Growth Experience: Changes to MBA program expand opportunities

Mary Baldwin University has recently redesigned and expanded the scope of its master of business administration (MBA) program with an eye to best equipping MBA students for career growth and marketability. 

More options within the MBA program now enable students to pursue professional goals across the business landscape, whether they want to advance in their industry, switch careers, or chart a path to entrepreneurial, corporate, or nonprofit leadership.

“The MBU MBA is unique. The classes are small, the course material is relevant to today’s business needs, and the faculty work to help each student succeed,” said Dr. Joanne Tritsch, who was recently named program director for the MBA (read more about Tritsch below). 

Previously the MBU program had a very specific social benefit focus. While the values of people-centered practices, diversity, and sustainability still inform multiple courses in the MBU MBA and live on in the sustainable enterprise concentration, the new program offers a wider variety of areas of focus.   

In the restructured MBA program, students choose one of four concentrations tailored to today’s job market: healthcare administration, nonprofit management, strategic management (how to improve operations through systems or organizational change), or sustainable enterprise (how to launch a new social or environmentally-focused business). 

“This MBA is more than just business theory — the program provides meaningful content that is immediately applicable to my job,” said Jolene Kidd, current MBU MBA student and business manager for the University of Virginia Department of Pharmacology.

Students begin the MBA program with a foundation of core business courses — in topics like business communication, accounting, leadership, and financial management — and finish their degree with an individual apex project, which brings together everything that they have learned. 

“The MBA faculty work together to make sure that the program is fully integrated. That integration is such an asset,” Tritsch said. “Once students enter their final class, the Apex Project, they are equipped to craft viable business plans. Several of our students have launched successful businesses based on their apex projects.”

“This MBA is more than just business theory — the program provides meaningful content that is immediately applicable to my job.”

Jolene Kidd, current MBU MBA student, business manager, University of Virginia Department of Pharmacology

At $23,400 for the entire degree, MBU’s program stands out as truly affordable when compared to nearly $43,700 per year, the average in-state tuition for full-time MBA students at the 10 highest ranked public business schools, according to data from U.S. News & World Report.

MBU’s program is also 100% online and can be completed in as little as 18 months. New students can enroll for a fall or spring start and classes run for eight weeks. Students earn a graduate-level certificate halfway through the program and an undergraduate business degree is not necessary for entry. 

Through individual attention, professors and advisors will help each student navigate their path to earning their MBA. “The sense of community at MBU is incredible, and students really become members of the MBU family,” Tritsch said.   

Building professional connections with fellow MBA students, MBU professors, and local, regional, and alumni business leaders is also a unique opportunity through the program.   

To learn more about the MBA program, part of the Dr. Susan Nolan Palmer Graduate Programs in Business at MBU, please visit the following website.

About Joanne Tritsch, DM

Recently named MBA program director, Dr. Joanne Tritsch also serves as assistant professor of business at MBU, building on her work teaching and developing courses part-time for the university since 2014.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with an exceptional team of leaders focused on making this program an embodiment of Mary Baldwin’s mission,” Tritsch said. “Our dedicated core team of faculty mentors share more than a half century of experience teaching adult learners.”  

Tritsch previously served as strategic national stockpile coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Health, which gives her a unique perspective on the coronavirus pandemic. 

“As someone who prepared for public health emergencies for 15 years, I am so humbled with how communities have come together and followed the CDC and state protocols, how they continue wearing masks and keeping socially distant,” she said. “Following 9/11, we planned for public health crises and as time went on, we all relaxed a little. Public health relearned a valuable lesson about the need for ongoing vigilance and preparedness, and the general public learned more about pandemics and preparedness than anyone ever anticipated.”       

Tritsch has extensive online teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate level, and earned her doctor of administration from the University of Maryland, two MBAs from Fordham University and New York University’s Stern School of Business, respectively, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.