Mba Chris Doughtery Fosters Connections
College of Business & Public Administration
UND fan pursues online MBA, fosters University student connections with John Deere Electronic Solutions
By: Kaylee Cusack
Chris Dougherty got his undergraduate engineering degree at the South Dakota School of Mines. But come the end of the year, he’ll officially be a part of the UND family, as he graduates with his MBA from the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA) – achieved completely online. Image courtesy of Chris Dougherty.
When people first walk by Chris Dougherty’s desk at John Deere Electronic Solutions (JDES) in Fargo, they’re inclined to think he’s a UND alum.
There’s Kelly green everywhere – he doesn’t hide his team enthusiasm well.
“I just grew up being a fan of UND football and hockey,” the Watford City, N.D. native said. “Growing up in North Dakota, I have a lot friends and co-workers who graduated from UND. Everyone assumes I graduated there, because I always have something UND on or something on my car.”
Dougherty got his undergraduate engineering degree at the South Dakota School of Mines. But come the end of the year, he’ll officially be a part of the UND family, as he graduates with his MBA from the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA) – achieved completely online.
“It will be nice to be considered an alumnus,” he said.
As a JDES Program Manager, Dougherty helps customers get the products they need at the time they need them and works to help add value to their end-products. After some discussions with management, he knew he had to take the next step in his education to reach that next step in his career.
“I’ve always had an interest in general business, and going to an engineering school, there were limited business classes that we could take,” he said. “Having an MBA is going to be what differentiates me from other internal candidates.”
Best for distance
Many things made UND stand out as Dougherty’s online MBA of choice. Quality, he said, was the number one draw.
“It’s one of the best business schools in the region. It seems like every semester, UND is landing on some list,” he said, and he’s not wrong. UND was just ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s Top 25 Most Innovative Schools, and the CoBPA’s undergraduate program was the only ranked business program in the state for 2018.
The report also found UND’s online MBA to be the 29 th best in the country.
Michelle Garske, CoBPA’s director of graduate programs and accreditation, says the program’s synchronous factor – in which distance students actually attend a weekly class through a video link – makes it stand out.
“A vast majority of our competitors are asynchronous,” she said. “Students like to be able to network and have that feeling of connectedness to the program and their peers, and I think that’s why our distance program has grown so much.”
“It really feels like I’m in class,” Dougherty explained. “I can participate and get the same teaching that all of the in-class students get. The technology side has really made the learning a lot easier than what I was prepared for.”
With a demanding full-time job and a wife and three kids at home, Dougherty appreciates the flexibility and time savings he gets with the synchronous classroom option.
“When I get home from work, I hang out with the family and we have supper. I don’t have to drive to campus and find a spot, sit through class, and then drive back,” he said. “It also helps that most classes have a break right around the time that my kids are going to bed, so I’m able to take a break and go tuck them in.”
UND President Mark Kennedy (center) recently toured the Fargo-based JDES headquarters, which employs about 800 people. The President was a special guest of Chris Dougherty (left). Kennedy and company officials talked about ways to promote JDES internship opportunities to UND students. Image courtesy of Chris Dougherty.
College of Business & Public Administration, "Mba Chris Doughtery Fosters Connections" (2017). UND News Archive. 1560.