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Forward Focus MBA: Diversity & Drive at W. P. Carey

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Forward Focus MBAImagine gaining a high-caliber business education without the burden of student debt. ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business is pioneering a new MBA program that offers students just that. The Forward Focus MBA, a full-time, 60-hour program, provides a scholarship to cover the full cost of tuition for the entire incoming class. With financial barriers removed, the Forward Focus MBA attracts a diverse group of students with a wide breadth of interests and experiences.

Attracting Great Students from Around the World

Forward Focus MBA students come from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and their experiences range from working with human trafficking victims to inventing renewable energy solutions. A cross-section of the Forward Focus Class of 2018 exemplifies the richly varied ambitions and passions of MBA students.

Fast Forward MBAs
Moshe Cavalin, Forward Focus MBA Class of 2018

Moshe Cavalin, the youngest member of the class at age 18, aspires to own his own cybersecurity business. The program’s tuition scholarship is critical for students like Cavalin, whose family lacks financial stability. “The scholarship really shows how much ASU cares about education, by not letting affordability get in the way,” Cavalin said. “It allows for diversity and culture that wouldn’t exist without the scholarship, and that means a lot to me.”

Having graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in math at age 15, Cavalin has always been an incredibly hard worker. His mother and father, who come from Taiwan and Brazil respectively, have encouraged him to dream big. Cavalin was attracted to the Forward Focus program because of the diversity of its community and the ability it gives him to specialize. He is pursuing his MBA concurrently with a Master of Science in Information Management to achieve his goals in cybersecurity.

Supporting Cross-Disciplinary Study through Innovative Courses

Apart from core MBA foundations like financial accounting and statistics, students also engage in Intellectual Fusion Learning Labs, where they pair with master’s students from other departments to tackle action-oriented projects. Collaboration with students from other disciplines allows the MBAs to gain new perspectives and see unique approaches to solving problems.

Fostering creative thinking and the ability to adapt to unexpected change are hallmarks of the program’s curriculum. A key component for any successful business leader in our information-rich context is to strategically leverage data. A course called Decision-Making with Data Analytics prepares students to interpret data and clearly communicate their process and findings to future stakeholders and team members. This competency is applicable across industries and careers, from healthcare to technology to renewable energy.

Gaining Leadership Skills for New Realities of Business

Forward Focus MBA
Rachel Curtis, Forward Focus MBA Class of 2018

Rachel Curtis, another member of the Class of 2018, plans to use her Forward Focus MBA to make an impact in the human rights space. She has spent her educational and professional life advocating for disadvantaged populations through work in the Caribbean, South America and the United States. After gaining a bachelor’s degree in public health, she worked with international victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. She also served as the training and outreach coordinator on labor trafficking for the state of Arizona.

Curtis relishes the idea of gaining concrete operational and strategic leadership skills to bring to the nonprofit space. “Business is all about efficiency and effectiveness, which we sometimes lack in the nonprofit sector,” she said. “I hope to bridge that gap as my way to give back.” The scholarship provided by Forward Focus will allow her to achieve an MBA and become a leader in international human rights. Her goal is to work for the United States Agency for International Development with a specific focus on preventing labor trafficking and gender-based violence.

Through a new course called Self-Transformation through Executive Connections, students are matched with executive mentors who bring decades of experience from a variety of industries and help develop each student’s leadership competencies to prepare them for future career opportunities.

Forward Focus MBA
Amine El Housni, Forward Focus MBA Class of 2018

Amine El Housni, Forward Focus Class of 2018, discovered a passion for renewable energy in college while working with a team to use solar power to pump water to his small Moroccan village. He then gained operational experience implementing logistics systems for a 250,000-cubic-foot distribution center where he was “fueled by a fear of failure and a never-ending pursuit of incremental improvements.”

El Housni brings this spirit of determination and strong work ethic to his studies in the Forward Focus program. He values forming positive bonds with his fellow MBA students and investing in the community: “I realize how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity to sharpen my leadership skills and develop lifelong relationships with my classmates,” he said. After gaining his MBA, El Housni hopes to use solar panels to support communities in Africa.

Investing in the Startup That Is You
The Forward Focus MBA is designed to help future leaders like Cavalin, Curtis and El Housni cope with uncertainty and volatility in today’s business landscape. With its unique scholarship model and innovative curriculum options, the program provides its students with a path to growth into effective, conscientious leaders within a strong and diverse community.

Interested in learning more about the Forward Focus MBA? Click Here

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