you're asking an executive whom you've never met to answer questions, 'How do you deal with consistency between vision, goals, objectives and making sure people are aligned with that?' 'Do you have a five-year plan? A ten-year plan? How do you deal with competition and customers?' All of that kind of stuff."
Side by side with the Career Services Network, Baylor also provides business students with access to career fairs and information about corporations and other businesses that have alliances with the university.
Quincy Jenkins, a 2016 online MBA graduate and former Baylor football player, landed a job at Google after he attended the National Black MBA Career Expo in New Orleans via the Baylor network.
"Going into this, I really didn't plan on necessarily looking for outside opportunities," said Jenkins, who was working in sales for Sherwin-Williams at the time. "I really wanted to make myself more marketable internally, but for some reason, through the program, I was motivated to go to the job conference.
"It is something I would suggest for future students, if they post anything or talk to you about going to some of these career opportunities. Even if you're not currently looking, you should attend at least one while you're pursuing your degree just to see what's out there."
Apart from tapping the Business Network, students and graduates can tailor their experience with 11 other groups within the alumni network, such as the Army Baylor Network, the Black Alumni Network, the Sports Network and the Women's Network.
"Not only is it by your academic unit, but there's also an athletic group," Reinhardt said. "It just depends on where your interests lie. It doesn't have to be specific to where your degree is, but can be in other areas, as well. You can select as many groups as you want."
Catering to specific interests increases the number of networking opportunities.
"People don't know what they don't know," Carini said. "If they're coming into our program, it's more, 'Hey, I want to get this MBA. I want to learn that stuff.' It's the transaction of doing that, taking classes and doing well. Here's another facet to being part of Baylor that makes it different. Our job is to keep moving that message forward, to invite them into a place they didn't even know existed."Learn more about the Baylor online MBA program.
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