MBA Paid for Itself in Less Than a Year

Darrell Colvin '15

As the consumer loan coordinator for Greylock Federal Credit Union, Darrell Colvin '15 wanted to earn his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree to benefit his career trajectory. "I had reached a plateau," he said. He decided upon MCLA, which allows students to earn the graduate degree in less than two years. That turned out to be an excellent decision: Before he was done, Colvin was recruited by Berkshire Bank to serve in a higher-level role, as the fair lending compliance officer for indirect automobile finance.

"The MBA gave me the credentials and professional designation I needed to progress to the next step. It definitely was a big plus during salary negotiations," Colvin said. His investment in time and the cost of the program definitely paid off. Colvin said the MBA paid for itself within the first year after he graduated.

"I was looking for a program that I could meld with my professional life and my family life. I knew I needed a hybrid model that included face-to-face time with my professors," he said. "MCLA gives more one-on-one attention to its students, compared with some of the other schools out there."

Although challenging at times, especially with two young children at home, Colvin said the program definitely was doable, especially since the College worked with him to make sure he was successful.

"I couldn't start my research or project work until after my children were in bed each night. But, you plow through, and every other Saturday you have your eight-hour class time, which was great. You had to find ways to blend the time required into your life," he explained. "MCLA was great in working with candidates to accomplish that. You find the work-life balance as you go through."

Colvin said all of his professors were extremely approachable, and would work to tailor each class to the learning models that best suited their students: "If you had a different style, they would adapt. They were excellent."

All had real-world experience, including some adjunct professors who were employed in the corporate world at the same time they taught an MBA class. "They brought real life skills and relevance to the program," Colvin said.

Colvin particularly enjoyed the program's cohort model. "I thrive on group learning models. The way it was implemented was excellent," he explained. "The relationships that you build with the team members in your cohort last a lifetime. I still communicate with all of them."

Overall, Colvin said, MCLA's MBA program is tailored to people who want to take the next step in their career, and who want to be able to do that through a local program in the Berkshires. "That's the most beautiful thing about it," he added. "MCLA's MBA program is one of the best values for graduate degree programs that you can find, especially for the cost."

Copyright 2015 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts