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Weekend MBA program a family tradition

For the last three years, Teresa Beeler has had a steady date on Saturdays.

It’s everything a relationship should be: challenging, takes
her places she’s never been, and is helping her grow. The
date is Krannert’s Weekend MBA Program.

Beeler, who earned a bachelor’s in management from Krannert in 2000, is operations manager for Purdue’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education. She also works in the University’s Office for the Vice President of Research doing operations management for faculty in Discovery Park.

A few years ago, she realized that the lack of a graduate degree was holding her back professionally.

“As I started working, I noticed that without a degree I was hitting a wall. I couldn’t get any further in my career without at least having a master’s degree,” she says.

She knew just who to turn to for advice — LuAnn Keyton, her mother, an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette and owner of a dog training company.
In 2000, while working as assistant director of operations for Krannert and raising four children, Keyton had furthered her own education with a degree from Krannert’s Weekend MBA program.

The Weekend MBA Program, founded in 1995, appealed to Beeler and Keyton because it allowed them to continue to work while pursuing a higher degree. In the program, students attend classes on the West Lafayette campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday. Classes meet fall and spring semesters only, giving students the summers off. This schedule allows participants to complete the program in a total of 78 Saturdays over three years.
The program is, Beeler says, very intense and a huge time commitment.

The students spend so much time together that they live out each other’s life dramas, Beeler says. Her classmates include professionals with doctorates, attorneys and physicians. They commute to school from as far afield as Nashville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati.

“Mom said you will get to know these people in a way you would never have expected — divorces, marriages, babies, death. I thought, ‘How can you get so close to these people?’ But it’s true. We have been through weddings and babies.”

Beeler, who will graduate in December, says that in spite of the time it has taken out of her life, she has enjoyed the program.
“I’m so glad I did it,” she says. “If they had a PhD program on Saturdays only, I would probably do that, too. I really like the idea of being able to work while going to school. You can learn something in class and then on Monday go in and apply it. That is very useful and reinforces what you’ve just learned.”

— Linda Thomas Terhune

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