One Of The Happiest Online MBA Programs On Earth

A networking event at the Hough School of Business

A networking event at the Hough School of Business


Despite their success, Hough doesn’t intend to rest on its laurels. Despite its positive rankings, Sevilla realizes that the online market can shift quickly. That’s why Sevilla established an Innovation Committee. Convening every two months, the group consists of the technology team, senior faculty, and members of the MBA administrative team. According to Sevilla, the committee examines the program’s technology, faculty training, curriculum, student services, and career development guided by one question: “How can we stay best in class?” In addition, Sevilla works closely with the technology team to evaluate emerging technologies, best practices from academic and corporate entities, and feedback from faculty and staff. “We can’t sit on this for even a short time as more competitors come into the space and technology advances exponentially. Otherwise, we’re going to get lapped. Top down, we’re designed to be a positive agitator of technology and innovation.”

Sevilla is also looking to be more creative with the curriculum, such as offering more electives to online students. He hopes to beef up the leadership development piece and integrate more global immersion. “We’d like for online students to take [an international trip], either as a requirement or making it easier to participate. These are galvanizing experiences, something people tell me that they remembered far beyond the program.”

Even more, Sevilla is working to make more full-time student activities available to online students. “Clubs are the next evolution,” he says. “Years ago, [online] students just wanted the content and the credential. It was very transactional. As more students pay their own way, they want more. This year, we won three case competitions. Can we do case competitions for all students, to build community [and expose them] to things that’s normally the purview of full-time students?” While attending on-campus alumni and career events may not be feasible for online students, Sevilla plans to make more activities available program-wide. “I think there is an opportunity to do so.”

Still, don’t expect the online MBA program to stray too far from its original formula. “We know who we are,” says Sevilla. “We are a cohort-based, very rigorous program that believes in bringing in exceptional students, investing in faculty…and providing a best-in-class student experience across the board, especially in the technology piece. Sometimes, it’s not creating a bunch of new stuff as much as using your strengths and investing more in that so you can continue to be at the top of your game and have students who love what you do.”


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.