Category Archives: Program Loyalty

Executive MBA Students Gain a “Coach”

Stetson University launches a mentor/mentee program with Executive MBA Alumna and Cohort 10 executive students, as they engage in a personal and transformational journey.  Mentoring relationships are designed to help and support people “manage their own learning in order to maximize their professional potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be.”Eric Parsloe, Coaching, Mentoring, and Assessing (London: Kogan Page, 1992).

As an EMBA student, the goal is to develop not only your skills and abilities, but also you as a person.  Specifically, the unique talents, insights and values you bring to bear in any situation. 

The mentoring program is designed to help develop and refine you as whole person.  Mentors/Mentees will meet this month to set expectations, establish an agreement, set SMART goals, use a conversation model, look for growth and reflection opportunities, and celebrate and come to closure.  Mentor/Mentees will interact at least 2 times monthly. 

The Mentors/Mentees will have a Stetson University facilitator guiding the continuous process.   External Mentoring Professionals will provide targeted workshops and training to the executive group. 

Krista Scimeca gains support, perspective, and a “coach”.

Juliana Trujillo, Executive MBA Graduate in 2012, said “I believe that Stetson’s mentoring program is a great   opportunity as it will allow the current students to share their ideas, experiences, and accomplishments with someone who perhaps is from the outside, but knows exactly where they are coming from.  One of the things that I have learned the most about mentors is that they are someone who can see the talent and ability within people, that perhaps they can’t see for themselves and just helps bring that out for them. I think anyone that is in this type of program has the skill and the will, a mentor will just help them never forget that.”  Juliana is mentoring Krista Scimeca in Cohort 10.  Krista enthusiastically shared that their initial meeting was impactful.  The camaraderie was immediate and the academic guidance was timely. 

Check back often to learn how these relationships provide meaningful impact and accountability towards ongoing professional and personal development.

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.

Stetson’s donation to help Oakhaven residents open hair salon

Residents at Oakhaven plan to use Cohort 8's donation to set up their own hair salon.

Today, the residents of Oakhaven Home for the Aged will formally accept the check donated to them by executives in Stetson University Executive MBA program’s Cohort 8.

With $73 collected at Stetson’s Executive MBA Alumni Event in May, plus contributions from Cohort 8 and Stetson University, the students were able to present the residents of Oakhaven with $200 to use as needed. On July 3, the residents will be presented with the check during a special service at their church, New Apostolic Faith.

Francis Chamarengah helped coordinate the executives’ visit at the home. “The church and the home both have expressed their sincere gratitude for your visit and donation,” said Chamarengah to Wendy Lowe, Stetson Executive MBA program coordinator.

“They have been trying to open a small hair salon for the seniors at the home,” continued Chamarengah, “and the church will assist them in getting more equipment and items to get this salon going. Your donation will definitely go a long way in making this a reality.”

Cohort 7 performed the first philanthropic visit as a part of the international trip last year when the group prepared a meal for monks in Vietnam. Cohort 8 continuted the tradition this year at Oakhaven, and based on the enthusiasm expressed from the students in both cohorts and the groups they visited, this type of experience may become customary for the Stetson Executive MBA program’s international trips.

Alumni Event featured entertainment, camaraderie and great prizes

Members of Cohort 7 reunited at the Alumni Event, after graduating only one week prior.

The Stetson University Executive MBA Alumni Event 2011, held May 14 at the Celebration Golf Club, brought together friends, colleagues, professors … and a comedian!

The night was a great success, in which alumni reconnected with each other, befriended new connections and visited with professors. In addition, the alumni raised funds for the Stetson University Executive MBA program, totaling $5,275. The monies were raised through a combination of silent auction items purchased, an optional donation to attend, and various donations on-site. A tip jar was posted at the bar so alumni could make donations directly to Cohort 8’s philanthropy effort in South Africa at the Oakhaven Home for the Aged. Alumni contributed $73 toward Cohort 8’s project there next month.

Cohort 6 was the most generous at the silent auction tables, with winning bids totaling $1,121. Cohort 5 was not far behind with $788.

Mark Mattern and his wife, Sonya Snyder, will be relaxing at Hontoon Resort soon, using the certificate they won at the silent auction.

A few alumni have signed themselves up for future adventures. In fact, Russ Lowe of Cohort 5 will be jumping out of a plane, courtesy of the sky dive package he won at the silent auction. Rich and Verena Tetley, Cohort 5, have plenty of leisure in store with four Park Hopper passes to Walt Disney World and four multiple-day passes to Sea World and Aquatica. Their furry family friends won’t go un-entertained either because the Tetleys also took home a pet basket from Woof Gang Bakery in Celebration. And Mark Mattern of Cohort 1 will find himself floating downriver on a Hontoon Landing pontoon boat, along with a two-night stay at the resort, while Anne Hamilton, Cohort 6, scooped up the Catering Auction items and will enjoy personal catering from Puff ‘n Stuff, Too Jay’s and Foodie in the coming year. 

The silent auction wasn’t the only method of winning, though. Mark Snider of Cohort 6 was the winner of the night of the grand door prize. Each alumnus who RSVP’d by May 1 was automatically entered into a drawing for a getaway. Snider won the drawing and, in turn, three days and two nights, plus breakfast each day, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, a value of $458. Congratulations, Mark!

Dr. Vincent Brenner, the accounting professor who slips wry jokes into his mostly-numbers teaching presentations, won the faculty prize, a $25 gift certificate to Café D’Antonio in Celebration and a bottle of wine from Imperium Food & Wine in Celebration (by jones). Dr. Brenner has been teaching the accounting courses regularly in the Executive MBA program and is a cohort favorite.

Comedy entertainer Brian Staron cuts open a fresh lemon that contained something Dr. Stuart Michelson had lost.

The entertainment for the evening consisted of both classical music and comedy. Harry Rios played the keyboard throughout the evening. Rios is a recent graduate of the Stetson University School of Music. Brian Staron of Comedy Entertainment performed a couple of magic tricks that kept everyone guessing. Let’s just say that Dr. Michelson found his signed $100 bill — but it left a sour taste in his mouth!

Many thanks go to all the companies that donated products to the silent auction; to Wendy Lowe, Dr. Stuart Michelson and Stetson president Dr. Wendy Libby for hosting and organizing the event; to Russell Sirmans for the excellent photography; to entertainers Harry Rios and Brian Staron; and of course, to all the students of the Stetson University Executive MBA program — past, present and future.

To view photos from the trip, check out Russell Sirmans’ site, Stetson’s alumni page or Flickr.

C7: Better Together

Members of the Stetson University Executive MBA program’s Cohort 7, Class of ’11, showed unity at graduation, May 7, 2011. The classmates decorated their graduation caps with letters and lined up so that their back view read: C7 Better Together!  The cohort has been a close-knit group since the beginning. “I miss seeing my cohort already,” said Susan Golinsky, a Cohort 7 member. (You can click on the photo to see it bigger.)

Executive MBA student salaries continue to rise, according to council research

Originally published by the Executive MBA Council in its quarterly newsletter:

Recent graduates of Executive MBA Programs who participated in the Executive MBA Council 2010 Student Exit Benchmarking Survey reported increases in their salary and bonus packages from the start to the end of their programs. In 2010, the average salary and bonus amounts of students in the survey rose 11.4 percent from the start to end of the program, compared to 9.4 percent in 2009. Students’ average salary and bonus package at the start of their EMBA Programs was $127,955, increasing to $142,534 by the end of the program.

The Executive MBA Council conducts the Student Exit Benchmarking Survey to track the perceptions and opinions of EMBA Program graduates and to help measure the return on investment of the degree. The survey included 3,674 students from 116 programs. In addition, 37 percent of students in the survey reported receiving promotions, and 68 percent reported receiving new responsibilities during their time in the program.

“Executive MBA students continue to do well in this challenging economy,” says Michael Desiderio, executive director of the EMBA Council. “Survey data shows the return on investment for EMBA students remains significant.”

Graduates in the survey remain loyal supporters of the EMBA experience. The survey’s loyalty index helps demonstrate participating students’ satisfaction with their program. The loyalty index is a combination of students’ rankings of program quality (8.4 on a 10-point scale), students’ willingness to recommend their program to a colleague or friend (8.8), and the likelihood of supporting the program as alumni (8.2).

“The loyalty index shows that EMBA students continue to be satisfied with their programs and educational experience,” says Desiderio. “It also shows that alumni are willing to stay involved with programs.”