MBA program gets new director
1/26/2012 8:02:33 PM
(Jan. 24, 2012) - Kelli Crickey has been appointed as the
new director of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in North
Georgia College & State University's Mike Cottrell School of Business.
The two-year, part-time program began in 2008 and the first
group of students graduated in 2010. This fall, North Georgia's MBA program
will move to the new University Center | GA 400 facility in Cumming, Ga., from its
current location in Cumming City Hall. Crickey said she's excited about the new
location and about helping guide young professionals on their career path.
"I have the privilege of playing a role in people's
lives as they take this step. I know what a life-changer this is, and I can
appreciate the process involved in making that decision," Crickey said.
"I get to talk to people as they are deciding, 'Is this the right program?
Is the right time in my career and in my life?' We have a great program and
it's nice to talk to people and decide if it is the right one for them."
Crickey, who came to North Georgia four years ago after
spending 14 years with Nordson Corporation, had to ask herself those same
questions when considering whether to pursue advanced degrees. She currently is
pursuing a doctorate in business administration and has an MBA and two bachelor's
degrees in management.
In addition to her role as MBA director, Crickey is an
instructor in the Mike Cottrell School of Business, teaching undergraduate courses
in international business, operations management and business management. She
encourages her undergraduate students to work in the business world for a few
years before pursuing advanced degrees.
"Our program is designed for younger professionals, and
it’s particularly good for someone who has been working three to seven or more years
and is ready to move up to that next level to oversee managers or take on more
responsibility," Crickey said.
The MBA program is based on a cohort structure, which means
that a group of students is accepted into the program each fall and progresses
through the program as a group. Students take two classes each semester and
classes are held on the same nights throughout the two years of the program. This
structure makes it easier for working professionals to balance work, school and
home life, while also encouraging student success, Crickey said.
"The structure keeps students in the program, because
you feel like you're all in it together," she said. "The small class
size allows professors to get to know the students and the students feel like
they can have a relationship with their professors. That's a big strength of
our MBA program."
MBA courses are taught by Dr. Mark Jordan, graduate program
director, Dr. T.J. Gabriel, Dr. Bryson Payne and others. The two-year program
also features integration events centered on the program's three themes -- leadership,
teamwork and global perspective.
"These events reinforce the learning beyond the
classroom and engage students in simulation exercises, coaching by executives
and team-building," Crickey said. "It is part of what makes our
The students working together in the MBA program's
team-focused environment have different educational backgrounds and work
experiences, Crickey said. While many MBA students have undergraduate degrees
in business, others have degrees in fields such as science, education,
communications and information systems.
"The MBA program is excellent for people who don't have
the business undergraduate degree and are in the business environment. It helps
them become more confident in their understanding of how the business world
works," Crickey said. "The variety in the types of undergraduate
degrees and work experiences students bring to the cohorts builds the richness
of the program."
Crickey said she hopes completing the graduate program is only
the first step in a lifelong pursuit of learning for young professionals.
"You don't get your degree and think you're finished
learning. If anything, we're preparing you to be adaptive, to be receptive, and
to think, to think differently because the world's changing constantly,"