UTD: Getting an MBA May Smooth Path to Success

The university offers a flexible online MBA program to give entrepreneurs skills and advice to grow their startup.

University of Texas at Dallas

Agility and intelligence are hallmarks of a successful startup. Right behind that are networks and personal drive. So getting an MBA while working at a fevered pitch to launch your next best idea may seem like a lot of superfluous work.

Not so fast, says Lisa Shatz, assistant dean of MBA programs at The University of Texas at Dallas.

“Very few jobs require that you understand and be able to implement all areas of business, with the exception of being an entrepreneur,” Shatz said. “In a startup, the business owner will be managing operations, finance, reporting, marketing, strategy, negotiations –- basically everything.”   

Suzanne Smith, founder of Dallas-based Social Impact Architects outlined the key offerings of an MBA in an Inc. article.

“An MBA gives you three things: an education that gives you high-level knowledge in leadership, incentives, sales, and operations; a network of experts you can tap and who want you to succeed; and credibility with investors and employees,” she said. 

“These courses allow students to get direct feedback on their concept, pricing, growth strategy, exit strategy, and target market.”

LISA SHATZ

The UT Dallas online MBA in the university’s Naveen Jindal School of Management might be the perfect fit for entrepreneurs, Shatz said.

“It’s our most flexible program so whether students are out of town pitching their concepts, working nights, or during the day, they are able to attend class online when it makes sense,” she said.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the UT Dallas online MBA No. 7 this year among online MBA programs nationwide. 

All MBA students complete core courses that address business basics. Other online classes, such as Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Managing the Emerging Enterprise, also are online. 

“These courses allow students to get direct feedback on their concept, pricing, growth strategy, exit strategy, and target market,” Shatz said.

“There’s no way to put a value on all the networking and growth opportunities that happen at these events.”

LISA SHATZ

And because online MBA students are just like any other student at UT Dallas, with full access to competitions, networking events, and career services, it’s a way to grow a startup’s exposure, gain input through professional events, and tap into career professionals on campus and in the Jindal School. 

“I don’t have an MBA, but I’ve picked up many of the business skills I needed during more than 15 years running a company,” Stephen Greer wrote in a Harvard Business Review article.

He also wrote the book, Starting From Scrap: An Entrepreneurial Success Story, about his experience creating and later selling a global scrap metal company.

“Many of the lessons I learned from those tough and painful experiences I might have learned in an MBA program — and if I’d learned them earlier, my company might have been even more successful,” he wrote. 

Online MBA students who live in North Texas also can take part in any or all of the programs offered to students through UT Dallas Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“There’s no way to put a value on all the networking and growth opportunities that happen at these events,” Shatz said. “But we can certainly say we’ve had student entrepreneurs who have benefited greatly from them.”

Follow the UT Dallas Jindal School of Management on Twitter at @jindal_utdallas.


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