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Darla Moore School of Business

Professional MBA program enhances leadership and management skills while students continue their full-time positions

Dec. 10, 2020

Now more than ever, an MBA is a way to move forward. Whether you are seeking advancement within your company, a career change or the opportunity to launch your own business, a comprehensive MBA education is one of the best ways to get there. 

For alumna Caroline Jones (’08 economics, marketing and USC Spanish, ’15 MBA), the leadership and management skills that she gained from her time in the Professional MBA program helped her solidify her sales strengths.

“We had to do a lot of public speaking at the Moore School, and that’s what I do for a living,” she said. “It was a huge advantage for me coming into this role.”

Jones started her MBA while she was working full time in group sales at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Although she was hesitant to juggle working, being pregnant for the first time and classes, the flexibility of the program made it possible for Jones.

“It was great to meet so many people from different industries and see what their industry does well,” said Jones. “It was a wonderful experience both in strategy and working with other teams.”

Jones took the skills that she learned from her Moore School courses and applied them directly to her job at BlueCross BlueShield.

Since graduating with her MBA, Jones has been promoted to a national accounts sales executive for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Moore School associate professor of organizational behavior and management Liz Ravlin can also attest to the fact that the Professional MBA program gives students the tools needed to advance in their career paths.

“The Professional MBA program provides the ideal opportunity for those with professional experience in hand to ramp up their development of leadership competencies and delve into organizational functions such as accounting, finance, marketing, that their work experiences have not touched on,” Ravlin said.

Giving students the opportunity to learn these invaluable skills while also continuing to work and further their careers is a major advantage. It’s not easy working full time while going to school, however, the flexibility of the Professional MBA program makes it possible for many.

“The PMBA program provides a level of flexibility that enables students earn their degree in ways that work for them — in class, virtually — and have opportunities to engage in significant additional learning experiences such as the Global Classroom [short-term study abroad opportunities],” Ravlin said. “Faculty and staff are committed to the program and student success.”

Ravlin said the Professional MBA program is not only flexible but also customizable for students. The program allows students to further develop their skills in different areas of business that interests them.

“Students can pursue not only leadership development; they also can increase their depth of knowledge in particular functional areas by earning certificates or concentrations in business analytics, finance, marketing, strategic innovation, and international business,” Ravlin said. “These opportunities for in-depth study aid those who wish to change directions in their careers.”

The Professional MBA program teaches professionals how to lead and manage a team, while also equipping them with the knowledge and skillset to advance in their careers.

-Claire McGrath

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