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In 2015, Wade Cook was on the lookout for a flexible and accredited MBA programme that would help him take his career to the next level. At the time, he was already working for a globally renowned organisation — the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Having worked his way up from being a supply chain analyst to a senior in continuous improvement, he knew that staying relevant amid a rapidly evolving business landscape entailed further study.

“I want to move up and be in a leadership position; I want to be in a spot where I can decide what the company does moving forward and make executive decisions,” says the father of two young boys. He knew an MBA would equip him with the knowledge and skills to make these executive decisions.

While researching business schools, Cook discovered that his alma mater — where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management — offered the programme. Cook was confident that he would not only feel at home at Kansas State University (K-State), but that the quality of their programme would also beef up his resumé.

Today, he’s accomplished just that as the director of continuous improvement at CST Industries, Inc. He serves as a mentor, identifies areas of improvement, manages a team, focuses on improving metrics, and much more.

Cook attributes his management expertise and leadership skills to his business degree from K-State, bolstered, in part, by the personalised attention he received from his professors who were always on hand to answer his questions.

An unparalleled learning experience

Kansas State University

Every PMBA graduate joins an illustrious network of passionate K-State alumni who have evolved to become business leaders in their respective industries. Source: Kansas State University

Located in Manhattan, Kansas –– also known as “The Little Apple” –– K-State’s College of Business Administration’s PMBA programme is ranked 35th in the US, according to the 2021 US News & World Report rankings. The college is among the elite few to hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation — the hallmark of excellence in management education. Approximately 10% of institutions worldwide hold this.

The college’s PMBA programme was designed to offer busy professionals the flexibility to gain the coveted qualification at their own pace –– virtually. It integrates examples from students’ professional experience within classes for a true professional advantage.

Further bolstering the appeal of the PMBA is the well-rounded nature of the course, taught by a qualified group of professors. Their hands-on guidance ensures students enjoy a learning journey not unlike a traditional, on-campus MBA experience.

The college also offers a two-day regional student orientation in which students take part in team building, networking, and professional development components. Excellent networking opportunities remain the theme throughout the programme. What’s more, the PMBA also includes a faculty-led international trip that every participant will enjoy before graduating.

Students can also personalise their learning by choosing a concentration. For Alycia Nelson, getting a better grasp of finance and accounting was a priority for her career advancement. Much like Cook, she too had completed her undergraduate studies at K-State. “It was a great fit for me 10 years ago, and it still is for me now,” she says.

Kansas State University

Every PMBA graduate joins an illustrious network of passionate K-State alumni who have evolved to become business leaders in their respective industries. Source: Kansas State University

“Out of all the other MBA programmes available, several other distance programmes that I had looked at did not have an international experience component to it –– and that was probably the most exciting and intriguing element to me,” she says. “The executives that you meet will tell you why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

Nelson graduated from the PMBA programme with far more than a better understanding of finance. Today, she feels equipped to take on a wide range of business challenges — from human resources to supply chains. As K-State graduates, both Cook and Nelson had the privilege of joining an illustrious network of passionate K-State alumni who have grown to become business leaders in their respective industries. This serves as a strong professional network and a valuable resource for graduates to connect with business professionals from various backgrounds. Little wonder why the college lists among the top 30 business schools industries love to recruit from — they boast a 97% job placement rate.

K-State also has a lot to offer to students outside the classroom. While the pandemic posed plenty of challenges, current student Carson Johnson notes that there were plenty of virtual components to the university’s on-campus programmes that students could access.

“Among the areas that I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in is sitting in the Graduate Studies Advisory Council (GSAC) meetings,” she says. GSAC serves as a critical partner to the College of Business’ graduate programmes. On the council, she had the opportunity to network with industry professionals of various backgrounds from K-State and learn more about their experiences and careers. “It’s very valuable knowledge and connections to make, which I really enjoyed,” she adds.

Johnson, previously an Oklahoma State University finance and economics undergraduate, recommends her peers take full advantage of K-State’s on-campus or virtual programmes, adding: “You can pick up so much useful knowledge and make connections you wouldn’t otherwise have made.”

K-State is also alluring for aspiring MBA students for being economical –– all required textbooks and course materials are included with tuition at no additional cost. GMAT and application fee waivers are also available, alongside a wide range of scholarships.

You don’t need to wait long to begin your b-school journey at K-State, thanks to its five start dates per year: January, March, June, August, and October. To learn more, contact online@ksu.edu, or, if you’re ready to apply, click here.

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