They enroll to advance at work, to run their company better, to become leaders. They are this year’s class of the University of Colorado Executive MBA program, delivered at the CU Denver campus and featuring leading faculty from each of the three University of Colorado business schools.

Recently, orientation for the class of 23 students was held. Each is incredibly talented and different but they share one common goal – an advanced degree. They will come together every month for the next two years as they hear from business faculty and community leaders from Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs.

It’s that tri-institutional teaching that attracted Tracia Chmielewski to the program. Director for programs and new product development at Spectranetics Corporation in Colorado Springs, Chmielewski knows she will be taught by the best senior faculty at all three business schools. She also likes this year’s collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership – a first for the 32-year-old program.

New class, new executive director

This year’s class also will be a first for Nicholas Hamilton-Archer. On the job less than one month, Hamilton-Archer is the new the Executive Director of the Executive Programs. He brings fresh ideas for this year’s class and is looking toward expanding the program internationally.

“We first need to build our enrollment levels locally,” said Hamilton Archer, “but the goal is to go international. This is a great program and we’re aiming to make it really meaningful for our students and faculty.”

Networking with accomplished alums

Orientation included a lunch with program alums. Steve DeSalvo with Petroleum Field Services is a member of the class of 2000. He said the Executive MBA program had a tremendous impact on his career and life.

“The return on investment with respect to compensation and opportunities to advance were amazing,” said DeSalvo. He said he moved from a staff position to leadership quickly with the advanced degree.

DeSalvo and Paul Shrewsbury talked over lunch. Shrewsbury is an entrepreneur whose fourth company is just three weeks old. He has a clear goal.

“I want to move my small business to a medium-sized business.” said Shrewsbury, client services director for Tailored Electronics, a custom design-build electronics company. “I want to learn how to manage the business better.”

Whether it’s moving a business forward or advancing a career, this year’s class is sure to gain the skills and knowledge to sit confidently alongside the 1,300 Executive MBA alumni.

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