Category: Tech MBA Online

The Life of an Online Student – Megan Benam

Employer: Kimberly-Clark (Neenah, WI)
Title: Product Developer

My name is Megan Benam and I’m a Tech MBA Online student. By day, I am a Product Developer with Kimberly Clark, the organization I joined after completing my BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech. I knew that I needed to make myself more valuable to move up at KC, so I enrolled in the Tech MBA Online program. I take my classes when it is convenient for me and still balance a busy work travel schedule.

6am – Wake up

Time to start my morning as I prepare for another day at work. My daily routine starts with checking a few emails and sorting through some mail on my counter, while eating a bowl of cereal. I’m a morning person and I like having some time around the house in the morning to pick-up a few things, check my emails and snail mail, …etc.

8am – Head to Work

As an online student I work full-time as a Product Developer at Kimberly- Clark in Neenah, WI. I love my job, so I didn’t want to commit to an MBA program that required me to leave what I love doing. At my job I am currently working on bath tissue product development. It is very interesting how I am able to apply the class assignments to my work assignment at Kimberly-Clark.

Noon – Lunch Break

During my lunch break I access some information for an upcoming assignment and follow up with a project team member. so I logged into Blackboard (the course management system used to teach the Tech MBA Online courses). I have found working in virtual teams on my job has prepared me for virtual team projects that I am doing in the program.

Right before my lunch break ends I respond to a project team member who replied to my comment in Blackboard. I would have never thought incorporating an MBA into my day would be this easy. Lunch is over–time to get back to work.

4:30pm – Heading Home

After a typical day at work creating prototypes that better meet the consumer’s needs and wants, I do some kickboxing at my local gym. This is a nice break after work and allows me to re-energize for the second half of my day.

6:00pm – Dinner

Time to grab dinner after the gym and wind down before tackling a class assignment. As I finish my dinner I am reminded how convenient it is to go to class without having to leave my home.

8:30pm Class work

I prepare to listen to a lecture online at my convenience for my Marketing, Technology, and Globalization – BA 5800 course with Professor Junhong Min. With my wireless connection at home I can pull up my assignments on my HP Pavilion as I log onto Adobe Connect to watch the class.

10 pm – Pack

Time to get pack for a week on the road. I find my safety shoes and glasses as those are a must since I will be working in a manufacturing facility for the next week. I love the travel aspect of my job and I didn’t want to give that up with more traditional, on-campus MBA programs.

Mobile devices or Technology that I using for class assignments?

  • Apple iPhone – I have an iPhone that I love. I’m able to check blackboard and email anywhere I go. Even when I only have a couple minutes, I’m still able to stay current with any new emails or postings.
  • Flash Drive – I also like carrying a jump drive with me with my personal class assignments. That way I will have them available anytime no matter what computer I may use, as I have two computers at home and one at work. It also puts my mind at ease in case a computer crashes.
  • Laptop – HP Pavilion

I have found that working as an online student has forced me to be more productive and to integrate what I am doing into my current lifestyle. Most local universities near where I work are about 30-minutes away, so I would have spent about 1.5 hours driving to and from campus, plus the prep time to get there for class. The time that I save by not having to drive to campus is equivalent to listening to the class lecture. Being in Wisconsin the weather gets very bad during the winter months so those commutes could be much longer.

Being a part of the Tech MBA Online program has become a natural part of my day instead of being an interruption in my life.

Career Re-Tool Event: Grand Rapids, MI – 10/14/10

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? In an uncertain economic time, it’s important to evaluate your career planning strategy and to position yourself to grow personally and professionally. The Michigan Technological University – Tech MBA Online program is hosting their second Career Re-Tool Workshop in Kentwood, Michigan. This is a must attend event for job seekers, those in career transitions and people who want to re-tool themselves for promotion in a challenging job market. Attendees will have the opportunity to evaluate educational opportunities and the value of higher education in reference to their career objectives.

This free event is open to the public and will empower people to strategically re-tool their careers by re-thinking education, social networks to aid in job search, and personal branding to position themselves for success.

Location: Kentwood Public Library 4950 Breton Road SE Kentwood, MI 49508

Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm

Hashtag: #grretool

Speaker Line-up
Hajj E. Flemings, Tech MBA Online Program Ambassador

hajj_094_crop_bcu10Hajj serves as the Program Ambassador for the Michigan Tech Online MBA program where he promotes and recruits for the program.

He is the author of ‘The Brand YU Life: Re-Thinking who you are though Personal Brand Management and has been featured on Fox 2 News, and and travels nationally speaking as a brand strategist enabling personal and business brands to remain relevant.  His clients include Walt Disney, Ford Motor Company, Skechers Footwear, U.S. Department of Defense (Telecom Division). He has spoken at Iowa State University, Davidson College, University of Michigan and numerous colleges and universities around the nation on personal branding, social media and career development

Mike Yoder, Social Media Strategist Deksia

tim-motley-photo-02As social media strategist at Deksia, he shares responsibility for business development and social media strategy development and delivery for the firm’s social marketing strategy consulting service. Responsible for taking LinkedUp Grand Rapids from 400 to over 5,000 members in under two years—making it the largest non-alumni LinkedIn networking group in the State of Michigan—Mike is able to parlay his social networking experience into innovative and comprehensive strategies for his clients. Mike has a BA in speech & communications from Geneva College in Pennsylvania and an MA in organizational communications from Western Michigan University. A long-time resident of Grand Rapids, he lives on the Northwest side of town with his wife and three children.

Christina Torri, Social Media Coordinator

christinatorriChristina is the Social Media Coordinator for Mindscape at Hanon McKendry where she handles day-to-day social media management for both clients and the company. She is also partnering with Mindscape management to build out this evolving service area to meet client needs for integrated digital engagement. She recently finished her MBA from Grand Valley State University focusing in Internet marketing and social media. Christina received her undergraduate degree in business from Western Michigan University and has worked in large corporate environments including Verizon Wireless and National City Bank. She has a passion for online marketing, social media, and personal branding.

Face Time for the Tech MBA Online

Students working during the simulation exericse.
Students working during the simulation exericse.

The School of Business and Economics’ first campus residency for the new Tech MBA Online was in full swing last week. Eleven students from four states traveled to Houghton for the immersion experience focused on kicking off the two-year online program.

“It’s just the type of graduate program that keeps Tech relevant, as it gives students the skills to advance their careers and lives,” said President Glenn Mroz.

“The Tech MBA Online combines great online education with hands-on learning on and off campus.”

Holly Lehto ’02 was impressed so far.

“It’s been good, a lot of work!” said the finance management grad, currently working in risk management for Excel Energy in Denver. “It’s been a great experience from a networking aspect and the competing in the capstone program has been great.”

During the residency, the students ran companies using very sophisticated simulation software. Professor Dana Johnson led the sessions with four real teams and two virtual teams running manufacturing companies. The students “are really competitive,” Johnson said, as they need to be in business. “It’s educational and experiential. They had to come up with strategic plans, run their companies out for three years, and then see how they followed the corporate plans. It’s very realistic.”

Lehto, a L’Anse native, thought she could use her experiences with the Tech MBA Online for future consulting work, either internally at Excel or externally.

Connie Koutouzos brought yet another background to the exercise, as a vice president of health care services for NorthStar Health Systems in Iron River. She is earning her MBA to enhance her education that includes a BS in Nursing and an MS in Nursing Administration from Northern Michigan University.

“It’s good for completing my skill set,” she said. “I have life experiences and practices in a different setting, in heath care administration. They [her classmates] have technological skills and more recent academic involvement than mine. I’m polishing mine up to get to the same place.”

Associate Professor Mari Buche is looking forward to teaching the online information systems class in spring 2011. “It will focus on decision making,” she said. “We use case-based examples for analysis and discussion.”

Buche also appreciated the days’ personal interaction. “They don’t feel so isolated,” she said. “The residency is really important.”

“We are very happy with the enthusiasm that the students, faculty and staff have brought to the first residency,” said Darrell Radson, dean of the School of Business and Economics. “The learning that took place in the residency forms the foundation of education that we will deliver online. The residency also gave students the opportunity to meet each other, their instructors, and the staff members who will be supporting them through their online classes.”

The Tech MBA Online classes kick off in two weeks. Next August, the students will be back on campus to complete the second residency focused on leadership development. A third residency, during the summer of 2012, will be undertaken at an international location and will focus how technologically-based businesses are developed in another part of the world.

This article was published in Tech Today on August 24, 2010.

Michigan Tech Welcomes Tech MBA Online Students

Students are participating in team building exercises and a business simulation while at Michigan Tech.
Students are participating in team building exercises and a business simulation while at Michigan Tech.

Yesterday Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics welcomed 11 students into the first residency of the Tech MBA Online.  The group is comprised of backgrounds in engineering, business, and nursing, with students coming from locations as close as Copper Harbor and as far away as Colorado. Over the next few days, the students are meeting faculty and staff, participating in team building exercises, and learning about the resources that are available for their online courses.

The welcome reception, held yesterday evening, was the first opportunity the students had to meet their new classmates for the next two years. The light-hearted atmosphere was met with an edge of excitement. All but two students in the class are alumni of Michigan Tech, one hails from Northern Michigan University and another graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

Dean Darrell Radson, who could not attend due to work travel, left opening remarks to be read by Associate Dean Tom Merz, “We have worked very hard over the last two years to design this new program, one that focuses on the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this increasingly competitive and technological world.“. Merz also welcomed the group, and gave a brief talk about group demographics from an economics perspective. He ended saying, “We hope this program exceeds all of your expectations.”

Director of Graduate Business Programs, Ruth Archer said, “We are ecstatic to have a great group of students with diverse work experience in this program. The group is bonding very quickly and they’re all excited to participate in the residency.”

More information about the residency experience, the first group of students, and the Tech MBA Online program will follow.

Career Re-Tool Workshop: July 13, Southfield, MI

michigan-tech-retool-business1Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics in collaboration with the Alumni Association  has developed a Career Re-Tool Workshop to help you Re-Tool, Re-Wire and Re-Think your career and future.

This FREE event is designed to enable you to evaluate your career planning strategy and position you to grow personally and professionally. This is a must attend event for job seekers, those in career transitions and people who want to re-tool themselves for promotion in a challenging job market.

Register Today. Seats are limited.

Register at:


Hajj E. Flemings – Personal Brand Strategist/Founder of Brand Camp University

Brenda Rudiger – Director of Alumni Relations at Michigan Technological University

Paul J. Hindelang – President at Results Systems Corporation



Re-Tooling yourself with Education

We will explore the value of education as a career strategy to help you stay globally competitive in a challenging job market. This session will focus on the benefits of an MBA and higher education to empower you to reinvent and re-think your future.

Re-Wiring your Career with Social Networks and Online Tools

Come and learn how to rewire yourself through social networks and online channels to connect with companies and identify new career opportunities. Become a person that understands how to translate their network into value.

Re-Thinking your Financial Strategy

Has your 401K got you down? It is time to re-think your financial strategy and prepare financially for your career transition? Come and get fresh new ideas for investing, financial planning, insurance and social security.

To RSVP, please visit the Alumni Association website.