Their range of work experience varies, with two or more years the most typical amount. Since Bentley offers courses in both the early and later evening, students often take two courses in a single, weekly visit to campus, leaving the rest of the week free.
The pace of study toward a degree also varies. Some students take one course per semester; others take two courses each fall and spring, and one or two in the summer. Candidates whose schedule permits sometimes take three or more courses in a semester. Despite the differing pace of study, an informal cohort may spring up among students who started the Professional MBA program at the same time. Working together on team projects is a conduit for developing friendships and professional relationships that last for years.
Meet David Pietrycha MBA '06
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, NBC News
Six years after completing his MBA at Bentley, David Pietrycha finds himself at the top of NBC News. The network's news programming and businesses, including Today and Dateline, are under his watch as senior VP and CFO. "News is a very dynamic business," he says. "You can't know what the news cycle is going to be, which means you don't know how much money you'll have to spend covering it. At the same time, there are budget commitments that we need to hit, so every day brings a different challenge."
Pietrycha credits Bentley for honing his skill at assessing the financial tipping point of decisions such as sending NBC news correspondents Ann Curry or Brian Williams to cover stories on location. "The MBA definitely helped develop my analytical and strategic thinking skills," says Pietrycha, who combined graduate study with his full-time position at the time, at BAE Systems. The degree offered a solid foundation for his career move into the media industry.
"Day to day, I can be working on anything from budgeting to controllership," he says. "The MBA has been a differentiator in how I take on my different roles. It allows me to have a better perspective."