Virginia Tech’s Evening MBA program often attracts many professionals with Virginia Tech undergraduate degrees, for various reasons like the expanded alumni network, great value, and stellar reputation. Current student Cody Neder, a 2014 finance alumnus, shares his thoughts on why he picked Tech, the skills he's gained, his classmates’ learning contributions — and more. 

Why a Virginia Tech MBA?
Working for a few years after finishing undergrad, I knew I wanted to move into management one day and decided to pursue an MBA to help progress towards that goal. I chose Virginia Tech because of the extremely good value compared to other D.C. schools, the extensive alumni network in Northern Virginia, and the fact that there are big investments going into the program, which will hopefully translate to appreciation of degree value.

How long have you been in the program?
I started in fall 2017, taking a part-time course load while still working full-time at Bentley Motors. I will be finishing up at the end of this year!

What skills and knowledge have you gained so far?
One of the main skills is to be able to examine a business problem from all different functions within a company. I've seen in my professional life the issues that arise when departments make decisions without considering the impact those decisions will have on the rest of the company. I think this is a critical skill for a good leader to possess. 

The class with material that I've used most in my professional life was from Dr. Major’s Business Intelligence and Data Visualization class, where we focused on learning the data analysis program Tableau and other generic visualization best practices. I really like how the elective paths let you tailor your degree to your interests and what would be most relevant for your own career.

How will the degree serve you in your career path? 
Having that credential that will automatically set you above others without it, when competing for higher-level jobs.

How is grad school in metro D.C. different from being an undergrad in Blacksburg?Because we have full-time careers, a lot more of the networking happens in class rather than just hanging out on campus like in undergrad. 

How are your MBA classmates contributing to your learning?
The biggest contribution is the fact that everyone comes from a different professional background. It has been interesting to see how different people approach problems in new ways that I might never have thought of myself. I feel like there is a culture of “we’re all in this together” rather than “we’re all competing against each other,” which makes it a great collaborative learning environment.