Alumni Testimonials, Ambassadors and Careers

The Executive MBA program at the University of Nevada, Reno can help you learn the skills to help accelerate your career. Read some of the success stories from our alumni, and learn how our program can help you, too!

EMBA alumni testimonials

"The approach that the EMBA program takes to education is one that should be emulated not only on the UNR campus, but far and wide. It is an EXCELLENT program with staff that are second to none."

"Without this degree I would not have been able to enter the field of accounting. I have a great opportunity for a major promotion ahead of me which would not have been possible without the eMBA degree."

“The UNR EMBA was instrumental in my development as an effective leader and executive, highly recommended!”

“UNR's EMBA program helped catapult my career from an individual contributor to a senior executive in just 5 years. This program is worth its weight in gold!”

  • Class of 2021

    The 2021 EMBA cohort gathers for a photo, holding their degree plaques and wearing face masks.

    “Choosing to complete my Executive MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno proved to be one of the best investments I have made to date. As an executive in the business development sector, I am constantly being asked to determine the true value of an asset or opportunity. In the case of this EMBA degree, the quality of education, caliber of professors and attentiveness of the staff made it a sound investment. I have no doubt that the material I have learned and the friendships I have forged throughout this program will continue to pay dividends for years to come.” Andrew Pilon, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O. 

    “If you are a busy professional looking for an outstanding MBA program, I can’t imagine a better choice than the University of Nevada, Reno. There was so much professional experience in our cohort, which greatly added to the experience. It was a rich learning environment with mid-career professionals who were eager to learn and grow.” — Dr. Jay MacGregor, deputy chief of staff of the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System

    “While there are phenomenal tools and resources to set students up for success, it is the people that make the Executive MBA program top-notch. The program encompasses a group of dedicated professors and staff members that are committed to providing students with the tools and resources necessary to set them up for success.” — Melody Fong, financial analyst at Resorts World Las Vegas

    “The Executive MBA is a truly unique educational experience with remarkable access to all the instructors. Communication was always fluid, and the friendly, easy-going demeanor of the professors encouraged questions and interaction throughout the program. I’m so pleased I chose this program.” — Krist Walicky, director of Corporate Development Projects at Boyd Gaming

    "My EMBA from the University of Nevada, Reno gave me the opportunity to sharpen my existing business acumen, receive a well-rounded education, and develop a camaraderie with other professionals from the program." — Courtney Lunka

    “The single best decision I made was choosing the University of Nevada, Reno’s EMBA program over a lot of others. Great faculty, solid university-based program, responsive with national reputation, great selection of cohort. A life-changer and game-changer and the best decision you can make.”

    “The EMBA program is a fantastic, well-rounded program tailored to the working professional. Specifically, the lockstep nature encourages peer connections and development and aids in the value of the program.”

    “The University of Nevada, Reno’s EMBA program is rigorous and challenging. I’m proud to have completed it, and I continue to utilize the knowledge and skills that I have acquired on a daily basis.”

  • Class of 2020

    2020 EMBA graduates

    "This program not only changed me, but changed and improved the relationships I have with everyone around me.  Throughout the program, I was able to learn and apply directly what we discussed as a group into my day to day management operations.  I became a better leader for my team at work and became a better leader for my family at home.  I’ve grown vastly over the past 2 years professionally and personally.  This has been the best educational experience of my life." - Denny Nguyen, VP of Services Delivery for LogiGear Corporation

    "Overall outstanding course. Broad. Engaged. Well structured. Solid core. Gave me confidence and expanded my skillset. What's not to like?" - Dr. Sekhon, Nevada Neurosurgery

    "This program has helped me to gain the skills necessary to make informed financial and marketing decisions in my job. It has provided me with confidence and the educational backing to sway my peers and managers to consider my proposals."

    "Professionally and personally valuable. You will be challenged every minute while in this program. In doing so, you will be rewarded thanks to personal and professional development."

    "I felt that the cohort really collaborated seamlessly although we were all managing busy lives and were in remote capacity. We lifted each other up unconditionally and supported each other through the highs and lows of the program. I am looking forward to maintaining these relationships I've built through the program and seeing what we all accomplish over the years."

    "I highly recommend the UNR EMBA program to any professionals looking to breakthrough to the executive level."

    "I'm so glad I chose UNR for my EMBA.   The faculty and staff were incredibly supportive, and the curriculum was solid.   This was the most challenging two years of my life, but it was very much worth it."

  • Class of 2019

    2019 EMBA graduates

    “UNR’s EMBA program is challenging but rewarding. With an engineering background, I found that I was lacking in the knowledge of business and management. The EMBA program has helped me to develop my skills. The various courses are practical and can be applied to the workplace. The degree will open doors and opportunities throughout my career that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.” David Cheung

    “As the first member of my entire family to ever graduate from graduate school, I am proud to say that this program provided me with the flexibility and knowledge to succeed in my career. I recommend UNR's EMBA program to everyone who is looking for a highly ranked and challenging program. This EMBA program is the key to helping professionals advance their careers or switch fields completely.” Miguel L. Flores

    “The UNR EMBA program provided a wide range of knowledge regarding business of all types. It also offered the skills to apply it to the workplace and to my career. Not only was there a great amount of learning involved, but the interaction between the faculty and students amplified that learning. I am now much more aware of different aspects of my business and can provide much more value to my company.” Mike Dittenber

  • Class of 2018

    2018 EMBA graduates

    "This program has been life-changing. Through all the support of the instructors and the department, I've grown personally to be a more effective leader and professionally as I move on to challenging career opportunities. So much has changed in such a short amount of time, but I will always feel very fortunate for my experience with the program." Jacqueline Hernandez, Project Coordinator for HDR

  • Class of 2017

    2017 EMBA graduates

    "Achieving an MBA set me apart from other candidates in my organization. Managers recognize and respect the sacrifice and dedication required to achieve this title." James Foster

  • Class of 2016

    2016 EMBA graduates

    "Flexibility and understanding of the big picture has been helpful in my new strategic planning role." Mitchell Fong

    "I really enjoyed the UNR EMBA program! The professors provide a great curriculum, support for their curriculum, and care about your success. The cohort premise is one that allows the building of relationships such as those you may get from an in-class MBA program. The classes added real knowledge that I can use in my career. I wholeheartedly recommend this program to any busy professional who would like to get better at their job, advance their career, or keep their knowledge sharp." Joe Croarkin

    "UNR's EMBA program exceeded my expectations in providing an outstanding education by an amazingly responsive staff. My cohort was an absolute pleasure to work with on a daily basis. I am truly grateful for the network of incredible program alums that I am now a part of." Anthony DoMoe

  • Class of 2015

    2015 EMBA graduates

    "This degree allowed me to remain competitive for several jobs in my field and is the reason my promotion was finalized. The EMBA was an amazing experience and the networking from the classes continues to help me in my career." William Dippel

    "Fantastic program that really prepares you for your career." Huston Pullen

    "[The Executive MBA program] gave me a better understanding on the business end of my industry and opportunities to knock when the time comes." Vivek Galla

    "As a part of my job, I meet with developers that want to construct within the City of Elko. Having an EMBA degree has given me more insight into how developers look to invest their money and what they expect for a rate of return. When the developers come in and see my degree on the wall, they are impressed by what they see and have additional respect for me and my position. I am glad that I completed the schooling and think it will set me up for future promotions." Jeremy Draper, Development Manager for the City of Elko

    "Teaching at university level always was my dream job. I was hired by CSU Chico College of Business last spring semester. The course I teach is Business Communication. I know, as a fact, I could never do that without my EMBA degree. I have the greatest acknowledgment to UNR College of Business. They do the most excellent job." Fariba Aminalroayae, lecturer at California State University, Chico

  • Class of 2014

    2014 EMBA graduates

    "Obtaining my EMBA degree afforded me the ability to teach my passion of economics and finance. It is truly my dream come true! I will be working on my Doctorate of Business Administration soon." Brandy Nielsen
    "I started a corporation with a person I met in the program. Without a doubt the best investment I have ever made." Sean Nichols

  • Class of 2013

    “My UNR EMBA experience continues to be valuable years after I finished the classes. It was well worth the money and effort.” Matthew Spaur

    "The EMBA program has exceeded all of my expectations by combining a comprehensive program, expert faculty, and sophisticated technology that delivers the best of both worlds: web-based learning and the tradition of the University of Nevada, Reno." Mark Behl, CFO of Renown Health in Reno

    "It's the way the world works. If you can't operate in an online world, chances are you're going to struggle. Operating online is becoming more and more of an indirect life skill. This is the real deal," Althof said. "The way the program is set up gave me the opportunity to go to my local University with a flexible school schedule. I'm proud of the fact that I can now call myself a College of Business alum." Kurt Althof, business development manager for Care Flight

    "I had been out of school for 10 years before starting this program so adapting to the online environment was a challenge for me at first. The toughest part was making the time between family and work commitments. The way the first semester was set up really helped me learn how to organize my time. Once I set a regular learning schedule, I was surprised at how quickly I fell into a groove." Christina Dils, group facility administrator at Divita Dialysis

    "The Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the University of Nevada, Reno is not for the faint of heart. If you are dusting off the old resume and looking to add an accessory with a degree from an easy MBA program, this is probably not what you are looking for. However, if you are searching for an opportunity to earn a quality business education, and willing to expend your efforts to amplify your skill set and provide superior value to your employer, this is probably the program for you." Tracey Gray McDonald

    "Getting my Executive MBA at The University of Nevada, Reno, was among the best decisions I ever made. Little did I know that, at my age, it would translate into a second career as a business professor at The University of Wyoming, Laramie. In 2010, in the middle of a rigorous Ph.D. program at the University of Nevada, Reno, I had decided to augment my doctoral research with some business marketing classes. Dr. Kambiz Raffiee met with me and invited me into the charter group of students in the then-brand-new EMBA program, reminding me that for just a few more credits I could earn a master's and broaden my marketability. Well, the rest is history. I now teach in an MBA program, leveraging the skills and background knowledge the EMBA afforded me. Without question - a GREAT decision." Joe Russo, business professor at The University of Wyoming, Laramie

Alumni program ambassadors

Our alumni are just as passionate about our Online Executive MBA program as we are, and they are excited to share their experience with you. What better way to learn about what you can expect from our program than by speaking with the students who have completed it? If you'd like to speak or meet with program alumni, contact Erin Aldrich at or (775)784-4652 to be paired with an EMBA ambassador.

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Jacqueline Burow

Military spouse, employed full time and mom to three under five

"This program gave me the knowledge I didn't know I needed to progress in my career and personal investments."

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Sonal Chablani – IGT (Ex-Amazon, Ex-Oracle)

Married, mother, and employed full-time

"The EMBA program served as a launchpad for my career and gave me not only terrific learnings but also provided legitimacy to my skills. I cannot recommend the program highly enough."

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Nicholas De Caro -Nevada Gold Mines

Process General Supervisor, Married, Father of one, Worked Mining schedule of 50+ hrs/wk throughout program

"This program takes the cohort’s collective effort to pave the way towards everyone's success. Put as much energy into building relationships as you would class assignments. Your classmates will motivate and push you beyond your capabilities."

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Anthony DoMoe - Dura-Line Continuous Improvement

Married, father of four, and retired US Navy

“This is an amazing program that gave me great business skills, actionable knowledge, and an excellent alumni network while accommodating my busy schedule.”

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Mindy Haffke - PE - MSA Engineering Consultants

Director of Strategic Operations, Marriage Officiant and dedicated wife working full time while pursuing my goals

"I didn't know what to expect when I first applied for the EMBA program, but I did know I needed the business acumen to further my career. Two years later with a few added friends and a valuable education, the EMBA program was the best decision I ever made!"

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Celeste Johnson - The Applied Companies

CEO and business owner, married, three kids, and various pets

“Very few business situations intimidate me after completing this program.”

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Bob Lilly - Walmart Supply Chain

Fortune 1 Leader & Engineer

"UNR's accredited EMBA program allows professionals from all types of backgrounds the opportunity to gain the skills, exposure, perspective, and relationships necessary to breakthrough into the senior leadership roles most desired by today's professionals."

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Jodi Patton - Hazel Health

Head of Payer Operations, Single mom of four daughters, full time employee

"The UNR EMBA has been an outstanding accelerator to both my professional and personal growth. The program is more than just a degree as it provides the tools and confidence to support reaching your fullest potential in any business environment."

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Don Price - IGT

"The EMBA program at the University of Nevada Reno is first class. It was everything I was looking for and more. The quality of the cohort and the professors were phenomenal and provided everything I needed to be challenged and continue to grow professionally. I highly recommend this program."

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Dr. Lali Sekhon – Reno Orthopedic Clinic / Nevada Neurosurgery

Neurosurgeon, Entrepreneur, Health Care Leader

“Healthcare is business and physicians need to learn the business of healthcare. The EMBA is a great way to do it."

Jason Shelton family

Jason Shelton - Microsoft

Business analyst, married, father of two, worked full-time through program

“This program not only afforded me the opportunity to further my education but also allowed me to change industries and my career trajectory while still balancing the needs of my family.”

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Cassandra Stahlke - Elko County School District

Mother, wife, and worked full-time throughout program

"Even though I work in education, I found every course throughout the program applicable to my career. The program gave me the opportunity for advancement and the resources to feel confident in various situations."

Alumni job placements

The College of Business is proud to present alumni of the Online Executive MBA program that have taken positions or received promotions with the following companies. We wish you continued professional and personal success!

  • Kurt Althof - Care Flight
  • Fariba Aminalroayae - California State University of Chico, CSU Chico
  • Mark Behl - Renown Health
  • Tom Bialozor – Behavioral Health Manager, CareOregon
  • Jacqueline Burow – Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
  • Sonal Chablani -
  • Christina Dils - Divita Dialysis
  • Anthony DoMoe - Dura-Line Continuous Improvement
  • Ronaldo Dos Santos - Votorantim Cimentos North America
  • Jeremy Draper - City of Elko
  • Mitchell Fong - Renown Health
  • Vivek Galla - Newmont Mining Corporation
  • Celeste Johnson – CEO, Applied Companies
  • Jennifer Johnson - Mercury Insurance
  • Laurel Martin - Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra
  • Adam Montague - Johnson & Johnson
  • Sean Nichols – COO, Dragonfly Energy
  • Brandy Nielsen - Great Basin College
  • Denis Phares – CEO, Dragonfly Energy
  • Huston Pullen - Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Matt Ream - Western Nevada Supply Company
  • Brian Riley - Panasonic Energy of North America
  • Joseph Russo - University of Wyoming
  • Jason Shelton - Microsoft

Nevada Careers

Are you an alum looking for career opportunities? You can create an account with Nevada Careers which will give you access to job postings from our corporate partners, as well as many regional employers.

If you are an Executive MBA alumnus and would like to be featured on our job placement board or testimonials, please contact Erin Aldrich at or 775.784.4652. We would love to hear from you.