When Amy Collins decided to return to school to get her MBA (Master of Business Administration), her first thought was to investigate the program offered by Ball State University, her alma mater.

Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Amy immediately went on to medical school after graduation, earning her M.D. and completing her residency training in Emergency Medicine. She worked for many years in a clinical capacity, but after her shift into medical administration, she wanted to get a few more tools under her belt. She was elated to discover that the Ball State Online MBA program offered her everything she was looking for, and then some.

Amy worked for many years as a physician, shifting later in her career to the job title Managing Medical Director at Elevance Health. With a long history of clinical experience at her back, she was prepared for managing other health professionals, but she wanted to give herself an advantage in the field. Getting her MBA allowed her to gather more knowledge and develop administrative skills that set her apart as a manager. Her role combines clinical and operational work, and earning the MBA allowed her to strengthen her skills in the operations side of things, making her a more well-rounded manager.

The Ball State Online MBA program advanced her from professional clinician to medical director by teaching her to “speak the language of business.” The MBA gave her an edge in the profession, she feels, because most clinicians are not expected to have a business background as well as a clinical background, even though it is extremely valuable in her role.

She chose online learning primarily to meet her flexibility needs. She enjoys the way that online learning allowed her to work at her own pace and in her own time, explaining that “you can accomplish anything virtually with the collaboration platforms that now exist.”

That is another aspect of Ball State Online that Amy is excited about: The technology. To others looking for an online program of study, she recommends.

researching the course material and the online component of the program. Since this is going to be your platform for everything—lectures, homework, collaboration, and more—it is important to ensure that the program is going to utilize the technology available in a truly functional way. She was extremely satisfied with the high level of technology used by Ball State Online and considers it to be one of the selling points of the program.

Amy was also thrilled to discover how well structured the Ball State Online MBA program is, and how well it complemented her background as a physician. She encourages other physicians to consider the Ball State Online MBA program to expand their capabilities and credentials.

During her program of study, Amy did have a favorite course and professor. She loved taking MBA 611 Statistics with Professor Paul Niekamp. She found him to be extremely knowledgeable about his subject matter and appreciated his accessibility to students; even though the course was entirely online, he was not difficult to reach and was always willing to explain concepts further to ensure that every student understood the material. She appreciated the flexibility of Ball State Online to adapt courses to the unique needs of the students taking them. “The online support system developed by BSU (Ball State University) is quite amazing,” she concludes. She found that she met many people in her field and beyond, allowing her even to use the program to network with other like-minded professionals.

The biggest concern for many students studying for a Master’s or MBA while working full time is whether they can immediately apply their learnings to their work. Amy felt that this was one of the biggest benefits of working on her MBA through Ball State Online. She learned so many things that she could immediately apply in her workplace and daily life, as well as in her side business, Lakeside Farms Cicero, a hand-poured candle business that she operates out of her home. Amy believes that this is one of the main benefits of working and studying at the same time. “You don’t have to wait until your degree is complete to begin to use the knowledge,” she explains.