Amy Bui was looking for more from her career when she enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at Bowling Green State University.
“I knew I wanted to get something more advanced as far as education goes,” she said. “I had actually gone through a portion of an early childhood education program, but it just wasn’t for me. I did the MBA because it opens a lot of doors. It allows you easy access into a lot of different industries.”
When Bui entered the program, she was working as a pricing coordinator at Lightspeed, a marketing research company.
Bui got what she wanted out of the BGSU MBA program after graduating in 2013, being able to move into a career that better suited her personal goals.
“I’ve had a lot of doors open to me,” she said. “I’ve moved up in several companies. I’ve been able to make changes within different industries, and I’ve found that my MBA has been very integral in that process, allowing me to transition from business and into higher education.”
Thanks to the MBA program, Bui went from academic support center assistant to academic coach to program manager at Lourdes University.
A Couple of MBA Students
Bui considered other MBA programs before enrolling at BGSU, but having a full-time job meant that she needed something she could easily fit into her schedule.
“The nice thing about the BGSU program was that it catered to individuals who worked full time,” she said. “It didn’t interfere with my workday.”
There was another benefit to taking classes at BGSU. The program was as convenient for Bui as it was for her husband, Andrew, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree.
“We went through it at the same time,” said Bui, who majored in business as an undergrad. “They actually scheduled our classes for us. We didn’t have to worry about putting the registration date on the calendar and making sure that we got the classes that we wanted. We went through as a cohort.”
Going through the program together allowed the Buis to learn from class and from each other. It also gave them both an outlet for the stress of earning an advanced degree.
“When my data analytics class wasn’t clicking for me, it was nice to be able to come home and have a partner I could study with and express frustrations to and help out along the process,” she said.
In addition to support from her husband, motivation from Bui’s immediate family kept her going.
“We tend to strive for higher education goals in my family, so they were really supportive of it,” she said. “My dad has his master’s degree. My twin sister has her master’s degree, so they encouraged me to do it. They were happy to hear about my MBA, and they all came to my graduation.”
A Program for Everyone
Seven years have passed since Bui earned her MBA, but the learnings are still fresh.
“At the time that we were taking business law, the Affordable Care Act was coming out, and there were a lot of changes being made,” she said. “I liked how my professor brought current relevant information in and didn’t just stick to the book.”
One of the reasons why Bui had such a profound experience in the class was because her professor had real-world experience to share, resolving Bui’s concern that B-Law would be “a really dry, hard, boring class.”
“She was a lawyer,” Bui said. “After the first day of class I felt so much better about the class because she was so down to earth. She explained things so clearly. It wasn’t a rote memorization class.”
Many of Bui’s professors were accommodating to their students’ individual needs. She remembers Dr. Herb McGrath for making statistics approachable without dumbing it down.
“I had taken statistics in undergrad, and it was a class that I had to get myself through,” she said. “But he was really good at explaining the concepts. He understood that some students came in with strong statistics backgrounds, and some did not. In master’s levels classes you do expect the higher level of comprehension, and while that was still there, he still catered to everybody.”
Between collaborating with cohort members and reaching out to professors, Bui managed to find the answers she needed to make it through the program.
“We did form some groups with some students and had texting chains going back and forth when we had questions on certain assignments,” she said. “I probably emailed every single one of my professors multiple times with various questions. They were always willing to help, and they got back right away.”
A Key for Life
The greatest benefit of having an MBA for Bui is the foundation she can build upon no matter where she goes from here.
“It’s having a background in something that forms the basis of virtually every single organization that’s out there,” she said. “An MBA encompasses everything. When you’re looking at any type of organization, in any type of industry those basic foundations, the basic principles which are found in the MBA program are essential to help you succeed.”
Based on her positive experience as a BGSU student, Bui encourages MBA aspirants to consider their options.
“I would definitely tell them to look at the BGSU MBA program,” she said. “All of our professors were outstanding. The staff was phenomenal. They really went above and beyond my expectations.”
Getting through an advanced degree program can be difficult no matter how strong the support network or great the experience. Bui says that the key to making it through the program is making it your first priority.
“Make a schedule and stick to it,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to say no to other engagements that are not a part of the commitment that you have made to yourself to finish that degree. It’s a short period of time that is not going to last forever. It becomes overwhelming at times, but know that this is just a season. You will have that degree for the rest of your life.”
Learn about BGSU’s online MBA programs.