Why not now? Finding the right time to start my MBA

Christina Laemers (Cohort 9) and Darcy Clark (Cohort 7) bond over their Executive MBA experience.

By Christina Laemers
Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 9 student
Walt Disney Co. Communications Manager

“It was the most difficult and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”

This was the sobering, yet optimistic testimonial I collected from Darcy, a long-time colleague and friend who, only a month prior, had donned a cap and gown and accepted her diploma as an official graduate of the Executive MBA program at Stetson University. I had just been accepted to the program and I was searching for a sign that the time was right to embark on such a major life event, and Darcy was in the perfect position to share some advice on the matter.

To back up a bit, I should explain why I sought advice on such a personal decision. I am someone that consistently struggles with the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s not because I am particularly wishy-washy or aimless; I do have goals and dreams I plan to accomplish. It’s just that so far, opportunities have presented themselves and if it felt right, I went for it. Now faced with a decision to tie myself in one place for 19 months, it seemed like a big commitment. Not the time, per se, but the freedom that makes it so easy for me to jump on any opportunity: company travel, impromptu vacations, weekend adventures, even a special assignment abroad. The way my career has developed so far, who knows where I might be in 19 months?

Thus began my search for some sound input on the decision, and my mentor and friend Michelle echoed Darcy’s sentiment. “It’s a challenge, but you’re up for it. You won’t ever find ‘the right time,’ if that’s what you’re waiting for.”

Christina Laemers prepares for a graduate experience of a lifetime!

Was it what I was waiting for? Michelle’s words sparked something. I was so concerned about what I might miss that I actually missed the bigger picture: this was an opportunity I would regret letting pass by, and really, now was as good a time as ever. I just had to get out of the “I can do that later” mentality, and consider the “why not now?”

Cohort 9 has just started this journey and I’m still searching for equilibrium (vocab word from Econ!) among my social life, career and being a student; but so far, I find that “right now” was right on the money. I still don’t know where I’ll be in five years, but with the support of my leaders, family, and 24 new best friends, I know exactly where I’ll be in 19 months: donning my own cap and gown as a part of Stetson’s MBA graduating class of spring 2013.

Princeton Review lists Stetson among the nation’s best

Stetson University’s School of Business Administration has been named one of the nation’s best business schools in a new guidebook released Oct. 11 by The Princeton Review.

Stetson's business school is among the top in the nation, according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company compiles its guidebook of top business schools annually based on input from more than 19,000 students in Master of Business Administration programs accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, as well as statistical data received from the institutions.

The new 2012 edition of the book, The Best 294 Business Schools, includes a profile of Stetson’s School of Business Administration that includes information on academics, student life and environment, the admissions process, statistical data and career placement services. Students highlighted Stetson’s small class size, personalized education, accessible and supportive faculty, modern facilities, flexible schedules for working professionals, and global focus, including opportunities to study business abroad during short or semester-long trips.

It highlights Stetson’s traditional MBA, Executive MBA and accelerated MBA/Juris Doctor (law) degrees. The profile notes the proximity of the university’s Central Florida campuses in DeLand and Gulfport/St. Petersburg and satellite center in Celebration to metropolitan areas including Orlando, Daytona Beach and Tampa Bay.

“Stetson University’s School of Business Administration graduate programs are designed to bring post-graduate professional academics to the highest level,” said Dean of Business Administration Stuart Michelson. “Designed for both current and future business professionals, the curricula are focused on the real-world challenges and opportunities facing businesses today.

“The graduate faculty is committed to delivering the highest quality instruction in an active-learning, engaged environment. Small class sizes and professors who provide insight and an academic focus are key features of the Stetson experience,” Michelson said. “The international focus of our curriculum prepares the business professional to succeed in today’s rapidly changing global business environment.”

The Princeton Review profile on Stetson includes comments directly from students. “The atmosphere is collaborative, as most students are also ‘interested in diversifying their skills in both business and networking,’” the guidebook said. “For professionals the atmosphere is supportive, and students find they ‘can relate with classmates, since many also have full-time jobs.’”

Of the more than 13,000 business schools worldwide, Stetson’s School of Business Administration is one of only 177 that hold AACSB accreditation in the fields of business and accounting, and one of only 37 private colleges and universities that hold the accreditation in both fields.

Read the full press release here.

Stetson student’s journey to London successful

As reported last week, Stetson MBA student Jason Sauter and his girlfriend Nancy Vidarte, both of Central Florida, visited London this weekend to report on the Royal Wedding. Sauter filed multiple videos for CNN iReport. See some of his video highlights below.

[cnnvideo url=’http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/ireports/2011/04/29/irpt.royal.journey.to.buckingham.cnn’ inline=’true’]

Read more about Jason and Nancy’s journey in CNN’s pressroom.