“A lot of the MBA classes required group projects, which I thought
was great. In the real world, you interact with a lot of people, and it’s
important to interact with people with different backgrounds.”
business administrator for Northwestern University’s Feinburg
School of Medicine and alumnus of the Ball State MBA
When Amy Kitzman came across Ball State University’s MBA, she was enjoying her work with a medical center in Chicago, she was ready to start a family, and she was anxious to make her next move up the career ladder.
Noting that the MBA was offered on campus in Muncie, Ind., online, or as a blend of both, her choice was clear. Before long she was watching MBA video lectures while riding the train into the Windy City, where Kitzman is business administrator with Northwestern University’s Feinburg School of Medicine.
“The program was perfect for my background,” she remembers thinking. “And I was used to juggling lots of balls at once.”
A year into the program, Kitzman took an entrepreneurship class with Michael Goldsby, professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Entrepreneurship Center in Ball State’s Miller College of Business.
She knew immediately that she wanted to follow the entrepreneurship track. In addition to tracks in entrepreneurship and health economics, the MBA also provides specializations in finance and sales management.
All students in the entrepreneurship track design a business plan. Kitzman’s plan gives customers the chance to design custom fabrics. Her proposed fabric creation service helps customers design and print fabrics, do color coordination, and have access to instructional sewing videos.
Kitzman, an avid sewer, has put the project on the shelf for now until her baby permits more free time.
“Even if I don’t carry out the business plan,” she says, “the skills I have learned will go with me to any workplace.”
Growing up, Kitzman had seen the challenges of business ownership and management since her parents owned a family business.
“It makes you think about whether you really want to have your own business,” she says. “It can be very risky.”
Although Kitzman has never visited Muncie, she did create a marketing plan for what was then known as cardinal cupcakes, a locally-owned bakery and sweets shop, for another class project.
“The good thing about the marketing project is you’re using someone’s business,” she says. “Using a real life business makes you think in a different way in terms of critical thinking and problem solving. You potentially could impact their business and help them grow and succeed.”
Kitzman found the online classroom as interactive, if not more interactive, than the on-campus classroom.
“A lot of the MBA classes required group projects, which I thought was great,” she says. “In the real world, you interact with a lot of people, and it’s important to interact with people with different backgrounds.”
Kitzman says Professor Goldsby is the most inspiring professor she’s ever had, including her undergraduate career. His video classes were frequently a part of her daily train ride.
“He taught me a lot about problem solving,” she says, “and he provided me with skills such as confidence.”
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