Want to study while you work? 4 things we’ve learned about the SCU Evening MBA

The Evening MBA program at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business offers a flexible postgraduate business education from the heart of Silicon Valley. Keep reading to learn more about SCU Evening MBA alumna and Senior Product Manager, Gwendoline Tuma’s journey, in which she combined tech and leadership skills to revolutionize her company’s strategic approach.

In short

What is the SCU Evening MBA?

Santa Clara University’s Leavey Business School ranked #20 for part-time MBAs in US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools 2022. Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, and with internships and future careers in some of the world’s top tech companies, it attracts driven students who often have a clear plan of exactly what they want to achieve through their studies. 

By now, you may already be familiar with what an MBA is. However, the SCU Evening MBA sets itself apart as a flexible program that allows students to continue working full-time. Students must have at least three years of working experience before embarking on the course.

As a part-time course, the Evening MBA lasts two years and generally meets twice per week. Alongside a full-time job, the schedule requires students to have good organizational skills and the determination to see the program through. However, it is certainly possible and the staff is accommodating. Gwendoline says, “Many [professors] were full-time professionals who understood the sacrifices and commitments my cohort made to attend a part-time MBA program.” (00:28)

1. You’ll leverage the expertise of professors

Students at the Leavey School of Business are exposed to professors with diverse perspectives, ideas, and experiences. The positive atmosphere on campus and online enhances the transfer of knowledge, and the professors are a major part of that. Gwendoline was particularly impressed by their dedication. “These professors went above and beyond the typical hours in the classroom to help us, as students, achieve our own objectives,” she says. (00:37)

In addition to the full-time professors, MBA candidates at SCU learn from practitioners. These educators often dedicate the majority of their time to businesses outside of the school but bring valuable insights to the classroom, based on their current experiences. 

Practitioners are also responsible for blending theory with practice. In their classes, students become familiar with typical business situations without the pitfalls and consequences of the real working world.

2. You’ll get a tech-centric education in Silicon Valley

SCU’s Leavey School of Business is located just a stone’s throw from the bustling hub of Silicon Valley. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they have their finger on the pulse when it comes to tech-centered education. 

Whatever career you choose to follow, being tech-savvy is crucial to staying ahead of the competition. It’s where streamlining, collaboration, and innovation all come together to flourish. As Gwendoline referred to in her interview, it was the major factor in choosing the SCU Evening MBA. She recalls, “I was looking for an MBA program that was very tech-centric. One that would allow me to continue building my own career.” (00:02)

An MBA is often a stepping stone from a good professional situation to a great one. The more tech awareness candidates gain, the better their position upon graduation. SCU students often secure internships at nearby tech disrupters. Alumni have gone on to take C-Level roles at tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon.

3. You’ll follow a specialized path

The high level of quality and diverse backgrounds represented at SCU means that the MBAs rarely follow a one-size-fits-all structure. In the same vein, the SCU Evening MBA offers focused concentrations so each candidate can map out their own path. 

With a range of electives to choose from, SCU Evening MBA candidates often graduate with the same leadership, communication, and management skills, but with very different areas of expertise. As a student, you are encouraged to go your own way after the initial foundation that covers accounting, finance, marketing, management, economics, and operations.

Gwendoline’s mission was to develop her understanding in her role as a Senior Product Manager. Specifically, she says: “At Santa Clara, I tailored my program to be focused on product marketing and product management – what I call ‘product strategy.’” (00:09)

The SCU Evening MBA provided Gwendoline with an impactful education that she was immediately able to apply to her job. In her words, “This program gave me the framework to change the way the product teams at my company think about product innovation.” (00:17)

4. Your education will be at the forefront of business and tech

SCU’s Leavey School of Business manages to stay ahead of the curve against an ever-changing professional backdrop.

Despite the various forms in which every student can adapt the program, the SCU Evening MBA prepares each and every candidate for a future in tech. There is a particular focus on preparing students for analytics and big data – a market that forecasters say will continue the rapid rise it has seen since the early 2010s. Once seen as purely tech skills, knowledge of analytics and data is fast becoming essential for leaders across all industries.

As an alumna, Gwendoline Tuma became Chairman of the Evening MBA Alumni Advisory Board. In her role, she has her finger on the pulse, bringing industry insights back to her alma mater. She states, “I am deeply committed to ensuring that the curriculum at Santa Clara stays relevant to industry changes.” (00:49)

The Evening MBA Alumni Advisory Board does more than just build on the already-flourishing alumni community at SCU. As Gwendoline says, it “guarantees that current and future SCU students can be successful after graduation.” (00:55)

Gwendoline is proof that, with the right dedication and organization, the SCU Evening MBA can help you leap forward in your career. Its focus on tech, its enviable location in Silicon Valley, and its commitment to keeping up with the latest business advances really set it apart as a unique part-time MBA.

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