UTEP Business Readies Executive MBA Program for Managers

December 14, 2009

By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times

Steve Johnson and Laura Urbarri Steve Johnson, right, associate dean of UTEP's College of Business Administration, and Laura Urbarri, left, director of the MBA programs at UTEP, sit in the Graduate Business Center in the Chase Building in Downtown. (Rudy Gutierrez / El Paso Times).

El PASO -- UTEP is beginning a new, fast-track master of business administration program for people with management experience.

The 18-month Executive MBA program is "geared for folks with eight or more years of managerial experience," said Robert Nachtmann, dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Texas at El Paso. "An ideal candidate is someone clearly earmarked to be one of the top (few) officers of a firm or not-for-profit organization," or someone operating his or her own business, he said.

In other cities, 20 to 25 percent of people in Executive MBA programs are lawyers, doctors and accountants and another 20 to 25 percent are entrepreneurs with their own business or on the board of a large company, Nachtmann said. The remaining 50 percent are people progressing through management positions.

UTEP is the first to offer an Executive MBA program in this area, Nachtmann said.

"We think the city has reached a business maturity" to support this, Nachtmann said. The Accelerated MBA program, aimed at working professionals, has been very successful since it began in 2007, and the background of many people in that program fit the profile for the Executive MBA program, he said. The accelerated program now has about 120 students in four sections.

Some seats are still available for the first Executive MBA class, which will begin Jan. 7. The program has admitted 12 students so far, and has room for 25 students, said Laura Uribarri, director of MBA programs at UTEP.

Students must have a bachelor's degree as well as eight years of managerial experience.

Bill Hanson, 54, controller for a Juárez maquiladora, has been admitted to the program.

"I wanted to have updated credentials," said Hanson, who received his accounting degree in 1978. "I'm looking at some point in the future, when I'm close to retirement, that I may want to look at other opportunities. This will give me other options."

Classes will meet every other week on Fridays and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., from January through June 2011. They will be held in a conference-room-like setting in UTEP's new Graduate Business Center in the Chase Building in Downtown El Paso.

Course topics in the Executive MBA program are the same as in UTEP's other MBA programs, but topics will be taught differently to reflect the more-experienced background of the students, Nachtmann said.

The program costs $35,000 per student, almost double the $18,000 cost for the Accelerated MBA program, and more than double the $16,000 cost for UTEP's traditional MBA program. However, besides tuition, the $35,000 also covers all fees, books, and other materials; food served during class days; and the cost of a seven- to nine-day international field study. Nachtmann said the inaugural class may go to South America, France and Germany for the international study. Students pay for their own airfare.

A new Executive MBA class will be seated each January, Nachtmann said.

For an online application, or more information, go to mba.utep.edu.


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