Choosing a graduate program can be a daunting experience, especially in recent months. One of the critical factors is where applicants are in life (continuing student, married with kids). Students moving from undergrad to graduate often have an easier decision, choosing to stay at their current institute or guided by professors or future employers to select a specific program. For those who have been out of school for a few years, or even a decade or two, the vetting process (and ultimate decision) can be a bit more daunting. We often find flexibility, cost, time commitment (due to current work schedules and family), and culture are the top reasons for Juniata to be their final selection.
Despite recent challenges facing education, people continue to have career and leadership goals moving them to pursue graduate degrees.
Melissa Romanelli is one of those people. Melissa pursued her MBA at Juniata as a business owner. As an entrepreneur, she knew how important it was to be current in business issues her clients were dealing with and to be able to provide top solutions – across all areas of business. Because Melissa received her Bachelor’s at Juniata years ago, it was one of her options, but not her only one. A lot had changed in her life since graduating in the ’80s; ultimately, her decision came down to a few things,
“I chose Juniata as an undergrad because it just felt like home as soon as I walked on campus. That feeling came through online as well. Being able to set my pace was so important to me. The faculty recognized we had jobs and families, so they allowed us to work ahead and set our pace.”
She continues, “I looked into several programs, and so many seemed overpriced, and the value did not align with the price. I would tell others considering Juniata for their MBA that it is a top-notch program at a great price. Furthermore, there is nothing like the Juniata experience.”
Calvin Bembry II was a former student-athlete who recently graduated with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership. For Calvin, the Juniata experience was all about passion and excellence. Calvin shares,
“I chose Juniata for undergrad because when I spoke with Coach Launtz during a football visit, he assured me that he was looking to grow men that raise the standard, not just football players. I knew that if the football coach(es) were that passionate about life outside of sports, then the rest of campus would also have to feel the same. When I arrived, that feeling was further cemented by the welcoming atmosphere of Juniata and the community.”
When it was time to make the graduate decisions, Calvin credits the support of others and the close-knit feeling he received from the hands-on professors, even as an online program, as beneficial to helping him push through even the most challenging graduate assignments.
The ability to complete his courses in one year as a continuing student and keep an open line of communication with his professors made graduate school doable.
“I would tell others looking for an MBA or other graduate degree to look no further than Juniata,” states Calvin.
For Bryce Walter, flexibility and cost were the final determining factors in selecting Juniata for his MBA.
“The professors are very understanding, flexible, and want to see you succeed in both school and your profession. Having professors who understand you are just a person trying to excel and learn while growing in your career is very valuable because they work to give you the tools to make you a leader.”
Leadership is a passion across all of Juniata’s graduate programs. The core belief that graduate school plays a role in making leaders across all industries is key to Juniata’s graduate mission. Some research shows that slightly less than 50% of CEOs have graduate degrees. There is a correlation between advanced academics, leadership positions, and even salary. While the correlations are different in various industries, playing a role in that kind of leadership opportunity is something Juniata is passionate about. Our graduate stories push us to continue to improve and expand.
Despite the challenges in education heightened by Covid, universities across the country continue to recognize that the need for global leadership is not going away. It is the goal of universities to meet the need and fit the changes that both students and returning students are now facing. That means more virtual opportunities to study wherever they choose and flexibility to work while doing it. It also means that during uncertain times, people are looking for good value. We think we check all those boxes.
Bryce Walter sums it up nicely,
“I did pervasive research before moving forward with my MBA, and believe me — you will not find an MBA program with more real-world experienced staff, flexibility, and at the right cost — especially if you are alumni. It truly is high-quality and affordable for most.”