Sonoma State Launches New Part-Time MBA Program

sbe.jpegSonoma State launched its new part-time MBA program this weekend with an immersion experience - the "eMBArk" weekend - that combined academic planning, network development, and practicing case analysis skills.

Twenty professionals from companies like Hamel Family Wines to Raydiance, and industries from construction to retail, and wine to green building and design are in the new program. Another 30 are already taking steps to join next year's cohort.

According to Dean William Silver, the re-vamped MBA program has "cutting edge content built from the ground up by working with business leaders to understand the challenges and opportunities they face, and a set of courses and experiences that ensure students have the knowledge and skills to help their businesses succeed."

"To live, work, play, and go to school in Sonoma County is a pleasure," said Jonathon Turner, an HR professionalnow with Cross Check. Turner, who comes from a line of entrepreneurs, noted he is looking to gain the skills and knowledge to run his own business someday.

Troy Nunez, currently in sales for a large retailer, said he has seen companies that are "wildly successful" also make lots of mistakes. "I want to understand the formulas so I can evaluate what's working and contribute to improvements."

The new MBA program is organized around a 4-3-2-1 model: four core courses; three theme areas; two electives; and one capstone course.

Inside and outside of the classroom, students gain access to the deep knowledge of our regional business partners, to the activities of the North Bay iHub to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship, and to career support services. Sonoma State's Wine Business MBA also uses the new model.

The MBA also incorporates, in a part-time format, some of the best practices in executive and experiential learning like those offered in SSU's Executive MBA. The core of the eMBArk weekend, for example, was the Insights Discovery evaluator, a lifelong system for optimizing personal and professional effectiveness that is the latest in technological achievement in the psychometric field.

Throughout the MBA program, Insights is used in conjunction with classroom learning and teaming opportunities to provide learning that is information-rich, fun, and immediately transferable to work and life. Students conclude their studies with another immersion experience.

Over the course of the eMBArk weekend, students learned from Sonoma State MBA alums Tom Scott of Oliver's Markets, Roy Cecchetti of Cecchetti Wine Company and Corrine Meddaugh of Landmark Winery.

They also connected with recent and current students, who shared their experience for managing the life/work/school balance while pursuing an evening MBA and the bottom line everyone is interested in - what impact the MBA program has on their work performance and career.

Dylan Karahalios, Department Technology Coordinator with the City of Santa Rosa and recent MBA alum, spoke on the afternoon panel and then joined the new students and faculty for a networking dinner.

"I'm delighted to see the enhancements to the MBA curriculum that SSU has made. The business world around us is changing more rapidly and it's great to see a program keep up with those changes."

To learn more contact Kris Wright at or attend the next Information Session on Sept. 11.

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