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Crosby MBA offers practical experience

Dominic Vollmar, MBA studentDominic Vollmar is earning a dual Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Missouri. He serves as a teaching assistant for Engineering Economics and completed an internship at Textron Aviation in the Production Control and Logistics Department.

Every new graduate learns a hard lesson early in their new career: what you learn in the classroom does not always translate to the exact skills you need to be successful in your new job. The data isn’t as clean, the problems aren’t as cut and dry, and resources are tighter than textbooks portray. The Crosby MBA curriculum aims to simulate real-world experiences in every class.

For instance, my group members and I had a chance to apply some of the analysis methods that we had learned in an accounting class to a real company’s financial statements and provide our input on their current stability and future prospects. Not only was this fun and interesting, but it also allowed us to see what it is really like to try and make decisions using our accounting knowledge, as opposed to only being able to analyze simple problems from the book designed to be relatively easy to solve. We had to deal with issues like the numbers not coming out as cleanly as we expected, or rather hoped, different companies having different reporting methods which made it harder to compare, and even sometimes having to find other sources when trying to pinpoint the exact cause of something instead of being handed the solution.

Another class, Advanced Marketing Management, included a series of business cases that we had to analyze. We formulated marketing plans for different products using our class lessons. My group’s business case was about the launch of Sony PlayStation 3. Using data that was provided from the actual launch, we had to come up with a way to make the gaming system more desirable in the future. It was not always easy to see what needed to be done, and we often had to try things that we did not expect initially. We even had to find ways to deal with disagreements about how to move forward with the product.

These and other opportunities have provided me with valuable experiences. In addition to understanding that sometimes what we learn in the classroom is not as easily applicable as we think, it was also important for me to figure out if I actually enjoyed doing that kind of work. These opportunities have also given me multiple chances to work in groups with a variety of different people. Since you will normally be working with other people in your career, many of whom you will not get to choose, it is important to learn how to be an effective group member as early as you can. I look forward to other opportunities in the Crosby MBA Program for practical application of my skills such as  internships, the consulting course and case competitions over the next year.

Crosby MBA degree offers flexibility

Elise WatsonElise Watson is a first-year graduate student at the University of Missouri-Columbia pursuing her Crosby MBA and Masters of Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She aims to utilize her background in theatre in combination with these degrees to pursue a career in marketing, brand management, public relations, media relations/communications, and other related fields. Elise spent her first year in the Crosby MBA Program as the Director of Digital Marketing for the MBA Association. She was recently elected to be the Vice President of Communications for the upcoming academic year.

When I tell people that I am a first-year graduate student  pursuing an MBA and Master of Journalism, and that my undergraduate degree was  musical theatre with a minor in Spanish, the reaction is usually one of confusion or amusement. This is fair, as I admit that I sometimes think the same of my oddly diverse educational history. However, that is the beauty in these programs—people come from diverse experiences and cultures, all with the desire to learn and achieve.

From the moment I became a student at Missouri State University, my life was immersed in the theatre program. While many saw musical theatre as an easy degree with students who were able to simply sing and dance all day, I knew differently. This degree taught me about being a part of a team, following my passion, getting up in front of a group of people to present in challenging ways, organizing when the day had been booked from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed, having discipline when I was expected to have pages upon pages of text memorized the next day and, perhaps most importantly, knowing my values and ethical boundaries. My degree taught me the life-skills that have prepared me for my future.

Perhaps one of the most influential components of my undergraduate experiences was working for Tent Theatre, a professional summer theatre company in Springfield, Mo. While working for Tent, I had the privilege of both performing and marketing for this company. After my first summer as a member of the Tent marketing team, I was invited to join as a marketer for the Theatre and Dance Department throughout the school year. I grew to really enjoy this form of communication, and was fascinated by determining how to best reach the audiences for which our students were performing. My passion for the art of marketing was developing. (more…)

MBA Program rallies behind student with cancer

Krissy Tripp Vice President of Philanthropy, MBA AssociationKrissy Tripp is a second-year Crosby MBA student studying Marketing Analytics. In addition to being the Crosby Analytics Society President, she serves as the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Crosby MBA Association. In Spring 2016, after organizing a wine tasting to benefit Habitat for Humanity, she co-lead the Conquering Cancer Festival, a fundraiser to benefit fellow student Zach Heath.

I have always believed that it is the extra things you do outside of class that sets you apart from your classmates. When I graduate with an MBA in May, I will graduate with roughly 70 others who share my credentials, but my story and experiences in the MBA program will be my own.

Honestly though, the most interesting part of my story isn’t even about me. It’s about a man named Zach Heath, a fellow Crosby MBA student who was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer during our second year. I don’t know that we had spoken much during our first year of the program. We certainly wouldn’t have called one another to hang out on a Friday night, but twenty years from now when I won’t remember any of my exam scores, and I may even struggle to think of a professor’s name, I will still remember Zach Heath.

For me, it started with text messages.

“Hey, we should do something for Zach.”

“Krissy, are we going to do anything for Zach?”

I finally asked what was going on, and my roommates told me to check Facebook. Zach had been diagnosed with cancer. He started a blog and a Go Fund Me to help pay his medical bills. (more…)

Mizzou Finance Team Wins 1st Place

Two Crosby MBA students were among first place Mizzou team in St. Louis Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge

Update: Approximately 1,000 teams started this competition at the global level, and 106 made it to the competition in Chicago. John Milligan, Dylan Jungels and Tristan Young made it further than any Mizzou team ever to compete in the CFA Institute Research Challenge. They were among the Top 20 teams globally.

Univeristy of MO Columbia winners of 2016 CFA local challenge with faculty and awardsTwo Crosby MBA candidates, Dylan Jungels and John Milligan, represented MU alongside an undergraduate economics student Tristan Young in the CFA Institute Research Challenge. The trio won first place in the St. Louis region and will compete this week in Chicago for the Americas Division, where two winners will be selected to compete globally.

“I was excited to have an opportunity to take everything I’ve learned in regards to financial analysis and valuation and have a chance to compete,” Milligan said. “It was excellent for networking too.”

Milligan said half of his personal success on the team came from being a part of the Chartered Financial Analyst Program and the other half came from passionate faculty members at the Trulaske College of Business. He highlighted John Stansfield, Director of the CFA Partner Program, as well as Michael O’Doherty, Faculty advisor for the CFA Institute Research Challenge, and Andy Kern as professors that have played an instrumental role in mentoring him and furthering his finance career. (more…)