The Mini MBA graduates of fall 2013 represent a broad range of industries: technology, banking, landscaping, the military. At a glance they seem to have little in common except that each of the 20 graduates sought the opportunity to update their business skills and education in an effective, valuable way. They each found The Mini MBA at the Robins School of Business.

The Mini MBA is an intensive 14-week program taught by Robins School faculty. The program provides the opportunity to enhance business acumen and establish a solid foundation in current business practices through case studies, lectures, problem-solving exercises and interactive class sessions.

“It was great for my schedule to be able to come one night a week for a semester for four hours and really get in-depth knowledge about various business topics,” said April Auger, class of fall 2013, who works for a non-profit through the University of Virginia.

Peter Geisler, a logistics analyst at a Department of Defense contractor, weighed in on his favorite class. “Coming from the military there was a lot of leadership involved with my work, but I’ve since transitioned into a business environment. As a result, I was very intrigued by the strategic leadership class and getting to learn about the different leadership styles that exist throughout the business world.”

The semester of Monday evening classes, designed for the working professional, culminated in a graduation ceremony which included team presentations to their classmates, guests, faculty and staff of the Robins School.

Following an introduction by Kaye Vaughan, director of Executive Education at the Robins School, the teams took the floor. Each team analyzed the assigned case study, Best Buy, interpreting the trajectory of decisions that led to the organization’s current state followed by viable strategic recommendations for an update to the organization’s business model and brand.

“The presentations were absolutely fantastic,” said Roger Schnorbus, visiting professor of management at the Robins School. “I taught the first session ‘Organizational Growth Strategies,’ and the group was very involved and participative even so early in the program. They are a good group and it’s evident in the fact that their presentations were so well done.”

Doug Bosse, associate professor of management, added, “The fall 2013 Mini MBA cohort was an impressive mix of rising stars from a wide variety of organizations. From the easily recognizable Fortune 100 companies in the region to fast-growing, mid-market firms, this program attracted a group that was both collaborative and enthusiastic about their future potential.”

Carolyn Bishop, director of finance and administrative services for corporate support at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, has recommended two employees to The Mini MBA in the past year. “We’ve established this is a great program for our employees and we’d like to see the relationship continue.”

In her closing remarks, Dean of the Robins School Nancy Bagranoff urged the graduates to utilize their hard-earned skills to grow their careers and to stay connected with their classmates, professors and the Robins School.

The class spokesperson, Peter Zolides, from CarMax, reflected on the weeks leading up to the graduation, noting the invaluable experience of learning what companies do and markedly, the level of rigor every company puts into their decisions.

The graduates arrived at their first Monday evening course in September as strangers who each chose The Mini MBA as a means to grow professionally. On December 16, the 20 students came together as the fall 2013 class of Mini MBA graduates, better equipped to enhance their potential, amplify their careers and achieve their goals.

View fall 2013 Mini MBA Graduation photos