Monthly Archives: April 2012

Executive MBA Class Assignment: Evaluate Super Bowl Ads

My marketing class in the Executive MBA program at UNR held discussed the effectiveness of the recent Super bowl commercials.  They were tasked with describing how advertisers segment their market and discuss the effectiveness of the strategy.  Their conclusions were very interesting.

Mass marketing as a strategy is a difficult one.  Consumers today expect more one to one marketing; a one size fits all approach is problematic in many cases.  Some products, like beer, aren’t really differentiated, except for a brand.  Mass marketing works well with products like this, where they are largely undifferentiated and fill a basic need.  Other products, such as computers and even cars are increasingly customized based on customer preferences.

The class focused on one particular ad:  the Clint Eastwood Halftime in America Chrysler commercial.   (see it on YouTube at Despite not really knowing who was sponsoring the commercial until the end, the students in the class wisely identified several key segments the commercial was targeted.   Using Clint Eastwood helped reach multiple generations in the audience but really positioned the Chrysler brand particularly well to an older generation.   Despite the international audience of the game, the commercial was targeted to an American audience evoking a sense of loyalty and patriotism to products made in the United States.  Many students noted the political overtones in the commercial but didn’t feel it took away from the experience.

The students in the UNR EMBA program are very bright and experienced.  They handle discussion topics like this easily and they teach me something new each week.

James McClenahan, MBA

James McClenahan, MBAJim McClenahan is the Director of Management and Executive Programs for Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, responsible for more than 150 professional development courses annually as well as several major conferences.

He serves as the Treasurer to the Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Schools to Careers committee for Washoe County and on the advisory board for St. Albert the Great Catholic Church. He completed his MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2006.

Decisions Executive MBA Students Face

The decision to enroll in an Executive MBA program is one rife with difficult questions, the answers to which may well determine the extent of your success as a future executive. Most people entering Executive MBA programs are young professionals aspiring to reach greater heights in their field; they want the education to temper their passion for leading a business in the right direction, but it’s not easy choosing the best program or teaching style. Business schools around the country design Executive MBA programs in any possible format: online education, classes that emphasize peer involvement, mentorships from industry professionals—the list goes on. I wish all MBA students could take the outstanding classes offered at various Executive MBA programs, but that’s hardly a realistic aspiration.

Let’s address some of the biggest decisions a student has to make when you look through potential Executive MBA programs.

Classes taught online or in person?

The difference between online and in person education is one of the biggest issues concerning graduate business degrees in general. There are strong arguments to be had on both sides, but I think the decision really hinges on whatever works for your unique lifestyle. If you’re simultaneously interning at another business or even running your own small enterprise on the side, you might see great appeal in taking an online Executive MBA program that offers a relatively freer schedule. You might be the lone wolf student who thrives on the challenge of completing coursework on your own, relying on your own philosophy of leadership to guide them through lessons and hypothetical management scenarios.

On the other hand, you might thrive in an environment where you’re among your peers, bouncing ideas and strategies off one another. The idea of working alongside a professor with real world experience leading a business and a team of trained professionals might appeal to you if you’ve never worked with someone like that before. If you’re looking for greater involvement and interaction from your faculty and classmates, taking your MBA classes in person is obvious the right choice for you.

Fulltime or balanced with work?

Once you’ve decided on the atmosphere of your Executive MBA program, it’s time to decide the extent to which you want to involve yourself in classwork. Some students prefer to get their degree out of the way as quickly as possible so they can enter the working world immediately. These ambitious students usually cram as many classes as they can per semester, trying to graduate in record time. You might prefer the lightning round MBA path, but there are more steadily paced options.

Though it’s tempting to choose the quickest path to your Executive MBA, not every student has the luxury of dropping everything in their life to go back to school. It takes a serious time commitment to complete an MBA, and you might not have the option of sacrificing your day job for it. If that’s the case, then I highly recommend completing your Executive MBA over a number of semesters, giving yourself only as much classwork as you can handle. There’s no use overloading yourself if you have obligations outside of class.

Where to find the best connections

And finally, you want to be careful about choosing the Executive MBA program that has the right connections for you to advance your business career. This isn’t as simple as choosing a business school with the most famous faculty; it’s a matter of researching business schools with professors and lecturers with experience and knowledge that’s relevant to your field of interests. If you have ambitions to found a startup tech company, you want to look at schools with faculty that have successfully founded small business venture in that field. Applying anywhere else would be to miss the most important aspect of graduate education in business: meeting the right people, absorbing their industry advice, and applying it to your own venture.


Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez

Online Executive MBA (EMBA): Apply Now!

The priority application deadline for the University of Nevada Online Executive MBA program is just around the corner, April 16, 2012. We will accept applications until we fill the next cohort, or NLT July 8, 2012. Qualified students have already been accepted, and we are quickly approaching the limit for our cohort that will start in August, 2012.

Our program is a great value but also very challenging. Our courses are taught by many of the same faculty that earned our part-time MBA program a national ranking, and we are motivated to bring the same recognition to our new Online EMBA program.

If you are ready to learn the skills that can take your career to the next level, then join our Fall 2012 Online EMBA cohort now!

Related Posts:

Why UNR Online Executive MBA?

Who’s Teaching Your Online Executive MBA?

Are You Prepared For The Online Executive MBA Program?

Are You Prepared for the Online Executive MBA Program?

Graduate from an accredited four-year university, Check.

Register for or complete the GMAT, Check.

Secure employer sponsored tuition or other funding, Check.

Explore the reality of an online program….

The Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the University of Nevada, Reno is not for the faint of heart.  If you are dusting off the old resume and looking to add an accessory with a degree from an easy MBA program, this is probably not what you are looking for.  However, if you are searching for an opportunity to earn a quality business education, and willing to expend your efforts to amplify your skill set and provide superior value to your employer, this is probably the program for you.  Ensuring that you are prepared for the online program should include a few considerations:

Online Format

Have you ever taken an online academic course?  If you have, you know why this is important.  While the online courses in the EMBA program are flexible, they do not cut corners so as to ensure students’ proficiency in the subject matter.  Online courses typically require additional reading, so saving time on coursework is not the reality.

Time Commitment

Do you have sufficient time to complete the program?  Managing work, school, family, community activities and leisure time can be convoluted.  With this in mind, the online EMBA program is tailored to the seemingly hectic schedules of working students.  But, the program requires a weekly time commitment of approximately 20 hours.  For those of us whose undergraduate degree is not business-related, the learning curve may require additional study time.   Time management skills are crucial to success in the program.

Non-Business Undergraduate Degrees

If your degree is not in business, DO NOT PANIC!  As a student with a non-business undergraduate degree, achieving excellence is definitely possible.  The EMBA classes and professors are very accommodating to the student’s needs in maneuvering the learning curve.  In courses that are quantitative in nature, it is helpful to read any “optional” texts or material to facilitate a clear understanding of difficult concepts and unfamiliar topics.  Keep in mind, the program is customized to the business education for students of all academic backgrounds in order to benefit a variety of industries and sectors.

Please consider investing your time, effort, and resources into the EMBA Program, based on the nationally ranked part-time MBA Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.  You will discover an invaluable occasion to experience Your Education.Upgraded. Apply today!

Tracey Gray McDonald

Tracey is a student in the EMBA Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento.  She has 12 years experience in administering professional volunteer and program management, public outreach, community relations, strategic planning, marketing strategies and coalition building.  Currently, Tracey works as a Consultant, advising small entities on community outreach strategies, marketing, and brand management in the Sacramento region.  A resident of Rocklin, CA, she enjoys running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, competing in triathlons, and traveling.

Related Posts:

Who’s Teaching Your Online Executive MBA?

Why UNR Online Executive MBA?

Our MBA Program Is An Exceptional Value