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February 19, 2004

Weekend MBA students personify diversity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The new class in the Krannert School of Management's 2004 Weekend Executive MBA Program is diverse – geographically, ethnically and educationally.

Bob Sakar and Lynn Holzman
Download photo - caption below

Because the three-year program meets on Purdue University's West Lafayette campus on Saturdays, the students have generally come from central Indiana. This year, the 64 students in the class have come from farther away. In addition to the Indiana communities of Columbus, Ft. Wayne, LaPorte, Mishawaka, Russiaville and Westfield, students represent Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. Native countries of the students include China, India, Mexico and Pakistan.

Twenty-two percent of the program participants has completed master's degrees, ranging from chemistry to kinesiology to electrical engineering. Five percent of the class has earned doctoral degrees.

John Lewandowski, program manager for the Weekend Executive MBA Program, says there are three reasons for the strong, diverse class.

"We expanded and intensified our marketing campaign," he said. "The public knows the reputation of Krannert's professors and staff, and our executive programs have been highly ranked by major publications, such as Business Week and the 'Financial Times.'"

In 2003, the "Financial Times" ranked the Krannert Executive Education Program's international MBA program 14th in the world, and Business Week ranked the executive education programs 16th worldwide.

Bob Sakar and Lynn Holzman illustrate the diversity in this year's Weekend Executive MBA class.

Sakar has a doctorate in genetics from the University of Delhi in India and is director/general manager at Sodexho Healthcare Services in Danville, Ill. Holzman earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from Kansas State University on a basketball scholarship. She earned a master's degree from the University of North Carolina and now is director of membership services with the NCAA national headquarters in Indianapolis.

Sakar said he was attracted to the Krannert program because of its cost and the quality of the classes.

"I also thought the networking opportunities would be good because there are students from so many companies represented in the class," he said. "I also appreciated the balance between the theoretical basis and case-study approach."

Holzman said she also valued the opportunity to learn from other students in addition to the professors.

"Even just two weeks into the program, I'm impressed with the vast experience of my classmates," she said. "Most of our assignments are team-based, so we really have the opportunity to learn from each other."

Neither Sakar nor Holzman minimizes the three-year commitment of Saturday classes. Sakar, who is expecting his second child in April, said, "The commitment is not only on your part, but also on the part of your better half."

Holzman says, "There's four to six hours of homework our teams have to do via the Internet. You've got to get into a groove, make it part of your life, part of your habit."

The program covers all the functional areas of management – economics, management, accounting, finance, human resources, quantitative methods, marketing operations and strategic management. Students attend six semesters of Saturday classes but are off during the summers.

The program is designed to be as flexible as possible for the students because of their other demands and responsibilities. Students in the program who are transferred too far from West Lafayette and are unable to commute can transfer into other MBA programs offered by the Krannert School and Krannert Executive Education Programs.

Lewandowski says the EMBA students are experienced working managers or managers-to-be with an average of 9.3 years of experience. They come from a who's who of Indiana companies, including Eli Lilly & Co., Procter and Gamble Co., Delphi Delco Electronics Systems, Rolls Royce, Caterpillar Inc., Cummins Inc., Wabash National, Subaru of Indiana Automotive and Alcoa.

Tuition for the weekend master's degree program is $10,000 per year, not including books and case packets. Most students receive support or reimbursement from their employers.

In addition to the Weekend Executive MBA Program, the Krannert Executive Education Programs offers an executive MBA and an international master's in management. Also offered are specialized non-degree programs in areas such as advanced manufacturing and a life sciences information technology project management certificate both at the West Lafayette campus and at corporate training facilities.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: John Lewandowski, (765) 496-7979, lewandowski@mgmt.purdue.edu

Bob Sakar, (217) 443-5299, isarkl@yahoo.com

Lynn Holzman, (317) 917-6536, lholzman@ncaa.org

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Journalists wishing to interview Lafayette-area students should contact Mike Lillich at (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu.

PHOTO CAPTION:
Lynn Holzman and Bob Sakar, two students in Purdue University's Krannert Executive Education Program's 2004 Executive MBA Program, represent the diversity in the new class. Sakar has a doctorate in genetics from the University of Delhi in India and is director/general manager at Sodexho Healthcare Services in Danville, Ill. Holzman earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from Kansas State University on a basketball scholarship. She then earned a master's degree from the University of North Carolina and now is director of membership services with the NCAA national headquarters in Indianapolis. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2004/lewandowski.wkend.jpeg.


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