By Dan Landau
Amos Sanchez was tired of working with mice and rats. Literally. The Livingston, N.J. resident had a background in biomedical engineering but wanted to try something new. That something new turned out to be the Saturday MBA@FDU
, a special, accelerated MBA program that allows students to complete their degree in 21 months while working full time and without any prior business studies.
“I didn’t want to be in the lab anymore,” says Sanchez. “So I got my feet wet in the pharmaceutical industry and started looking into getting an MBA. I heard about the Saturday MBA through an ad on 1010 WINS and I applied that night. One week later, I was in!”
The Saturday MBA@FDU is a cohort-based program that blends in-person class time with online units. “We created the program as a result of feedback over the years from students,” says James Almeida, interim dean of FDU’s Silberman College of Business. “Since many students have work or travel commitments, we developed a program that blends online with in-class experiences.”
The accelerated nature of the program and convenient scheduling played a big role in Sanchez’s choice to get his MBA at FDU: “I have friends from college who are getting their MBAs at other schools and they are going to take four years on average to get their degrees because their class schedules don’t allow for them to go full time and still work,” says Sanchez. “Meanwhile, I am going to finish my MBA in less than two years, while working 50 hours a week at my job.”
There are other benefits besides the compressed schedule. “There is a great deal of certainty built into the program,” says Almeida. “Since the program is cohort-based, students never have to worry about whether a class will be canceled for lack of enrollment and they know that barring any academic hiccups, they will graduate in 21 months.”
The cohort system also helps with what Sanchez calls the “front and back of classroom learning.”
“At the front of the classroom, the professor shares their knowledge and experience with the class, and in the back of the classroom are the students. We all have some business experience and we can offer comments and insights to each other, so there is a lot to take away from the classes,” says Sanchez.
The third cohort recently started their first classes at FDU’s College at Florham. These students start out as a group together and graduate together. Cohorts are between 15 and 25 students in size and new cohorts start up at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.