Meet the Bloggers

Gavin Sands

Gavin Sands

Gavin Sands

Career Track/Fast Track: Career (started in January of 2010 and will finish May of 2012)

Undergraduate: I have a B.A. in Art from Elon University

Hobbies: I love to travel, play board games, sing in the car, cook and bake, spend time with family and friends, and daydream about owning my own business one day!

Why I chose Elon: Having been an undergraduate at Elon (and as a current employee of the university), I’m a big believer in what Elon has to offer. I knew that the program would offer small class sizes and an emphasis on engaged learning—both of which are very important to me.

Career Benefit:  I already have a degree in studio art and I think that one day I might like to open my own business in that field. I was lacking the business background, though, and I thought Elon’s MBA program would be a great way to build the skills I will need for that endeavor.

Elaine Bixby

Career Track/Fast Track:  Career Track. I started with the program in March of 2009. My anticipated graduation date is May of 2012.

Undergraduate: I have a BFA in Theater from Emerson College in Boston.

Hobbies: When not working, studying or spending time with my family, I try to squeeze in some time on the road or trails with the Mebane Running Club or at area races as the NC State Representative for the Road Runners Club of America. I’ll be competing in my first sprint triathlon this fall.

Why I chose Elon: Elon is close to my home, and offers the opportunity to learn from a staff and cohort that has a broad background in multiple areas of business while the flexibility of the program allows me to take classes when it works for me.

Career Benefit:   The majority of my professional career has been in sales, with an emphasis in medical and pharmaceutical markets. I spent several years working as a sales trainer and acting sales business manager for a major pharmaceutical company. Much of my training in marketing, strategy, sales operations and analysis has been on the job. It is extremely rewarding to now be gaining a full education in the core concepts that I have been working with for over ten years. Nearly every class in the Elon program has been applicable to my former role, or to my current role in medical device sales. Whether I am contributing to the sales and marketing goal attainment with my current company or starting my own business in the future, my MBA coursework will play a large part in my success.

David Montero

David Montero

David Montero

Career Track/Fast Track: I am following the Fast Track. I hope to finish by spring 2013 or before, if possible.

Undergraduate: I have a BS in Business Management from North Carolina State University with a concentration in Marketing and an International Studies minor.

Hobbies: I love playing and watching soccer. I enjoy all outdoor sports.

Why I chose Elon: Ever since I got my BS in Management from NCSU, I knew that at some point in the future I was going to go back to school to get an MBA. For me, going to grad school was more of a personal goal rather than a way to climb the corporate ladder. However, after watching the economic struggle of the past four years, I understood that a regular college degree was not enough to successfully compete in today’s job market.
Every day, there are more MBAs and Ph.D.’s looking for the same job opportunities as college grads. I am sure that when it comes to making hiring decisions, grad students have a better chance of being selected for open positions.
When I started looking into grads schools last year I knew four things:

  • I did not want to move just to go to grad school.
  • I did not want to take the program online.
  • The program had to be flexible since I had to keep my job.
  • Value vs. cost had to be within my budget.

Taking into account these four points, the list of schools offering the type of program I was looking for was not very long, four to be exact. Three schools from the list are very well known nationally so I did not need a lot of information about them.  I did not know a lot about Elon University so I registered for the Open House visit. What I saw during the Open House blew my mind. Besides the friendly staff, comfortable environment and modern facilities, Elon offered all I was looking for. Elon is within a reasonable driving distance from my house in Raleigh; I was going to interact face to face with professors and classmates; and the value offered by the school matched the cost I am willing to invest.
After I came back home from the Open House, I knew that Elon was the best choice for me.

Career Benefit: 
Right after I started the program in March, I decided to make a career change. I spent the last 10 years of my life working in the service industry. I had a great run and I learned a lot, but I felt the need for a change. I believe that the MBA will help me open doors into new career path. I would like to pursuit a career in project management and innovation.


2 responses to “Meet the Bloggers

  1. hi – I’m a prospective student – can you tell me approximately how many hours per week you are spending outside of class on work / exams / studying, etc? I’m looking at the career track – no rush to finish. Also, are there a lot of exams in the program that require memorization, etc.?


    • Hi Darren, this is Randall. Sorry for my delayed response, I’ve been looking for Comments on the Front Page with all our posts, but not this page.

      The answer to your first question is not as clear-cut as it might seem – primarily because not all classes are created equal when it comes to workload. In fact, I was thinking about creating a post about measuring workload per class, and your question now makes it more likely that I will do so.

      Also, hours spent depends in part on the person – the more time you put into it, the more you get out of it. Not to mention that familiarity with subject matter and natural aptitudes come into play so that you may have to work harder in areas where you’re less familiar, but not as much in subjects where you have more experience or ability.

      So your question is very valid, but at the same time extremely hard to answer because the answer varies for every class and every person within that class. Since the vast majority of people in the program are working full-time, not to mention that many of them also have family responsibilities and/or other things that call for their attention such as travel or volunteer work, then I can say that it is not too much of a drain on your personal life.

      As for your second question, I have encountered more group work probably than exams. Also, depending on the teacher, some exams are a form of ‘open book’, whereas others are traditional study / memorize. Other graded work can include not only group work, but presentations, essays, reports, and/or peer evaluation (some classes use some of these, others use others of them). I have actually had a couple of classes where there was not a single exam or quiz – so if you’re tired of that method of learning/grading, you won’t get worn out on it at Elon.

      Sorry I can’t give you a specific range on the first question. I hope you understand, and that the information I did provide is at least as helpful if not more so than a simple number or range. If you have any follow-on questions, please let us know!

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