By Phillip Childress
Eller MBA ’14
Eller welcomed the Full-Time MBA class of 2014 in early August with a week-long orientation designed to prepare students for the rigorous curriculum and demands of the program. The professional development exercises, introductions to professors, and mini case competition provided a clear glimpse of the work that lies ahead.
The new class comes in after another successful year for the program. The Full-Time MBA class of ’12 graduated with record-breaking employment and salaries. The program rose six spots in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, and is acknowledged as an “MBA Program on the Rise.”
“Fueled by that success, we are excited to begin another academic year,” said Jennifer Bublitz, assistant dean of MBA programs. “We launched two cohorts of MBA students in August, Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA, and we are thrilled with both classes.”
MBA program manager Kristy Ruiz is impressed with the competitiveness of the new class of MBA candidates. First-year MBA students dominated the applications for a new case competition, which Eller received just 72 hours before the deadline. “First-year students jumped at the chance to compete and represent Eller outside of the university,” Ruiz said. “What stands out to me about this class is the students’ energy and eagerness to compete.”
Several first-year students are also working to revitalize the Eller chapter of the Net Impact program, a
nonprofit organization focused on environmental issues, which was dormant this past year at Eller. “A large portion of the class also seems to be genuinely concerned with social responsibility, civic duty, and environmental concerns,” Ruiz added.
Class of 2014 MBA candidate Nur Yusoff earned her bachelor’s of communication at the University of Arizona before returning to her native Malaysia and taking a position as a mid-level marketing executive in consumer products. “I want to get my MBA so I can improve my skills and opportunities for higher salaries and higher positions in management,” Yusoff said. “I love the Eller community, and Tucson is a good college town and easy to get around.”
Class of 2014 MBA candidate Jesus Gomez, an Arizona native who earned his bachelor’s at UA and master’s degrees from the University of Texas and University of Virginia, is pursuing his MBA to move into a business career. “After 27 years in the defense industry, I wanted to change my career,” Gomez said. “Having attended UA as an undergraduate, I naturally looked to Eller to begin that journey. I felt I did not have the quantitative and business acumen to join corporate America, and, although the quantitative portion of the program is quite challenging, the faculty is helping me along. I’m looking forward to next semester’s real-world application courses, which promise to be more in line with my experience base.”
MBA student Therese Sebastian is also looking to enhance her skills and be more competitive in the corporate world. She earned her bachelor’s degree in her native Philippines and worked in retail purchasing for a consumer goods firm. Sebastian said she chose Eller because of the program’s scholarship opportunities and ranking.
2014 Class Profile
The 2014 Full-Time MBA class boasts high scores and grades, including average GMAT scores of 632 and a GPA of 3.43. The 54 student class averages 27 years of age and 4.5 years of work experience. About one-third of the class is comprised of international students, and seven of the 54 students have military experience. The class of 2014 will visit China in December for the international trip component of the program.