“A Haven for Self-Improvement”: The MBA-SBP Career Practicum

by Jacob Hebda

Our cohort of nineteen has become understandably close over the past year. The small class size and uniform schedule have fostered a strong sense of community.

With that being said, we are a unique cohort.  The class consists of physical therapists, adjunct professors, accountants, and salespeople.  Our postgraduate aspirations range from entrepreneurship and marketing to agriculture and law. 

However, a common thread exists that ties this diverse group together.

We all chose Duquesne University to better ourselves.  As students, professionals, and individuals, we are seeking growth. 

This truth became evident during our weekly Career Practicum classes, which quickly became a staple of the MBA-SBP program.

The Career Practicum course, led by Professor Christine Hughes, was the perfect way to conclude the week.  Most Friday mornings, the cohort would connect via Zoom.  Following a week of classes, it was an opportunity to reflect and interact with one another. 

No matter your goal, the career search is complicated.  As we prepared for this step, we could discuss our interests and passions, as well as our anxieties and frustrations.

It was a haven for self-improvement.  As we voiced our opinions, questions were answered and solutions were discovered.  That variety of career experience served our cohort well.  There were numerous instances in which a peer could relate to a given situation and offer relevant feedback.

Networking, interview skills, and career searching were among the most frequently mentioned areas.  Learning the fundamentals of these concepts is important.  However, tying them to real experience, as we did in Career Practicum, adds a much-needed dimension to the learning process.

Ultimately, Career Practicum allowed our cohort to maximize its greatest resource—each other.  Though professionally focused, it also fostered personal relationships. 

As we near graduation, we are each preparing to follow our own path, much like we did to get to this point.  However, thanks to this experience and many others of the MBA-SBP program, we now have new friends and fellow professionals to support us on this journey.