Anthony J. Gattuso always wanted to earn an MBA. Like many working professionals, however, he hesitated to add another commitment to his already busy schedule. “There was always a reason to put it off — personal and professional obligations, etc.,” he recalls.
That changed when Gattuso, a vice president and senior field credit officer at MB Financial Bank, heard about a new partnership between MB and DePaul University to bring DePaul’s highly regarded MBA program to his workplace. Gattuso now attends DePaul MBA classes with 35 of his co-workers two evenings a week at MB Financial Bank’s Rosemont, Ill., offices.
When I weighed the specifics of the program — the benefits of an on-site program with a streamlined enrollment process, and an attractive cost relative to a traditional program — it was an easy decision to enroll,” Gattuso says.
“I view the program as an opportunity to further develop my business, leadership and managerial skill sets,” Gattuso continues, “while growing relationships with others in the organization — all in a location that is convenient and conducive for balancing my professional life with my personal life.”
The DePaul–MB Financial Bank collaboration is one of 25 education partnerships that the university’s Corporate and Employer Outreach (CEO) initiative has forged with companies in the banking, health care and technology fields since DePaul launched CEO in 2013. The partnerships range from tuition discounts and professional development opportunities to MBA and other tailored degree program offerings at company facilities. In seeking partners, DePaul primarily targets Fortune 1000 companies that have headquarters or major hubs in the Chicago area.
Employers benefit from these partnerships as much as their employees do, says Dara Crowfoot, director of DePaul’s CEO initiative.
“Hiring is returning to pre-recession levels, and companies are looking for benefits that can help them attract and retain employees, especially millennial generation professionals who place a high value on education and training,” she explains. “These educational partnerships help companies keep their best employees from being hired away.”
“Long-term,” she continues, “DePaul wants to be recognized as a solution provider for area businesses and organizations seeking to cultivate and keep exceptional talent.”
Students Expand Networks, Gain Real-World Knowledge
One big benefit of DePaul’s corporate-based degree programs is that they build camaraderie and teamwork among enrolled co-workers, who progress through their studies together as a cohort.
“I’ve found that both the professional and personal connections with my classmates/co-workers are stronger as a result,” says Dan Butterworth, assistant vice president of consumer marketing at MB Financial Bank and a student in the DePaul MBA program there.
Butterworth also appreciates the opportunity to immediately apply what he has learned to his work at MB Financial.
“The first class in our program, Organizational Behavior, has given me tremendous insight into the obstacles decision-makers face. One of my long-term objectives is to develop a skill set that improves my decision-making ability. Needless to say, the program started off perfectly for me.”
For graduates of DePaul’s corporate MBA programs, the career benefits continue to accrue.
Matt Ley (MBA ’16), supply chain manager at Medline Industries, earned his DePaul MBA at the global medical supplier’s far north suburban headquarters. Ley sought the degree to enhance his knowledge of business because he had not studied business as an undergraduate.
“Besides the immense benefit of networking with my fellow employees, the program afforded me the opportunity to explore, discuss and engage in multiple business disciplines,” says Ley. “I have gained the ability to discuss marketing, sales, finance, purchasing and management — topics I would have felt ill-prepared for based on work experience alone. This increased knowledge means I have a larger pool of options before me regarding future development and advancement.”
DePaul’s large alumni network in Chicago also has helped boost the success of the university’s corporate education partnerships. Alumni have served as liaisons for DePaul to connect with company decision-makers to discuss collaborations, and also have spoken about their MBA experiences with co-workers who are contemplating enrollment.
At the Walgreens headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., alumnus and product development manager Alexander Rozenbaum (CDM ’00, MBA ’14) has spoken to his co-workers about the merits of the DePaul MBA program offered there, which focuses on health sector management.
“It’s a great and convenient opportunity,” Rozenbaum says, “for our employees to participate with other Walgreens employees in a top-notch MBA program that has a diverse, cross-functional focus and takes place at their workplace on our corporate campus.”
For more information about DePaul University corporate education opportunities, contact DePaul’s Corporate and Employer Outreach (CEO) initiative at (312) 362-6911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Robin Florzak