Student Profile | Niraj Kapur

Online course allows MBA student to travel and stay on track for graduation

Awarded a six-week sabbatical that would take him to another country, graduate student Niraj Kapur was concerned how the time off might impact his pursuit of a Master of Business Administration degree at Baker University.

With the help of Student Services and Baker University administration, Kapur will be able to travel to South America and stay on track to graduate in May 2010. An online course replaced an on-ground course, allowing Kapur and his wife, Julie, to continue their studies without interruptions.

"My wife and I were very fortunate that technology plays such a vital role in Baker's MBA curriculum," Kapur said. "We have worked it out with our team and the professor so that we can complete the course while we're away. We just need access to the Internet and our textbooks. By taking courses online, we are staying on the same structured path.

"They told me to enjoy my sabbatical and come back fully refreshed and ready to finish and they would get me ready to graduate the same time I intended. I could not have been more impressed and pleased."

As a specialist at Genentech, Kapur is confident managing development projects. He enjoys being a part of product and sales analysis teams.

Kapur appreciates the respect Baker has for the professional responsibilities of its students.

"I am grateful that Baker respects the working lifestyles for its students and honors the reward system that companies have built to keep their employees motivated," he said. "I really respected that they were willing to work with me."

The MBA program is known for its flexibility to accommodate students in the workforce.

"I chose Baker University because it's a smart, flexible MBA program," Kapur said. "It's available for adults who want to continue their education as long as they are working. It fits with my lifestyle. I am able to network with other students, and it's a great way to expand horizons and get into something new."

One of his classmates is his wife, Julie, who works in accounting at KVC Behavioral HealthCare.

Since starting the MBA program in July 2008, the Kapurs have enjoyed the camaraderie with their classmates, particularly the different skills they bring to the classroom.

"Everybody came to the program with a strong work ethic and a desire to learn," Kapur said. "We all feel like a team. We joke together, laugh together and talk about real-world business solutions."