The ROI is Clear: 75 Percent of Cohort 12 Changed Jobs or Careers During EMBA Program

Jan. 14, 2015

The UNLV Executive MBA program is known for its experienced, high performing students, and Cohort 12 has done its part to bolster that reputation. During the 18-month program, more than 75 percent of the class changed careers or jobs.

“The ROI is clear,” said Matt Pool, who started the program as a nursing home administrator in Las Vegas and is now applying his C-level perspective to meeting the needs of clients through his own health care industry consulting firm, Atlas Strategies, LLC,  headquartered in Oregon.

Transformational is how Pool describes the effect of the UNLV Executive MBA program on his life and career. “Prior to the EMBA program, I was uncertain as to whether or not to launch my own business.  UNLV helped me by expanding my skill set and growing my self-confidence to be an entrepreneur."

Pool, who graduated from the UNLV program in December 2014 with new skills in such disciplines as finance, strategic planning, organizational management, quantitative analysis, corporate governance, leadership and marketing, among others, was nine months into the EMBA program when he relocated to Oregon and launched his consulting firm.

“I use my EMBA education every day,” said Pool. “Right now I’m working with a client to secure funding for the development of a senior group home.”

Pool originally pursued an Executive MBA in hopes of opening job opportunities outside of the health care industry. “Instead, the EMBA program unleashed my inner entrepreneur,” said Pool, who realized that his health care career offered opportunities he never considered.

“Eventually, I plan to expand Atlas beyond health care to include divisions in real estate investment and property management,” he said.

Pool also intends to explore opportunities in the entertainment industry. “For years my entrepreneurial spirit manifested itself as a screen writer and board game developer," he said. "One of the most valuable outcomes from the EMBA experience is discovering more about yourself and the role you want in the business world. You hone your strengths and come out a far more versatile professional.”

EMBA student Michelle Booth is yet another Cohort 12 member whose professional life was transformed during the program.  Booth began her UNLV EMBA studies as director of public relations with the Ramirez Group, a Las Vegas public affairs firm. Three months into the program, she joined the communications department of NV Energy and six months later, Clark County School District.  “CCSD offered me my dream job as communications director supervising nine professionals,” said Booth. “Since starting the EMBA program I’ve been fortunate to have worked for three amazing organizations, each with incredibly supportive bosses. The CCSD position is everything I want in a professional position at this point in my career.”

Since her early days as a journalist in Texas, Booth committed to using her communications skills to have a positive impact on people’s lives and her community. “Working with the school district affords me that opportunity as well as fulfills my preference for working with big organizations.”

For Booth, entrance to the UNLV EMBA program might be seen as fate. “I was actually in the process of applying for Leadership Las Vegas when a UNLV EMBA pop-up appeared on my computer screen,” she said. With only six weeks to apply, the EMBA team went to work assisting Booth in successfully completing the application process.  

As with many UNLV EMBA students, the relevance of the EMBA program was instantaneous for Booth. “During our class weekends, I immersed myself in the knowledge, and then back in the office Monday morning; I’d see immediately how that knowledge could be applied. The program made an enormous difference not only in that I gained training and applicable knowledge in areas far outside my professional field, but I developed a broader awareness and understanding of the larger business picture, as well as about the world.”

Beginning with the first teamwork and management class, Booth credits the program’s emphasis on self-assessment with providing her the tools to gain invaluable insight into what personally drives her. “Everyone is so busy with limited time; it’s important to define what you value and how you want to spend your time – in and out of work,” Booth said.

“The UNLV EMBA program is a long sprint, but you get through with the support of the team. Because of the EMBA program, the professors and my fellow Cohort members, I’ve emerged a stronger and more confident person prepared to tackle both business and community challenges. I’ve graduated with an EMBA and 15 new lifelong friends.”