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Alabama State University’s first MBA students complete program

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A new MBA program at Alabama State University is about to graduate its first class. (Alabama State University)

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The first class officially graduates in December.

A group of 37 talented Alabama State University (ASU) graduate students will make history later this year as the inaugural cohort from the university’s new Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree program.

Offered through the Percy J. Vaughn Jr. College of Business Administration (COBA), the students completed all of their requirements for the degree during the summer semester but will “walk” during ASU’s fall commencement ceremony.

COBA’s dean, Kamal Hingorani, oversees the MBA program, which is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of business principles and practices while equipping them with the skills necessary to excel in today’s dynamic business environment.

“With the brand new MBA, we are bringing a whole new set of academic strengths to our college and to the university,” Hingorani said.

He noted that students in the MBA program benefit from a college where 100% of the MBA faculty have earned academic or professional doctorates. Another advantage is the program can be completed in one year, with the vast majority of coursework available virtually, “which is a real benefit for those students who are already in the workforce.”

Krystal Trone earned her undergraduate degree at ASU in 2016 and is among the 37 who just fulfilled the MBA degree requirements. “It is amazing to be a member of ASU’s inaugural class of MBAs, especially with my undergraduate background as an English literature major,” Trone said. “Obtaining the degree over the past year was a journey, because I had to work harder since I did not have the undergrad business school foundation as many students had; but it was not unbearable, and anything worth having is worth working hard to obtain.”

Krystal Trone is part of the first graduating class of MBA students at Alabama State University. (contributed)

The Montgomery native is thrilled not only for her achievement but for her alma mater.

“This new graduate degree is great for ASU’s reputation as a world-class university, and for the students, since it may be obtained in just one year,” Trone said. “I chose it because it allows me to have the academic tools to expand my horizons and have a better career in any number of fields.”

Earlier this month, COBA held a special celebration to honor the students’ successful completion of the MBA program. The event took place at The Nest, an upscale restaurant on the Montgomery campus.

ASU President Quinton T. Ross Jr., who worked with the ASU board of trustees to make the degree possible, said the celebration was “a small token to express to them how proud we are of what each has accomplished,” noting both “their individual educational accomplishments and the history they have made for both the university and COBA.”

Alabama Power and the Alabama Power Foundation are longtime supporters of Alabama State University.

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Hingorani said he believes the event and the upcoming fall commencement in December will serve as catalysts to inspire the MBA graduates to serve as ASU ambassadors who will help COBA recruit other students to the program.

“Most importantly, no business college can be successful without an MBA program for its students. Now that it is here, we have the task of increasing its rigor, enrollment and the degree’s reputation,” Hingorani said.

“I would like to see additional tracks created in finance, business data analytics and cybersecurity,” Hingorani added. “By now offering an MBA, we help elevate and improve the stature of the university. Our MBA program will open new career doors for our students, many of whom will be the first in their family to earn a graduate degree, and help build up our enrollment and make America more diverse.”

A version of this story orginally appeared on the ASU website.