Blended Program Allows Students to Balance MBA, Jobs, and Even the NFL


As any alumnus of the Katz MBA program knows, earning your degree takes a whole lot of commitment, work, and time.

Many students balance the rigors of the MBA program with full-time jobs, families, frequent travel, and even the demands of professional football.

Katz's blended Professional MBA program is ideal for such students because it allows them to combine traditional, in-person classes on campus with online classes. The blended approach allows Katz to offer its outstanding MBA program to students who require more flexibility and technology-driven instruction.  

For Matt Flanagan, a current Katz MBA student and a tight end with the Washington Redskins, the blended program allows him to work toward his degree while pursuing an NFL career. "I began my MBA when I was a grad student and football player at Pitt," Flanagan said. "After the NFL draft last May, I signed with the Washington Redskins and played for them this past season. Now that the off-season has arrived, I wanted to be able to continue my education and still maintain my training schedule.”

Flexibility is a word that students currently enrolled in the program often use when they explain why the Katz Professional MBA is ideal for them.

“My favorite part about the blended professional MBA program is that it allows for flexibility,” Megan Victorson said. “I really like that I can take almost every class in either format--in-person or blended. Certain subjects I have preferred to learn in an in-person setting. The other courses that I preferred to take in a blended format allowed me additional flexibility in my schedule.”

Victorson said that the blended program allows her to balance her career, studies, and her personal life. “Between working full-time, volunteering on the weekends, planning a wedding, job hunting, and having a personal life, it was important to me to have the ability to choose how I completed my MBA, and still do the other things that are important to me,” she said.

According to William Valenta, assistant dean for MBA and executive programs at Katz, the blended Professional MBA program is also ideal for students who travel frequently or who do not live in Pittsburgh. Years ago, Valenta said, the Professional MBA program was suited for professionals who worked in downtown Pittsburgh and then commuted to evening classes in Oakland. Now, however, “our students are spread geographically,” he said, and “we’re trying to provide them with a different level of flexibility within the program.”

Katie Dziki is another student currently enjoying the blended Professional MBA program because it allows her to balance her Katz studies with a full-time job, especially because she can attend classes at home at the end of a work day.

She also said that the blended format is particularly helpful when she is traveling. “While I was visiting my family one weekend last summer, I was able to check in quickly with my statistics professor regarding a homework assignment," Dziki said. "She was able to share and go over lecture material with me via WebEx, saving me a trip to campus. That was such a relief, as I was anticipating a hectic work schedule that week. Sunday recitations were also held via WebEx, which was great for those of us spending the weekend outside the city."

Dziki added that the blended course option gives her "the opportunity to continue working and progressing in my career, while still getting the most out of the Katz program."

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