KU Bachelor of Business Administration program helps students thrive with real-world skills and guidance

2020 KU graduate Paul Thorne shares his experience earning his Bachelor of Business Administration and how the program set him up to succeed as a leader in business.

Bachelor of Business Administration, Paul Thorne, December 2020 graduate shares his experience

The following was written by Paul Thorne, 2020 graduate of the KU Edwards Campus BBA program.

The University of Kansas does quite a few things well. They are a leader in engineering, medicine, journalism and, of course, basketball. However, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program I completed at the KU Edwards Campus may be the best example of KU adapting and innovating to meet the reality of education in the 21st century. The BBA program is built for the pace of a modern working lifestyle while still being accessible to traditional students.

It should be clear that, at this point, COVID-19 has not just disrupted our routine, but created new norms. The pandemic has not been the cause of this shift, but a catalyst in the transformation. We are busy, remote, over-scheduled and forced to adapt and problem-solve on the fly. At a time when social and economic mobility in the American technocracy is gate-kept by education, the KU BBA is a skeleton key.

The BBA is an extremely challenging program that requires the student's thought and sustained effort. However, it does not position itself as a mountain to climb or a piece of paper to acquire; it is a collaborative learning experience in which Jayhawks partner with professors and cohorts to develop agile problem solving and leadership skills relevant to today’s dynamic corporate sector. The program emphasizes case study models so that students encounter minimal surprises upon entering the workforce. The professors bring a toolbox of real-world experience that simply doesn't exist at other institutions in the area. KU’s place as a top-tier business school is no coincidence.

While my professors are brilliant thought leaders and corporate professionals, there is one person who is truly the cornerstone to the entire BBA program: Emily Plotkin. I attended KU as a traditional student from 2008 to 2012 and left confused, aimless and without a degree. The guidance, patience and encouragement that Mrs. Plotkin provides transforms what would be just another robust business program into a coherent journey of professional training and development of skills like adaptation, problem-solving, strategic planning and customer service. The accessibility of the program, experience of the professors, professionalism of the advising staff and responsibility placed on the student work in perfect concert to make the Kansas BBA a masterpiece of a program.

This program intentionally puts everything I have learned about building a successful business machine into practice within its design. Classes inform each other to achieve synergy in learning and build skills from multiple angles simultaneously. Students can develop their own paradigms and heuristics by approaching problems from multiple disciplines and philosophies.

The BBA has never told me what to think; rather, it has given me a forum to develop how to think. The BBA is building America’s next generation of leaders and innovators in Kansas City’s own backyard. I feel prepared to lead and face whatever challenges arise due to my time at KU.

Rock Chalk!

Learn more about the Bachelor of Business Administration at the KU Edwards Campus.

The Bachelor of Business Administration degree program is supported by the Johnson County Education Research Triangle.

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