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        Dual Degree Programs in Finance Offer Solid Foundation

        April 21, 2014

        All News


        Graduating MSBA/MBA students
        Graduating MSBA/MBA students were honored at a breakfast in the Department of Finance on April 26. Pictured are, from right to left, David Schroll, Fangzhou Yang, Yiqun Wang, Charles Hunt, Kelsey Keith, Ben Whitlow, Brittney Rieben, Haoran Zhang and Rui Dong.

        What can earning a Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) or MBA/MSBA dual degree in Finance from Auburn University do for your career potential?

        Just ask Brittney Rieben and Kelsey Keith, graduate students in the dual degree programs who will soon work as financial analysts for Delta Air Lines.

        “I think the MSBA program can be beneficial to prospective students by providing not only more finance coursework, but also providing the faculty support necessary to succeed,” said Rieben, from Bay Minette, Ala. “The MSBA program helped prepare me for my career by providing me with the necessary coursework and assistance to understand the corporate financial environment.”

        Keith, a Montgomery native, said she felt “confident” she could do a “great job in the future.”

        “Throughout the past two years, I was able to build on my business and finance knowledge while also developing my professional skills through international travel, company visits, and other networking opportunities,” she said. “The finance program in particular allowed me to not only learn financial concepts, but also apply them to actual companies and the global economy in general. I definitely believe that the skills I gained in the dual degree program prepared me for the interview process at Delta Air Lines.”

        On Friday, April 26, the college’s Department of Finance honored nine graduate students completing the MSBA and MBA/MSBA programs during a breakfast social.

        Students completing the programs include Rui Dong, Marc Ford, Kelsey Keith, Brittney Rieben, David Schroll, Yiqun Wang, Ben Whitlow, Fangzhou Yang, Kelsey Keith, and Haoran Zhang.

        “Finance majors have a leg up and are able to analyze data and make strategic decisions in order to make a more efficient firm,” said Steve Swidler, Graduate Program Officer for the Department of Finance. “This is an analytical degree. The skills the students accumulate in this program can also be applied in an investment setting.” Department Chair and Woodruff Professor Lee Colquitt addressed the students, “I’d really like for you to stay in touch with us. It is possible that we could help you in the next stage of your career.”

        Keith said she was drawn to the dual-degree program “because it offers so many opportunities both in and outside of the classroom.”

        Rieben spoke specifically of course work.

        “I think Dr. (Claire) Crutchley's Applied Financial Management course is a great example of how we use the finance principles we learn in all of our courses in the real world,” she said. “We used annual reports and public information to value the company, determine optimal weighted average cost of capital and optimal capital structure, and analyzed corporate governance at the company. This course helped prepare me for the interview process, while also helping me to understand how finance affects the overall health of the company.

        “Other resources within the College of Business, such as the Office of Professional and Career Development (OPCD), are also made available to students in order to help students succeed. The finance faculty constantly provides educational support and advice to students in the MSBA program, while also helping students in the job search process and the transition from graduate school to career.”