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Majors & Degrees

Mastering the opportunities of an MBA

February 9, 2024

This article was originally published on SiouxFalls.Business on February 8, 2024. 

Dakota State University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program prepares students for a variety of career opportunities, including entrepreneurship.

Daidrick Kibbie, a December 2023 MBA graduate, has a small business reselling shoes. Kickz by Coach K is something he does in addition to his job as a DSU football coach.

“The MBA program piqued my interest with the job opportunities that would be available to me upon completion,” he said, “and all the courses I have taken have played a part in my business’ success.”

“Our MBA in general management provides an outstanding foundation in business administration and also offers the students an opportunity to select an emphasis area, such as analytics, healthcare informatics, sports leadership, and more,” said Dr. Dorine Bennett, Dean of the College of Business & Information Systems.

“I feel we have one of the best business programs in the country with a great, helpful group of professors who are available for you,” Kibbie said.

Kibbie earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from DSU in spring 2021. The relationships he formed with the College of Business & Information Systems (BIS) staff and faculty encouraged him to enroll in the MBA program.

“Our faculty bring a wealth of real-world experiences, and the online format allows interaction between students with a wide range of experiences as well,” Bennett said.

Professors Wendy Simmermon, Deb Tech, and Professor Emeritus Jack Walters impacted Kibbie. “They have been there for me through my toughest times here at DSU,” he said. “Without them, I don’t know how I would have made it this far. I will always keep in contact with these professors even after my time here at Dakota State.”

Bennett pointed out that the students build a network of professionals that can contribute to their career and professional development, and that network includes DSU staff.  

“BIS administrative assistants Shannon Vostad and Brenda Warren are people I looked to for guidance, and they have never pointed me in the wrong direction,” Kibbie said.

In addition to building up his business administration expertise, Kibbie also developed stronger communication and time-management skills throughout the program.

“Coming from a low-income community, this program has created a lot of structure in my life,” he explained. “Where I come from, a lot of people don’t accomplish half the things DSU has supported me in completing. I will forever owe DSU and the mentors I have found here in Madison.”

In the future, he hopes to own a storefront for his shoe-selling business, but he knows that his background in business technology and information systems has prepared him for a future filled with success regardless of what path he chooses. Kibbie’s business is on social media with the handle @kickzbycoachk.

4+1 BBA -> MBA

The standard MBA program requires graduate students take 36 credit hours, with 27 credit hours of core courses such as strategic marketing, international management, and legal and ethical environment of business. Students in the program earn an additional six credit hours through elective courses and a 3-credit capstone course.

DSU undergraduate students interested in earning their MBAs have a unique opportunity, the 4+1 program, which allows students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration in just five years.

Recent BBA graduate Justice Forster was interested in the 4+1 MBA program as early as his freshman year at DSU.

“The opportunity to take master’s level courses during my undergraduate studies, sometimes in lieu of my undergraduate courses, was an opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up,” Forster said.

He took dual enrollment classes in high school and saw the 4+1 program as a similar opportunity to get a head start in education and work. He graduated with his B.B.A. in December 2023, and will continue his education with the MBA program while working as a Financial Institution Specialist for the Division of Risk Management Supervision within FDIC, where he interned during the summer of 2023.

His MBA coursework has practical applicability. Forster has found the real-world scenarios and case studies from classes invaluable in preparing him to navigate complex business challenges that may arise in the workplace.

“Professionally, the courses have enhanced my analytical skills and provided insight that I can apply in my role with the FDIC,” he said. “They’ve also boosted my confidence in tackling complex problems and broadened my perspectives beyond undergraduate studies.”

Completing the MBA program will help him excel and advance in his new role as a Financial Institution Specialist.

“I think that earning an MBA will allow me to better leverage and propel myself in my career, be it capabilities, progression, or results alike,” he said.