MBA Partners with International Coach Federation

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

As published in the Omaha World Herald on May 5, 2020.

Midland University Omaha has recently announced a new partnership with the Nebraska Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF).  As part of this partnership, Midland MBA students will receive the benefits of a professional coach during the entirety of their academic program. During the week of May 4-10 Midland MBA students will join other ICF Members from around the world in celebration of the power and impact of professional coaching as part of International Coaching Week.

“The Midland MBA program has given me an opportunity to develop a holistic view of business administration. It has challenged me to compare my own experiences with those of others, and create applications relevant to my current role. Receiving individual professional coaching is a natural next step in helping us develop as we apply the skills we are learning in the classroom to our professional work,” said Katie Fehrman, Senior Associate of Customer Experience at First National Bank of Omaha and current Midland MBA student.

The program, created collaboratively with former ICF Nebraska Chapter President Donna King,  provides continued skill development for students enrolled in the hybrid MBA program.  

King mentioned that “each year ICF Nebraska offers pro bono professional coaching services to a deserving organization in the community. ICF Nebraska is proud to partner with the Midland University MBA program to provide on-going coaching gratis to MBA students as a benefit to them.”

“This is a great opportunity for coaches to help MBA students accelerate progress toward their goals while helping ICF share and promote the value of coaching to emerging and experienced leaders in our community,” King said.

The launch of the partnership between Midland and ICF coincides with International Coaching Week and allows Midland MBA students to celebrate the positive impact professional coaching has on individuals, organizations, communities, and the world.

“Professional coaching has been touted as a highly effective approach to helping executives and managers enhance their organizational decision making and interpersonal skills,” says Dr. Deborah Hvrivnak, current president of the Nebraska Chapter of the IFC.  “Coaching in the business world has become a  mainstream approach to professional and leadership development. Over the past decade, attitudes toward coaching shifted as its benefits were identified, studied, and made public.”

Todd Conkright, Dean of the Dunklau School of Business at Midland University, estimates the cost of comparable coaching sessions outside this program would range from $600 to $1,600. Offering a benefit of such value to current Midland MBA students, while also offering free lifelong learning opportunities like the unique MBA for Life program to graduates, are some of the many ways Midland University works alongside students to help them grow professionally.

“MBA students are motivated to advance in their careers,” Conkright said. “A coach or mentor can help them consider options, explore possibilities, and have an objective view into their strengths and weaknesses as they plan for the future.”  

Current MBA students were told about the coaching opportunity in April and had positive feedback to the added value it brings the program. 

“My purpose for spending time with my coach is to utilize her expertise to help me maximize my performance, elevate personally and professionally, and achieve my goals post-graduation,” said Tennille Hutcherson, a Senior Associate of Compliance Management at First National Bank of Omaha.

The Midland MBA program offers a hybrid model and uses a marketplace-back approach, bringing in industry leaders to teach students courses allowing them to introduce current approaches and techniques from the real world into the classroom. 

“This  new coaching program is an amazing opportunity for area coaches to contribute to and support future leaders of our community,” Dr. Hrivnak continues. “What an exciting time to be moving forward as we know coaching can change the world!” 

Conkright believes MBA students will benefit from coaching no matter where they are in their career as the discovery of a self-limiting mindset through work with a coach can propel students to the next level professionally. Coaching, coupled with academic credentials from their coursework, poises students to succeed.