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Student Spotlight - MA in Management (Global Business Management)

Accomplishing the mission was his on-the-job goal, and a degree from The University of Alabama helped Jason Sewell achieve it.

Jason Sewell

After spending four years in the infantry of the U.S. Army, Captain Jason Sewell switched roles to commander of an army support company—a position that required a thorough understanding of logistics and an advanced degree to reach his goals and better prepare his team.

Of the many degree programs he could have chosen to pursue, Jason chose the MA in Management from The University of Alabama to add to his on-the-job training and his undergraduate degree in Political Science and History.

“I use the operations management, personnel and leadership lessons from my MA in Management to further support mission accomplishment and ensure we are prepared to enter the next field of battle,” he said.

“I know that when I transition into the private sector, the MA in Management will make me more appealing in an increasingly competitive market. This program is an excellent alternative to many MBA programs.”

The MA in Management allowed Jason the opportunity to take leadership and management courses that complimented what he was learning in the Army.  Many traditional or online MBA programs he considered required full-time commitments and campus visits—something that was not possible for a deployed soldier, so the online MA in Management met his needs while providing him with a quality education.

“The flexibility of the online courses allowed me to continue my education while deployed to Afghanistan, and the instructors are second to none.”

“I hope others seeking a route to broaden their careers and marketing appeal [in the job market] consider The University of Alabama's MA in Management. Roll Tide!”

As a recent graduate who was working to support herself, Hamdya Adem knew she wanted to pursue a master's degree early in her career.

Hamdya Adem

At first, she looked at traditional programs, but there was one problem - she needed more flexibility so that she could continue to work while earning her degree.

A friend recommended that she speak to Jan Jones, the Director of Specialized Masters Programs in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama.

"After speaking with her, I knew the online Global Business Management program suited me perfectly," Adem said.

When she earned her Bachelor of Science degree, also from UA, Adem was an on-campus student who was accustomed to group projects and meeting her professors face-to-face; but she soon found community within her distance learning classes.

"In my first year, I especially loved the discussion board. This allowed students to interact with each other. It was a place for us to ask other students questions and sometimes professors would also make clarifications," she said. "Even though I was a distance learner the professors were still flexible, understanding and easy to communicate with."

If this program had not been online Adem would not have been able to earn her master's from UA.

"I needed a program that was going to be flexible. I was so glad to hear that UA was offering a Master of Arts program online," she said.

Adem now works in the human resources department at the corporate headquarters for a national bank in Atlanta, GA. She credits her degree with helping her to advance her career and be more competitive in the industry.

Adem hopes to see the variety of programs offered through distance learning expand.

"There are many people who want to attend the University, but they need some flexibility for whatever reason," she said.

Steve Lawrence had always dreamed of graduating from The University of Alabama, but living and working in another state made that goal seem impossible.

Steve Lawrence

A few years ago, Steve was perusing the Bama By Distance website and learned about the online Master of Arts in Management program.

"With my geographic location and position in my company, there was no way I could move to Tuscaloosa to complete a graduate degree program," said Steve. "The online MA in Management program gave me an opportunity."

The University of Alabama's academic reputation was a key factor in why Steve chose the online MA in Management program.

"It was a chance to study an area that was of interest to me," said Steve. "I had completed previous online studies and was interested in getting the quality of education I knew the University would provide. From the time I was in grade school, I wanted to attend The University of Alabama. This program gave me a chance to meet an educational goal, while continuing in my position as an Energy Efficiency Manager for Georgia Power. I wanted to go with a program that was of high quality and high value to me. This program met my needs and offered me the opportunity to get a degree from The University of Alabama, fulfilling a life-long dream."

Though challenging, the online course format fit Steve's busy schedule, while also exposing him to some interesting and useful course material.

"The courses in the online MA in Management program gave me opportunities to use my current skills and develop them in various ways," Steve commented. "Each course was different and the requirements and teaching methods provided diverse opportunities. I completed the health care management course and learned more about an area in which I had little-to-no experience. If you have the self-discipline to take online courses, this program is well worth your time. I learned a great deal and was engaged the entire time with challenging and interesting courses and assignments. I plan to put my new degree to the test."

Steve shared how he was able to feel connected to the University, even though his class experience was online.

Our family attended two of the Continuing Studies picnics and several football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium while I was a student," he said. "We enjoyed it and had a good time. The interaction with other students through course discussion boards and blogs also kept me connected to the campus. With this aspect of many of the online classes, I was engaged and even though it was not face-to-face, I did get to know my classmates and professors. This made me feel included and a part of the University."

Overall, Steve enjoyed his online learning experience and would recommend the online MA in Management program to others. Steve was also able to travel to the Tuscaloosa campus for commencement ceremonies and now hopes to use his degree to advance in his career.