This spring’s graduation ceremonies at Asbury University will feature the first cohort of students to receive a Master of Business Administration degree from the Howard Dayton School of Business. And in true Asbury fashion, these students have already begun to put their education into practice.
Brady Nasfell ’93 has achieved noteworthy success with his Asbury undergraduate degree in Media, earning television, documentary and feature film credits as a director and producer. However, a comment from another industry professional about needing someone with an MBA to consult on developing business strategy opened his eyes to an opportunity. As an undergraduate, he had been intrigued by business but wasn’t able to fit it into the schedule. Would an online program allow him to revisit that interest? After researching the curriculum and philosophy of Asbury’s new business school, he realized the MBA program was a good fit.
“You’d expect most business programs to deal with social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, but we dove deeper into issues of justice, ethics and economic theory,” Nasfell said. “We read the expected Adam Smith, but also philosophers like John Rawls. That stretched my thinking and widened my perspective. Business is usually practical, and it needs to be. We asked questions such as, ‘Why?’ ‘What’s fair?’ ‘What leads to the best end?’ I have a deeper understanding of business now and the confidence to speak up and ask questions, which makes our company healthier.”
Asbury’s MBA program is structured into three different tracks, including a learn-at-your-own-pace option and a companion track to Asbury’s undergraduate business program.
Nasfell chose the 20-month traditional cohort program in which the majority of classes are taken online in eight-week sessions, with the cohort coming together at the completion of the program for capstone presentations and professional development. A busy work schedule and family responsibilities made the online format essential, and the easy accessibility to professors through discussion forums, feedback on assignments and video chats gave him the resources he needed to see an immediate impact on his work.
“The capstone course requires a business plan — either for an idea you have or a business context you’re in already,” Nasfell said. “I was able to do a business plan for the company I’m in now and got feedback recently from one of the vice presidents. The business planning process has forced me to slow down and observe. It has helped me see the world of our business from a broader and more Godly perspective — as an organization functioning within a much bigger context.”