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Dallas Baptist University’s MBA Program Proves Invaluable for Local Exec

An unexpected conversation prompts Lane Palmer to achieve a longtime goal

Lane Palmer, VP of Regional Sales for Coca-Cola, didn’t expect to make a major life decision when he walked into a routine meeting one day in 2015. As the friendly Palmer is wont to do, he slipped into a conversation with the person seated next to him. The man with whom he was speaking mentioned that he was an administrator at Dallas Baptist University, and Palmer told him that he had been thinking about going back to school to earn an MBA. When the man asked Palmer how long he had been considering this decision, Palmer responded, “Oh, about 20 years.” In that moment, Palmer realized that he had been putting his goal off for far too long.

Small class size and diversity were among the things Palmer appreciated most about the two years he spent completing his MBA at DBU.

Palmer began researching schools in the Metroplex and ultimately settled on DBU, in part because of its focus on helping each student achieve his or her individual goals. He explains, “I talked to other programs, and it was career first. … DBU’s perspective was, ‘We’re going to focus on you. … We want to make a better you.'”

Small class size and diversity were among the things Palmer appreciated most about the two years he spent completing his MBA at DBU. He says, “Class size on average was 20 students or less with a very diverse student population. … In every class, there was an international perspective.” Timely course materials were another highlight. Palmer says, “The case studies were from a year ago or two years ago. They were centered on technology, and how things like the use of social media are shaping our lives, instead of what somebody did wrong at a company 25 years ago. It was really refreshing.”

Palmer’s job requires him to travel often, and he found that DBU’s MBA program made it easy for him to learn while he was away. He says, “I could work ahead if I needed to. … I found I could work on an airplane because I had access to the technology. I could ping my fellow students via Blackboard and use that to discuss a topic at night while sitting in my hotel room, for example. And I found the professors to be accessible, too, because their hours were similar to my hours.”

He realized that he was reluctant to leave the place that had been so life-changing for him.

Though Palmer thoroughly enjoyed his time as a student, he found himself surprisingly despondent when he completed his MBA. “As I finished my degree and I was sitting there at graduation with my fellow students, I felt hollow,” he says. He realized that he was reluctant to leave the place that had been so life-changing for him. Palmer was thrilled when he was asked if he would be interested in teaching at the school. He took on his first class as an adjunct instructor in the fall of 2016.

“DBU has unlocked a passion in me for continuous learning,” Palmer says. “Now, I’ve turned that passion for learning into seeing if I can foster that same energy in other folks.”

People like Palmer, who have five or more years of experience in their respective industries, will have even more of an incentive to choose DBU this spring, as the university debuts its Executive MBA program. Instructors in the program are also executives, who know the challenges students are facing and can better relate the concepts and strategies they will be learning. The new EMBA only requires an 18-month time commitment and comes at a price that beats other programs in the area. Additionally, tuition for the EMBA includes an 8-day trip to Japan, through which students will gain invaluable knowledge on international business. Dr. Sandra Reid, chair of the Graduate School of Business, described DBU’s new program as “the best EMBA experience you will find anywhere, at any price. … The design we will deliver upon is for current executives taught by other current, highly successful executives; not about the theory, but about the doing.” Citing DBU’s overall mission, Reid states, “We are called to produce servant leaders who will transform others.”

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