A 5:30 a.m. wake up call isn’t ideal for most people, but for 10 Richmond MBA students, it’s become the best part of their week.

“I love getting to the office knowing that I am finished with class for the day, and having a sense of accomplishment by 8:45 a.m.,” said Megan Howell, GB’20, one of the students taking a new graduate program offering. 

She’s part of the new 7 a.m. Marketing Management course, the first Richmond MBA course to be offered in the morning before the part-time students go to work. 

“I decided to take the morning course for a few reasons, but primarily for the schedule convenience with work, and because I am most productive and alert in the morning,” Howell said.

Howell is an energy regulatory analyst at Hunton & Williams, LLP, which she says often requires her to stay late, making it difficult for her to get to evening classes.

“The morning class alleviates the stress of having to leave the office in the middle of a project when the rest of the team is still cranking,” Howell said. “In the morning, I feel like my mind is clear and focused.”

As a self-proclaimed early riser, Bill Bergman, lecturer in marketing, agreed to teach the course. But, he wasn’t expecting much.

“I thought they would be dead in the water that early in the morning,” Bergman said. “But it’s the opposite. It’s a big change from what I’m used to, because at 7 a.m. they’re all awake, hyped up, talking, and ready to go.”

He says the students engage with one another, ask questions, and are eager to learn.

“From an instructor perspective, it’s a dream come true because they’re so active and participating,” Bergman said.

Howell says The Richmond MBA’s commitment to student interests inspired her to join the program.

“I had my eye on The Richmond MBA program for a long time before applying. I was always impressed with the prestige of the staff, alumni, and the campus. But when I learned that the morning class was being introduced, and that its roll-out was the result of student request and administration response, I had no doubt this was the right program for me,” Howell said.

The Richmond MBA is also responding to student interests with the new Data Analytics track.

“Students asked for it, and we listened,” said Randy Raggio, director of The Richmond MBA. “Every Richmond-area employer that I have met with over the past year is looking to increase its ability to make data-driven decisions.  Across industries, data analytics is considered an important managerial skill. Our students will be able to bridge that gap between data scientists and executives to drive positive business outcomes.” 

The new track offers courses in data visualization, applied statistics, and digital data analytics.

Overall, Raggio says he is always looking for new ways to inspire Richmond MBA students and give them the best tools to succeed in the professional world.

You can find more information on the Data Analytics track and The Richmond MBA curriculum here.