Creating International Business Professionals

by McKenzie Feitler '11

Azusa Pacific’s School of Business and Management launched its highly anticipated Millennium Master’s in Business Administration program (MMBA) in June. This 13-month accelerated graduate program is designed to develop outstanding business professionals, giving them a skill set and a worldview that understands and appreciates global diversity.

“When creating the MMBA, the primary goal was for students to experience the commonalities and differences of businesses accomplished globally, especially for students interested in creating job opportunities around the world,” said Ilene Bezjian, DBA, dean of the School of Business and Management.

This full-time MBA Program integrates on-campus classroom studies with global field study trips for recent graduates who have a desire to pursue a rigorous graduate business management curriculum. Five field study trips to Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa and Australia provide firsthand experience in international business. For each term, students will spend the first seven weeks taking classes on campus and the final two weeks traveling for field studies and applying what they learned in the classroom.

“The accelerated pace of this degree will the biggest test, but I am still looking forward to the challenge. We’ll have to learn to juggle school, work, and traveling. I know this program will stretch me and allow me to grow in ways I wouldn’t be able to if I did a typical MBA program,” said David Pichler ’08, who is part of the first cohort of students.

The MMBA was initially designed by a small group of undergraduate business students who were part of an intensive Global Marketing course during summer 2007.

“When we came to the strategy chapter in our textbook, the case study was outdated. Instead of going through it, we decided to create our own. Within a week we had begun the framework of what is now the Millennium Master’s in Business Administration,” said Bezjian.

Now three years later, the first group of 10 students are a few weeks into their course studies. The allotted number of students is intentionally kept small, allowing the cohort to go through the program together.

“Initially, the traveling is what attracted me to this program over others; however, it also gives me the opportunity to learn in a Christian-based curriculum, with brilliant professors who actually care about me as a person, as a Christian and as a businessman,” said Pichler.

With the first group of students underway, the School of Business and Management is already creating ways they can continue to innovate the MMBA.

“My biggest dream for this program is that it keeps evolving. I want my students to land in a foreign country and stay there for nine weeks, instead of for two. They would live, work, and take online classes in whatever country they’re in at the time,” said Bezjian. “At the end of the nine weeks, they would pack up and fly on to their next country. By the end of the trip, the students would have worked and lived in five major countries of the world and receive their Master’s in Business Administration in 13-months. They would be true international citizens.”