Exchanging vows to exchanging notes

Couple earning MBAs in BGSU’s Findlay program

Exchanging vows to exchanging notes

By Hannah Hilyard

In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. In passing and in failing? A BGSU couple is taking their wedding vows to the classroom.

Brandon and Jessica Rais are both enrolled in Bowling Green State University’s new Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA) program in Findlay. Launched a year ago, the program is an expansion of the College of Business PMBA program from its northern location at Levis Commons in Perrysburg.

Brandon and Jessica graduated with engineering degrees from the University of Michigan nearly five years ago. Since then, they have gotten married and started working at Procter and Gamble’s manufacturing site in Leipsic, Ohio, but they also wanted to further their education in an MBA program.

“We looked at our options of universities, and when we saw BGSU was offering a cohort right in Findlay, near home and work, in our minds nothing could beat the convenience and value, especially when looking at the costs of both of us going back to school,” Brandon said.

Convenience was not the only reason Brandon and Jessica decided on BGSU’s cohort. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has accredited this new PMBA program, giving it international recognition. And that excellence shows up in the classroom.

“This program is centered on learning from fellow area professionals and leverages its relevant and balanced curriculum in order to provide a cultivating business environment,” Jessica said.

BGSU’s PMBA program was also recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the best in the country, according to the 2013 “Best 296 Business Schools.”

“The concepts learned in the program can immediately be applied in our current roles within the business world,” Brandon said.

Most of the students in the program have a job within the business industry, which can make schooling hard to fit into their busy schedules. Jessica is the operations department leader at Procter and Gamble, and Brandon is its warehouse distribution leader.

But the couple said the faculty of the PMBA program take this into consideration.

“The biggest thing is balancing the work load with your job commitments,” Jessica said. “The professors are very understanding and accommodating in all circumstances. They know you are balancing work, school and all the other demands of life.”

And as for having your husband or wife in class with you, Brandon and Jessica said it’s not all fun and games. Yes, they get to see each other more often, and they can help each other out on assignments or midterm preparation. But sometimes their competitive natures come out.

“If one of us scores lower than the other, there is definitely some disappointment,” Brandon said.

PMBA classes in Findlay are held at the Community Education and Wellness Center at the Owens Community College Findlay campus. Students meet two nights per week, and the degree takes about 23 months to complete.

Visit the PMBA website for more information.