Dear MBA Students, Alumni, and Faculty,

We hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing summer! We are looking forward to welcoming you back for the fall 2023 semester. With a total of 185 students, the MBA program continues to be the largest on-site graduate program at UNR. We are grateful that this newsletter can focus on the accomplishments of the program.

MBA Graduate Spotlight

We are so excited to spotlight Johann Thomsen, a December 2022 MBA graduate!

Image of Johann Thomsen standing and smiling in front of slot machines at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

1. Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, your career, and why you chose to pursue an MBA?

My name is Johann, and I currently work as the Slot Operations & Marketing Analyst at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. I have been with Atlantis for five years, starting my career in hospitality at the hotel front desk, just before starting college. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and management in 2021. Shortly after that, I began my studies as an MBA student at UNR, graduating in December 2022. I chose this degree to continue the education I started during my undergraduate years. The MBA program offered an enticing pathway to further diversify my skillset and seemed like the obvious choice for me at the time. One of the most important classes I took as an MBA student was IS 645 – Database Design & Implementation. I use the skills I learned from this class on a daily basis in my role.

2. What professional goals do you have in mind now that you hold an MBA?

Looking forward, I hope to continue using the skills I learned as an MBA student to further my career. Providing data-driven clarity to highlight areas for operational improvement is my overarching goal whenever I take on a new project. I think back to the many times during classes when I would have to defend a conclusion made with relevant data and facts gleaned from my research. The MBA program emphasizes the lifelong commitment to learning that is required to become a successful businessperson, and I look to continue my career with that commitment in mind. Ultimately, I am open to whatever paths my career may lead me down. For now, the journey I am on has been very exciting!

3. What have you found most rewarding about your educational journey?

I believe the most rewarding part of my educational journey has been the transformation of my critical thinking skills during the MBA program. Since graduating, I have noticed that I think through problems differently, looking at all possible angles to find a solution. Casting aside predispositions when I first encounter a challenge has been an important step in fairly evaluating solutions to business challenges. The MBA program teaches students the importance of taking a step back and fully examining a situation before jumping to the right solution. This is critical in my role, especially during the decision-making process, since my director often leans on my input to make his final call. I appreciate the new approach to critical thinking that the MBA program helped me develop.

Thank you for all your contributions, Johann! We wish you the best in your future endeavors!

Congratulations, MBA Class of 2023!

Our alumni family grew by 55 this past spring. Congratulations to all our UNR MBA graduates. You have done an amazing job through these challenging times. Your grit, determination and resilience will take you far!

Outstanding MBA Students & Faculty

In May, we celebrated two outstanding MBA students and an outstanding faculty member at our annual Graduate Faculty & Student Banquet. Congratulations to Chelsea Pierce and John Koopman! And a huge congratulations to our outstanding MBA faculty member, Dr. Bret Simmons! Thank you for all the hard work you have put in to make the MBA program the success that it is.

Welcome New MBA Students!

Introducing the class profile, we are thrilled to welcome 91 new MBA students into the program. This group has an average of seven years of work experience to draw on as they move through the program. We are also proud to welcome three international students from Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Turkey. Good luck with your first week!

Dragonfly Energy Innovation Award Winner

We want to wish a huge congratulations to Keaton Lynn, a recent MBA alum, who won this year’s Dragonfly Energy Innovation Award for his company, TRYBE Summits!

The $10,000 award is funded by Dragonfly Energy, a Reno company whose founders, Denis Phares and Sean Nichols, themselves were finalists in the 2014 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition. TRYBE Summits provides team bonding and training programs for use by business organizations, executives and high-performance professionals. Click here to read the full press release. Please join me in congratulating Keaton for all his hard work!

On behalf of the College of Business and MBA team, we wish you a healthy and productive fall semester!

Kambiz Raffiee, PhD
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research
Director of MBA Programs
The College of Business