Becoming an MBA of Choice

Legal Leaders | Waitz & Downer: Hunt Downer, Mary Waitz Riviere, Joseph Waitz III, & Ellen Daigle Doskey
May 4, 2022
Junior Theriot
May 4, 2022

By Ray Peters, MBA Director & Instructor of Leadership, Nicholls State University

I often read with great interest the media attention directed towards MBA programs across the country from “prominent” universities, which are believed to have so-called “blue blood” MBA pedigrees. With over forty years of professional experience, I know that where a degree comes from is often less critical than an individual’s capability to perform at a professional level. Nonetheless, I am not so naive not to recognize the playing field and how it may be perceived, even though Nicholls’ College of Business Administration holds the exact same accreditation as many Ivy League elites. 

I can tell you that an MBA from Nicholls State University positions graduates to compete competitively in a global marketplace. I have proof. It may be hard to imagine by many with a regional perspective, but Nicholls has MBAs living and successfully working around the world. Three years ago, I was privileged to teach for a week at a Paris university, and the highlight of that week was the opportunity to have dinner with two of our graduates living and working in the “City of Light.”

Closer to home, Nicholls MBA graduates figure prominently across the business spectrum – banking, healthcare, hospitality, computer services, oil field services, education, military, government, consumer products, manufacturing, etc. There are many more.

Last fall, our MBA program graduated 26 students, combining the evening and executive MBA pathways. To my knowledge, every one of those students has already gained meaningful employment, many of whom accepted job offers even before graduation. In fact, I ran out of students to recommend to employers seeking Nicholls MBA graduates. In that class alone, we placed students from Florida to California.   

So, why a Nicholls MBA?

The heart and soul of any academic program is its faculty. Our MBA faculty are passionate about and fully dedicated to the success of our students. These individuals are experts in their respective disciplines. In addition to teaching, they are often called upon by leaders in business and industry to provide consulting and related services. Furthermore, our faculty stays current with critical elements of the evolutionary business landscape by focusing on applied research and publishing in select scholarly journals. 

But, what makes our faculty genuinely unique, is the way they coordinate and collaborate. At Nicholls, MBA faculty do not teach in silos of specialization, working independently from each other. No, they meet regularly to discuss improved teaching methods and ensure that what is taught is relevant and applicable in today’s business climate. This collaborative relationship serves to strengthen the final academic product – the MBA. Like business, every aspect of a successful enterprise is orchestrated to form an organic whole. No single function or activity stands alone. Systems, processes, and people must work together to ensure operational success. That’s how Nicholls approaches its MBA program.

Nicholls does not currently use any outside or adjunct faculty, unlike many other MBA programs. So, whether a student is taking a course face-to-face, online, or in the executive format, a regular faculty member teaches that course, not someone 1000 miles away. No matter the pathway, Nicholls faculty are always available to assist students. 

Those who study successful business practices understand the need for a strong value proposition: the confluence of price and quality. Our reputation for quality is strong with our AACSB accreditation and outstanding reputation for graduating excellent MBAs. In terms of price, a Nicholls MBA is a fraction of the cost of other regional and national institutions. This was evidenced in an article recently published in the Wall Street Journal (Oct. 27, 2021). They analyzed federal student loan debt from nearly 600 MBA programs around the country and compared that to student earnings two years after finishing their degree. The report indicated that upon graduation, the median debt of a Nicholls MBA was $13,300, with the median earnings of $56,641 (two years), achieving a debt-income ratio of 0.24. That result placed Nicholls tied for 5th in the nation and best in Louisiana. Great value proposition!

I’ll end with a few key points. We help students conduct effective business analyses leading them to make practical business decisions and solve complex problems. Faculty integrate and synthesize all business disciplines, and students learn to think and act critically and strategically. If desired, students can complete an MBA in 12 months. Students can complete the MBA either in the evening, online, flex between the two, or through the executive format. 

So, what’s stopping you?

Ray Peters is MBA Director and Instructor of Leadership at Nicholls State University. He can be reached at reach him at