By coming up with solutions to industry problems and collaborating with corporate partners, students in UNT Frisco’s MBA cohort gain invaluable experience that will help them excel in their future careers.

The program started as a way for recent graduates to make themselves more competitive in the job application process but is also beneficial to individuals who already have corporate experience and are looking to pivot in their careers.

“It's a management degree, but the major projects are all in direct collaboration with companies so [students] would then be tried and true and ready to enter the workforce,” said Julie Jernigan, director of corporate outreach and student recruitment.

Corporate partners bring real problems their companies are facing and the students come up with solutions. The direct industry interaction makes the 11-month program unique.

“They're usually cutting-edge challenges related to new technology, new advances or new barriers that these organizations have not previously dealt with so that makes it really exciting for both the companies and for the students,” Jernigan said.

Jernigan said last year one company changed nine of their warehouses based on the recommendations of five students.

“It's really gratifying when you see a company listen to [the students’] presentations and then implement the ideas,” Jernigan said.

Students enrolled in this program will take courses such as:
  • Management Innovation and Creativity
  • Intro to the Business Decision Process
  • Marketing Management
  • Administrative Strategy
  • Industry Visits
“You can't typically find the topics in textbooks because these are challenges that the companies themselves have not been able to solve,” Jernigan said.

Graduates of this program are earning salaries starting at $70k and are quickly becoming leaders in their fields.

“We have cohort alumni who have advanced and are now managing teams of their own and are able to make hiring decisions already, after just a few years,” Jernigan said.

Graduates from this program will also have the ability to work effectively in diverse teams, the ability to meet tight deadlines and the ability to communicate research findings to an audience.

MBA cohort graduate Chloe Trent said her time at UNT prepared her for her role as a technical strategist at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

“The cohort taught me how to be a strategist, how to operate a business and how to work as a team for clients,” Trent said.

Nahal Ziaie, who graduated from the program in 2018, was part of the first MBA cohort.

“The fact that it was a full-time, year-long program was a huge selling point for me as I was eager to start my career after college,” Ziaie said. “This program helped prepare me for life in the professional world.”

Recent program graduate Noah Smith said he uses what he learned in the MBA program in his engineering career.

“I loved the cohort experience for the small class size and comradery, which really brought down the stress level because we were all in it together,” Smith said. “While I am now an engineer, I plan to use my MBA later in engineering management, and use what I have learned at UNT to better lead teams and execute on projects.”

To enroll in UNT Frisco’s MBA cohort or to learn more visit

The above story was produced by Multi-platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.