MBA with Finance Concentration

Matthew Gaskins"My experience at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology has been a unique experience. I've had the chance to lead, learn, help, explore, and make some of the connections of a lifetime.

"I am from Philadelphia originally, where I graduated magna cum laude from Temple University. I considered returning there for my MBA, but selected Indiana University of Pennsylvania instead. Temple was a large school with extremely large classes in a major city. I selected IUP for its smaller class sizes and "hometown" feel. The price was also half of what I would have had to pay at Temple. I feel that at IUP I have received great value for my money.

"As an undergraduate student, I was not a Business major, so my first semester at IUP I had to take two undergraduate courses, Microeconomics and Accounting, along with my graduate courses, International Business, Marketing Management, Business Law, and Quantitative Business. That's right, I was taking eighteen credits as a graduate student, where full-time for a graduate student is just nine compared to twelve for undergraduate. It had been several years since I had graduated from college, and I had to get back into the "flow." I made this adjustment quickly. My goal was to get at least three As and three Bs to receive at least a 3.5 GPA so I would be considered for a graduate assistantship (GA). I ended up with six As.

"The next semester I had five more classes along with my GA. I have accomplished many things while at IUP. I was student vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, president of the Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA), and helped tutor students if they asked.

"As president of the Graduate Business Student Association, my motto was "don't talk about it, be about it." I had the idea to notify and RSVP all activities through social networking by creating our GBSA Facebook page, which was new. I organized a corporate speaker in which we had a president and CEO come in and talk to us about their company. I organized a fall party for MBA students at the ski lodge, where we were able to team build through a large game of football and then relax and unwind. We took a trip to the Homer City Power Plant, where we learned about the process of power generation. Finally, during the week before finals, I arranged another social event where people could take a break from their studies to relieve stress with some ice skating. I believe that this truly helped MBA students get to socialize and also take away information they would not necessarily receive in school. They also had a chance to see how the classroom applies in the real world. I think that we accurately followed the mantra of "don't talk about it, be about it" and set a strong foundation for the organization to grow and be sustainable in the future.

"Being president of the GBSA has benefited me in terms of helping me to continuously evolve my leadership skills. I have had a chance to lead future managers (MBAs) and help them grow as students and prepare for the "real world." This was a tremendous experience."