After working all day, Blake Leathers needed a graduate program that wouldn't require another commute.
Enrolled in UB's online MBA, he's able to come home after work, relax for a while and then start working toward a degree he wanted to elevate his career.
"Working 40 hours a week throughout the week, that kind of limits when and how I can do my work but with it being an online program, I can pretty much fit it in whatever," Blake says. "A lot of the courses allow for you to plan however you want to."
UB's Merrick School of Business created a fully online option for its MBA in 1999. Every professor brings their real-world experience to the digital classroom to help students learn on their own schedule, Blake says.
He also appreciates gaining flexibility through online classes without losing the connections usually associated with face-to-face learning. If he has a question, he says, he can rely on quick email responses.
Blake is pursuing an MBA to add a boost to his career.
"Having an MBA, I figured, would be the next thing that helps me stand out of a crowd," he says. "An MBA shows that you're committed to your own development."
Taking the program at UB has created more opportunities for Blake than he expected. The diverse student body adds depth to class discussions and maximizes his academic experience.
"We've had individuals who were parents and some who were just fresh out of college from their undergraduate studies," he says.
Blake was also able to earn credits during a global field study in Thailand.
"We were able to learn from a culture standpoint and also from a business standpoint of how other sides of the world do business," he says.