We recently had the pleasure of talking with Maura Durkin, MBA ’22 candidate, and hearing about her journey into the world of finance and the KU online MBA program. She spoke passionately about her ties to KU and the compelling experience of joining the Jayhawk community. Excerpts of our conversation follow here.
What drew you to apply to KU?
“When I was completing undergraduate work, I gained a mentor who is a KU grad and who played an integral role in shaping me into the person I am today. My KU connection started through him—by catching a glimpse of a KU basketball game in his office during office hours and chatting about KC sports and what it meant to him to be a Jayhawk. As I finished my last year of college, I had a strange feeling that this was not going to be my only interaction with the Jayhawk family.
After I graduated, started my career in finance, and got married, I felt it was time to pursue my dream of obtaining my MBA. KU popped into my head, especially the online MBA program. I knew I did not want to leave Chicago—it’s my home and always will be—but I wanted to pursue a degree from a top-tier university in the Midwest that would expand my horizons, especially in the world of finance. The KU network in Chicago and the Midwest is one of the largest, most revered communities around, and I knew I was ready to be a part of the Jayhawk family, to bring change to my life and career.”
Now that you’re a KU student, what stands out to you about the experience?
“The part of this program that I love most is the connection I have made with my professors. Every single professor has made sure that the students feel a part of the KU family. I am hoping to visit KU with my newfound friends, my classmates, to meet my professors in person and deepen my connection to the KU family.”
You’re part of the way through your program. What has surprised you so far?
“The thing that surprised me most about this program is how close and connected the community of the KU online MBA program is. From the admissions advisors and student success advisors to the professors and my classmates, every step of the way through the application process to attending class, I have never felt alone. During the admissions process, my admissions advisor checked in with me weekly when I was completing my application and even helped me obtain the GMAT waiver due to my work experience and strong undergraduate grades. That was the biggest relief for me as I was studying for the GMAT while working full-time, so this was one less worry on my mind.”
You’re a Jayhawk now. What impact does that have on your life?
“Being a Jayhawk means being a part of a unique, special type of family and community that will always stand by your side no matter what life throws at you. When my mentor spoke about his time at KU, I could see the immense pride in his eyes as he reminisced about his MBA and PhD programs.
Even though my MBA program was designed to be online, I felt a part of a community from the moment I signed on for my first class. The program encourages students to connect and enjoy the process together as one interwoven unit. I had the chance to visit KU and was able to connect with a few of my professors, walk around campus, and of course, catch a basketball game at the breathtaking Allen Fieldhouse. I never felt more at home than in the moments I stepped onto campus and sat in those stands. As I listened to the crowds chanting, “Rock Chalk KU,” I got the chills. I knew I was a part of something bigger: a legendary family that embraces all, is not afraid to work hard and cultivate innovation, and will always be by my side as I continue to write my life story.”
What advice do you have for prospective students considering KU’s online MBA program?
“Do not be afraid of the unknown and do not be afraid of obtaining your degree online. Take the time to seriously consider what you want out of your program and what incentives the program offers. If a friend were asking about MBA programs, I would encourage him or her to look at KU because being a Jayhawk is not a two-to-four-year deal. You are a Jayhawk forever. Rock Chalk!”
Join us as a Jayhawk.
The personal and professional connections you’ll develop as a KU online MBA student will last your lifetime. Join the global network of Jayhawk business alumni who have studied with our expert faculty in small, immersive classes and then gone on to thrive in successful careers. Advance on your path to KU by talking with an admissions advisor today.