Taking the Mystery out of the MBA degree with Dr. Ray Stephen Smith

On Tuesday, June 20, Dr. Ray Stephen Smith, visiting lecturer from Belhaven University in Chattanooga, Tennessee, gave a presentation entitled “Taking the Mystery Out of the MBA Degree,” in which he discussed 10 key reasons for enrolling in an MBA program generally, and specifically at Anglo-American University.

Among the reasons discussed were the following:

  • Developing managerial skills
  • Accessing a global business network
  • Refocusing yourself personally and professionally
  • Getting Value for Cost
  • Interacting with experienced professors and practitioners

About the lecturer: Dr. Smith is our senior teacher of the MBA elective course Leadership and Corporate Governance. He received his MIBS from University of South Carolina and his Ph.D. from Regent University. Dr. Smith has gained professional teaching experience at universities all over the United States and Europe. He has expertise in the Global Environment of Business, Strategic Marketing Management, and Organizational Leadership and Management.


Why get an MBA at AAU

Business didn’t always get respect it does today. Until the 20th century, trafficking in trade and commerce was considered nowhere near as admirable an art as medicine, law, and banking; in fact, business was something you did when you couldn’t do anything else. What a difference a century makes. With the industrial revolution of the late 19th century, and the vast fortunes it bequeathed, came a greater demand for business savvy, with Harvard College offering the world’s first Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 1908. More than a hundred years later, the degree is one of the most highly coveted achievements in the world.  

For visiting lecturers in Anglo-American University’s MBA program, like Ray Smith Ph.D from Belhaven University in Chattanooga, Tennessee, prestige is just one of many reasons why earning an MBA is a smart decision for any ambitious entrepreneur, and why AAU is an ideal place to do it.

Develop Managerial Skills

Specialization may have its benefits when it comes to developing specific aspects of a business, but at the managerial level, it can work against you. An MBA teaches how to captain then entire enterprise, be it budgets, logistics, human resources, regulations, and strategy, as well as the common vocabulary that bind them all. With a firmer grasp of the big picture, it becomes easier to know when and where additional support is needed, make more efficient use of time and resources, and take the initiative.

Access Business Network

Education for an MBA doesn’t take place in a vacuum, but in an integrated and interactive classroom with learners of many backgrounds, experiences, and disciplines. This nascent network can prove just as valuable as the lessons of the lectures, course books, and workshops of the program after graduation. You leave not only with a degree, but business contacts around the world. That’s gold when it comes to launching or expanding your business worldwide and provides a personal pool of talent to draw from.

Earn a High Salary

The profit of having an MBA translates to your bank account as well, with the median starting salary for business school graduates in the United States reaching and average of $100,000 for the first time in 2015, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Three years after graduation, the Financial Times’ 2016 ranking pegs it even higher, at $142,000 three years. European firms may not be quite so generous, but are nothing to sneeze at, averaging between $80,000 and $92,000 depending on the country. It’s no wonder this has been called a “golden age” for MBA jobs.

Think Globally

The classic mom-and-pop shop may sound romantic, but success in business today requires thinking far beyond the neighborhood. That’s reflected in the real-world case studies of AAU’s MBA program, which analyze and address issues with a global perspective. Prague itself provides even greater exposure to this approach, as its central location in Europe and well-developed distribution, logistics, and supply networks make it a regional hub for major international companies like Microsoft, DHL, Accenture, Boston Science, Oracle, Foxconn, and Exxon.

Interact with Professors and Practitioners

Part of what makes AAU’s MBA program at AAU so highly regarded is the quality of instructors, many of whom are visiting from California’s prestigious Chapman University, ranked among the top business schools in the world. Many professors are, or have been, practitioners in business, too, either running their own companies prior to entering the classroom, or serving as consultants for others. This not only brings real-world experience to the classroom but helps bridge the gap between theory and application.

Learn about Managing and Leading People

In the past, leadership was seen as a sub-function of management in business, but today, they are considered two separate disciplines. While managers focus on maintaining the status quo and making incremental change, leaders take risks to achieve something more radical and take the lead in a fast moving global economy. AAU not only prepares learners for both roles, but also shows how best to apply each according to the given environment.

Refocus yourself Personally and Professionally

The skills that may earn you that promotion to manager may no longer satisfy the demands of the position. This is the truth that leads inspires many to seek the support and training of an MBA program to expand and hone their personal and professional skills, by identifying specific needs and targeting them with coursework, case studies, and the input of classmates.  

Benefit from Accreditation

AAU is one of few universities globally—and the only institution in Europe— to have received the prestigious accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission, an American accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The honor validates the high quality of education at AAU and opens doors to a vast global market, as the degree is recognized in the United States and Europe.

Forge a Personal Relationship with Instructors

Professors at AAU don’t instruct like a sage on the stage, but a guide by the side. This means the relationship with students is more like a partnership of working adults rather than the more traditional dynamics of teacher lectures and students obey. The egalitarian approach to education not only keeps the same visiting professors return year after year but also fuels their interest in the individual success of each student. 

Get Value for Cost

Probably the only thing more fearful to a student than a major project or exam in the United States is the bill that comes with it. While the cost of an MBA there can easily top $100,000 when factoring living expenses, studying at AAU in Prague offers tremendous savings, coming in at just $20,000 for the entire MBA program. The cost of living in Prague is also less than half of life of New York, London, and Los Angeles.  

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