Even in high school, Rachel Miklas (pictured right) knew she wanted to attend
DePaul. After getting her bachelor’s degree in business at DePaul University in
2006 and working as an event coordinator for a large entertainment venue, she wanted to return to earn her MBA. But she hesitated.
Should she return to DePaul or branch out? She worked
full-time - would she find a program that would fit her work schedule?
Also, what about networking? Would going to school at night hinder her
There was one answer to all of Miklas’ questions—the DePaul Part-Time MBA program.
“I visited other Chicago graduate programs and searched around for
ones that fit with my interests and goals,” says Miklas, who uses the Double
Demon Scholarship, a DePaul alumni tuition
discount program, to help pay for her graduate school. “DePaul was the
only school with the Hospitality Leadership Program and the Part-Time MBA.”
Part-Time MBA Most
Nationwide part-time MBA programs are the most popular among
MBA options. Their enrollment outpaces the traditional all-day, full-time MBA
programs by 2 to 1.
Erich Dierdorff, associate professor of management at
DePaul and a graduate business school expert, says it’s not difficult to
understand the program’s popularity.
“People who are strongly career-focused, are intellectually
curious and want to learn while working are prime candidates for the part-time
MBA,” says Dierdorff.
But what may not be so apparent to prospective students are
the factors that distinguish one part-time program from another.
Dierdorff has studied part-time MBA programs all over the
nation, and he says DePaul’s program is unique because it caters to the working
“Our program is focused on substantial practical or real-world
training,” says Dierdorff. “Students learn tools and techniques for effective
organizational management as well as participate in hands-on learning
In addition, Dierdorff points out that DePaul has the
largest network of MBA alumni in the Chicago area.
Nearing the completion of her degree, Miklas said DePaul’s
Part-Time MBA offered the ultimate in practical application—the opportunity to
start her own business.
Part-Time MBA Leads
to Full-Time Opportunity
For years, Miklas had worked in bars and restaurants helping
to train their staff. She became an expert in BASSET, the Beverage Alcohol
Sellers and Servers Education Training courses.
Working as an event coordinator for a local bar, Miklas taught BASSET training to the staff. And when a new law passed making it mandatory for anyone in Illinois who serves alcohol to
be BASSET certified a business opportunity was born.
“In the part-time MBA program, they teach you about finding
the opportunity in the marketplace,” says Miklas. “When the law passed, I
realized that many bars and restaurants would have an increased need for BASSET-certification
training. Several of the key people who helped me launch
my business were colleagues of mine from DePaul's part-time MBA program. The timing couldn't have been more ideal. It was like the
Now the owner of BASSET Chicago, Miklas spends her days
teaching courses and her evenings in school. She loves the flexibility of
DePaul’s Part-Time MBA program, but ultimately, it’s what she’s learning in her classes that
keeps her here.
“Some people why bother with graduate school when I own my own business,” Miklas says, “But what I’m learning at DePaul, it’s helping me run my
business, it’s helping me make professional connections and it’s offering access to
resources that aren’t readily available to others. There is no doubt in my mind that choosing DePaul's Part-Time MBA program was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”