"Friday Faculty Focus with Brandon McDermott” airs each Friday at 7 a.m. and noon on all-classical 90.7 KVNO, a broadcast service of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
On Friday, March 31, KVNO aired McDermott's interview with Melanie Krings, new director of UNO's Executive MBA program. During the interview, Krings discussed her goals for the program.
Listen to their conversation or read the transcript below:
Brandon: Melanie Krings, thanks for coming on the show.
Melanie Krings: thank you so much for having me.
Brandon: First talk about the good news - you've recently been named the new executive MBA program director, that's pretty exciting.
Melanie: Oh I can't tell you how exciting; this journey has been here at UNO. I first came to us know almost 12 years ago as a student from small Columbus, Nebraska, who came to Omaha with big city dreams to get her education and work in corporate America. At the time the job market was a bit crazy and I ended up with this opportunity to work in the College of Business for the executive MBA program and I'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason and I’m very thankful and humbled by the opportunity -some very big shoes to fill - but definitely excited for what's to come.
Brandon: How did your work as assistant director help prepare you for this director's position?
Melanie: Well I have been working hand-in-hand with our current director Bill Swanson now for eight years. With every role that I've had in the program - not only just the assistant director - I've received a lot of great experience, guidance and mentorship. Just leading processes like the recruitment process, leading the accreditation efforts for our program - among other things - have given me just a wealth of knowledge about how things work within the university. It has given me ample opportunities to interact with our faculty, with other leadership on campus. Everything has built one step at a time and giving me all of the right kinds of experiences to be in a very good position to lead this program moving forward.
Brandon: You've been named the director and this officially starts April 1st, correct?
Melanie: Yes, correct.
Brandon: What are some goals you're looking to attack going forward or some things that you're looking to focus on for the EMBA team?
Melanie: There are probably three main goals that are really my focus in the coming year or two here. First and foremost just to make sure that the service level and the education level that we are providing our executive MBA students as at the highest level possible. Secondly I'd love to see our program grow even more. Right now we only start one cohort a year - every August - so I am really looking at other program options that will help us to expand the types of education that we are providing to our students, maybe the channel in which we are providing it. Then thirdly, to look at the executive education options and opportunities here in the Omaha area outside of executive MBA, we also work with companies around the city who are looking to provide their employees with professional development opportunities. So, we come in and create custom programs that are centered on the need that these companies have. Then the employees are able to come to UNO, see the campus - many of them for the very first time - experience what it's like to get an education at UNO and ultimately build their knowledge and capabilities so that they can go back to their companies and be even stronger employees who make a big difference.
Brandon: Is there anything else you'd like to add before we go, maybe a topic I didn’t touch on?
Melanie: Since I have the opportunity I would like to mention that if anyone is interested in experiencing the executive MBA but not necessarily commit to the entire 17 month program - we do have an open enrollment program coming up in April called the Mini MBA. This is a weeklong program that gives participants the opportunity to expand their business knowledge, to really learn about some of the up and coming topics and trends happening in the business workplace, to network with individuals from the Omaha community and beyond and to it's a great opportunity for professional development if they can't necessarily commit to a graduate program right now.
Brandon: Melanie Krings, thanks for coming in.
Melanie Krings: All right, thank you so much.
On Friday, April 7, listen for a conversation with Assistant Professor Danae Dinkel about her research on childrens' physical activity.
Want to be a future guest or know someone who should be? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.