College of Business graduates second Online EMBA cohort

University of Nevada, Reno program participants find many benefits to the online learning environment

8/29/2014 - By: Nicole Shearer
Local, national and international business executives recently received their EMBA degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno.

The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno conferred 24 new Online Executive MBA degrees to students Saturday, Aug 23.

The Online EMBA program, a partnership with the University's Extended Studies, is a cohort-based program consisting of 12 online courses divided into two groups. Students take six courses in their first year of study and take the remaining six in their second year of the program. It is taught by the same faculty who teach the college's part-time MBA program, which is ranked as a top 25 program in the country by Bloomberg Business Week.

Much of the lure of this program continues to come from many mid-career executives and experienced professionals who want to advance in the challenging business world but in a format that allows for them to continue working.

"I wanted to get an MBA, but needed the flexibility of online courses," Sean Nichols, EMBA graduate and business entrepreneur, said. "I am an executive at two companies and the director of a charity right now and it's tough to get free time to be on campus. Plus, the two-year program was a plus."  

"Our online Executive MBA program is designed with business professionals in mind," Kambiz Raffiee, EMBA program director and College of Business associate dean, said. "The flexibility of the program, coupled with the online interactive learning environment and the quality of the full-time faculty are all aspects of what make this program so successful and allow us to continue attracting engaged students from all over the world."  

Students from the most recent cohort represent seven different states and three different countries.  

"While completing the EMBA program, myself and another student in the program successfully launched a startup company," Nichols said. "We plan to continue to help build the reputation of the Online EMBA program as the company grows."  

Nichols, along with his colleague, Denis Phares, created Dragonfly Energy as part of the College's Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition. Along with Justin Ferranto, a current University doctorate student in the College of Engineering, the team's business plan focused on the energy efficiency of lithium ion batteries. The team placed second in the Nevada Governor's Cup and came in first during this year's Tri-State Governor's Cup. With talks of Tesla breaking ground on a new lithium ion battery factory, Dragonfly Energy has also become a local subject matter expert on lithium ion.

"The diligence, commitment and enthusiasm of this cohort's students was exemplary," Rafiee said. "They brought a significant level of leadership and professionalism to the program."                                                                                          
Earlier this year, the College of Business Online EMBA Program received the U.S. News and World Report distinction of "2013 Best Online Education Programs," ranking 75th in the country. The program meets the accreditation standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the highest attainable level of accreditation in business education.

For information about the University of Nevada, Reno Online EMBA, contact Kambiz Raffiee, associate dean and director of the program, at raffiee@unr.edu.


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