A Gardner-Webb University MBA grad tells us his story


This post is brought to you in partnership with Gardner-Webb University. All opinions are our own.

Given the advent of Gardner-Webb University’s new 10-month MBA program, we spoke with traditional MBA graduate Larry Durham to discuss how the degree has affected his life. Durham is a human resources manager for Nuclear Fuel Services and credits his MBA with teaching him many of the skills necessary for his work.

A vital skill set

While getting his MBA at Gardner-Webb, Durham was imbued with the knowledge necessary for his later work as an HR manager. One of the best pieces of advice he learned, he said, was when a professor encouraged the class to view all future employment opportunities through this lens: “I am not ‘just’ an HR person. I am a businessperson who happens to be in HR.”

The quote sums up the versatility of an MBA, which is used in jobs throughout the business industry, such as government work, consultants, and even chief executive officers. The takeaway for Durham was that the program taught him to believe in his work ethic.

“It instilled in me … an awareness that I can pursue and attain certain goals,” he said.

A sense of community

MBA programs teach students business administration techniques, of course. But Gardner-Webb is about more than just the information found in a textbook. By teaching practical skills through relational experiences, Durham said, the university instilled in him the value of community.

“I remember people having awareness and caring for me as an individual,” he said. One of the chief ways that Gardner-Webb University emphasizes relationships is by having smaller, more intimate classes in which professors can have a direct and accessible approach to individual students’ learning experience.

This is true of the university’s new online MBA program, as well. Smaller class sizes, accountability and encouragement take place on a personal level, Durham said.

Advice to future MBA students

The lesson Durham would like potential future students to draw from his experience is simple: “The return on investment is clearly worth the time!” Though Durham pursued his MBA immediately after his undergraduate degree, he recognized that timing is different for everyone.

Now, through the 10-month MBA program, that timing is more flexible than ever. Students can take the courses online while working their usual jobs and be finished with their degree in less than a year.

Want to learn more about the 10-month MBA program and other educational options at Gardner-Webb University? Click here for more information.


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