Busy couple masters part-time MBA program

Prioritization and sacrifice are principles that guided Faye and Ernie Timmons during the past two years. They were both students in UNI's part-time MBA program, they both work full-time at John Deere in Waterloo and they're parents to three boys under age 5.

Timmons Family
Having an MBA will help Ernie and Faye Timmons further their careers with their employer, John Deere.

"We had to prioritize almost everything in our lives and sacrifice some of the things that didn't top the list," said Faye. "Our yard looked bad and the house was a bit of a mess, but all of those things are being put back into place now that we've completed the program!" The Timmons earned their MBAs in June.

"We relied on each other for support because we were going through it together," said Ernie. "This enabled one of us to do schoolwork while the other stayed with the kids and vice versa. We're also fortunate to work for a great company that supports us in our efforts to further our education. Having an MBA will help ensure that we're the most qualified candidates for the job as new opportunities present themselves at John Deere."

UNI's part-time MBA courses are offered in the evening, with an occasional weekend class, which made the degree program especially appealing to this busy couple.

"We also preferred a class-based program versus an online program because we enjoyed the interactions and discussions with faculty and other business professionals," said Faye.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report acknowledged UNI as having one of the best part-time MBA programs in the country, a distinction Ernie says is well deserved.

"The faculty did a great job introducing concepts to us. The Capstone project tied everything together and we were able to apply a lot of the concepts we learned."

UNI's program-ending Capstone experience allows student consulting teams to undertake strategic management projects for organizations across northeast Iowa. Each student brings his or her expertise in various business functions, business cultures and analytical methods to develop collaborative business solutions. Teams work with a mentor from the UNIBusiness graduate faculty who has expertise in the project's topic.

The team worked with the owner of That Iowa Girl to develop a strategic growth strategy to help smaller Midwestern food producers get their products on store shelves. "It was great to be able to apply what we learned in the program to actual problems that a real small business faces," said Ernie. "Knowing that we have the potential to really help our client is a really good feeling."

Now that their diplomas are hanging on their walls, Faye and Ernie can regroup and focus on their family, their careers and one another. And maybe complete a little yard work.

Learn more about UNI's part-time MBA program at business.uni.edu/web/pages/academics/mba.cfm.