3 Quick Tips for Making a Professional MBA Work for You While You’re Working

According to a Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey, professional (part-time) MBA programs rank as the third most popular option, attracting about 22 percent of all MBA applicants. The Boler College of Business offers three distinct MBA programs: 

  • The Boler Online MBA program can be completed in 1-3 years and requires a total of 33-45 credit hours.
  • The Emerging Leader MBA does not require professional work experience and can be completed in an (accelerated) 12 month schedule, or students may take up to 3 years to complete the degree part-time. 
  • The Professional MBA is a part-time, cohort-based program that focuses on live projects, team-taught courses, a leadership sequence and exposure to leading industry executives. 

The value of an MBA for a full-time professional can be felt long before graduation. We offer these 3 Quick Tips for anyone considering a professional MBA.


Seek opportunities to apply what you learn in class immediately at work — this will allow supervisors to see you in a new light during your workday.

Tip: Look for the right time to share an informed opinion on your company’s finance decisions, supply chain options or brand management. Co-workers and supervisors will take note. Take good notes when CEOs and other business leaders speak to your cohort, and share their insights with colleagues and on social media. 

Data point: 71% of part-time MBA graduates report an earnings bump. (Source: GMAC)


Seek out special projects announced within your work team and other opportunities to put fresh MBA knowledge to work for your employer.

Tip: When special projects get assigned at work, make a case for why your MBA can add fresh insights to the team. Frame the time you spend in evening classes as a value-add to your employer, rather than an obstacle.

Data Point: Employers worldwide list “continuous talent attraction” as their #2 concern. (Source: Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends).


Seek an opportunity to test your risk tolerance and flex your start-up muscles within the relative safety of a live company project or startup competition.

Tip: Join the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship and meet business owners who know what it takes for a new business to succeed. 

Data Point: 10% of a typical MBA class contains people who have already started or plan to start a company (Source: GMAC)

Your Future in Business

At John Carroll University (JCU), we know that data continues to show that a graduate business degree promises a solid monetary return on your investment. A graduate business degree from John Carroll also inspires you to model how good people are good for business.

John Carroll is a private Jesuit university located in University Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland.