A graduate student from the Ivy League will suit up at quarterback this season for the University of Missouri-Rolla. That same quarterback, Joe Winters, is also the first student to be admitted to UMR’s new master of business administration degree program.
Winters graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in architecture last year, but, fortunately for the UMR Miners, he still has another year of football eligibility remaining.
“I decided to play one more season and go to graduate school somewhere,” says Winters, who is originally from Jacksonville, Fla. “I found out UMR was starting an MBA program when I got here. It seemed like a good fit. I didn’t realize I was going to be the first student admitted to the program.”
At Columbia, Winters was on the dean’s list. On the field in the Ivy League, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback played in nine games during the 2005 season, completing 45-of-95 passes for 523 yards and three touchdowns, including one touchdown in Columbia’s game against Harvard University.
Heading into the 2006 season, Winters is battling senior quarterback Mark Becker and redshirt freshman Jason Aubrey for the starting job at UMR.
If everything goes according to plan, Winters will earn his MBA in the fall of 2007. The new program at UMR is designed for completion in one calendar year.
“Joe is just the kind of high achiever that we want representing our new program,” says Dr. Caroline Fisher, dean of the UMR School of Management and Information Systems. “This MBA will be unique in that it will be technology based, combining business, technology and enterprise resource planning or ERP.”
ERP information systems are the fastest growing area in the corporate world, according to Fisher. “Students need to learn large-scale software systems such as SAP, PeopleSoft/Oracle and Microsoft’s Venture in order to integrate the business processes of an organization,” she says.
UMR is one of the few schools in the nation that self-hosts SAP (pronounced S-A-P), a system that is widely used by Fortune 500 companies. In addition, UMR has more courses in its curriculum that integrate SAP than any other university in the United States.
MBA students like Winters will be able to customize their UMR degree by choosing a concentration in e-commerce, enterprise resource planning, finance, human-computer interaction, information technology management, marketing, new product design and management or supply chain management.
“I think I have some great opportunities at UMR, both on the field and in the classroom,” Winters says.
UMR finished its 2006 football campaign with a 7-4 record. The Miners are looking to replace last year’s record-setting quarterback, Evan Gray, who completed his eligibility.