This past Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business virtually celebrated the commencement of 34 students from its nationally accredited Online Executive MBA program.
"The quality of the Online Executive MBA – its reputation – stems from the quality of the faculty and the students," Kambiz Raffiee, the Online Executive MBA director and associate dean of the College of Business, said. "This particular cohort truly has an impeccable drive for excellence and achievement, and it has been a pleasure to have these students in the program these past two years."
Students from across the country participated in the program, with graduates from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and Nevada, as well as Canada. Graduates have an average of 14 years of work experience and their employers include General Electric, Walmart, Intel, U.S. Army Reserve, Caesar's Entertainment, United Parcel Service, Logigear Corporation, Barrick Nevada Cortez Mine, Abbott Laboratories, Nevada Neurosurgery, Affinity Gaming, Washoe County School District, IGT, State of Nevada and many more.
"This is the eighth and largest graduating class of the Online Executive MBA program, and it is nice to see that the program has grown and matured over the years," Kevin Carman, provost and executive vice president of the University of Nevada, Reno, said. "The EMBA program is certainly a shining example of our continual growth as a University."
Over one-third of the cohort, 13 students, had a graduate or professional degree entering the EMBA program. Credentials from the 2020 graduating cohort include two medical doctors, a doctor of dental surgery, two masters of science degrees in mechanical engineering, masters of science degrees in biotechnology, geographic information systems and dental hygiene, a master of public administration, two certified public accountants and two licensed professional engineers. There are also three veterans among the graduating class.
"I have really high optimism for the future of the Online Executive MBA graduates, even with the COVID-19 pandemic, even with all of the things going on in the world," College of Business Dean Greg Mosier said. "The things that the EMBA graduates have been able to accomplish through all of this makes me confident that we are headed in the right direction."
Online Executive MBA students Jodi Patton, Ian Fitzgerald and Lali Sekhon, were selected to speak at the virtual commencement ceremony. They created a joint video for their peers as they reflected on their time as EMBA students.
"Throughout the program, my classmates have shown me the power of collaboration, teamwork, and the joy when success is shared and not done alone," Jodi Patton, 2020 Executive MBA graduate and head of payer operations at Hazel Health, Inc., said. "We have learned to enhance each other's strengths and support each other's weaknesses to create success over and over again. These are life experiences that I will take forward with me for the rest of my life."
"We all began this journey with some goal in mind," Ian Fitzgerald, 2020 Online Executive MBA graduate and chief information officer at Truckee Donner Public Utility District, said. "We each invested a lot of time and money in the last two years for personal reasons, but we are all leaving the University with something else – a collective understanding of what it means to lead. Today we are no longer individuals looking to achieve individual goals, but instead, we leave with the tools and the mindset to develop teams and foster collaboration."
"Thank you to the 2020 cohort for your enthusiasm, professionalism and teamwork," Lali Sekhon, 2020 EMBA graduate and neurosurgeon at the Reno Orthopedic Clinic, said. "We have all changed in so many good ways these past two years because of this EMBA program. We have been given the confidence to explore the business world, to understand and to act, and all of us have been given the tools for lifelong learning."
For more information about the Online Executive MBA Program, visit unr.edu/emba.