University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
June 11, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Mitchell MBA Students Rank Among
Nation’s Highest on Major Field Exam
Recent Grads Use MBA to Advance in Their Careers, Create Change


University of South Alabama Mitchell MBA students earned some of the nation’s highest scores on the 2009 ETS MBA Field Exam given to graduating MBA students at more than 200 accredited schools of business.

Some Mitchell College of Business MBAs scored as high as the 99th percentile on the test that assesses knowledge of accounting, finance, management, and marketing. The class as a whole scored in the 85th percentile on the standardized test.

Mitchell College of Business Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. John Gamble, said that the high scores on the national test reflect the strength of the Mitchell MBA program and the quality of students attracted to USA's graduate programs.

“We built our MBA curriculum by benchmarking against the best-known MBA programs in the United States,” he said.  “The combination of a solid curriculum and excellent faculty allows the achievement-oriented students who enroll in our program to gain knowledge and skills that will push their careers to even higher levels.”

Dr. Eniola Fagbongbe, a gynecologist who practices in Grove Hill, said the Mitchell MBA program helped him better grasp the intricacies of the business side of his practice.  “After focusing on science and medicine for most of my life, the MBA has allowed me to understand the business side of medicine,” he said. “It's been very beneficial to understand how good medicine can be combined with good business to improve patient care.”

For Eddie Bishop, a contractor support specialist at Alabama Power Co., the MBA provided a way to broaden the engineering degree he received from Mississippi State University in 2006. Through techniques learned in his MBA classes, Bishop was able to increase the productivity of the Alabama Power contractors he directly oversees by 25 to 30 percent. With new best practices introduced during their past outage season, Barry Steam Plant is recognized throughout Southern Company as a leader in productivity and cost savings.

J. Scott Barnett, Chief Counsel for Baldwin County, said his MBA experience complimented his law degree and helped him advise the county on many matters. “As in-house Chief Counsel to a growing local government in Alabama, my ability to effectively advise, both elected officials and my fellow department directors, has been substantially enhanced by my Mitchell MBA degree. My MBA has supplied me with knowledge from which to draw on while supplying legal advice to those in other professions such as finance, accounting, administration, and human resources, to name a few.”

He said his MBA experience was enhanced by the quality of both his fellow students and faculty. “I can attest that the program fosters effective collaboration and inter-relationships among the students,” he said. “Teamwork is fundamental to the success of any organization whether public or private, and now that I am enabled with the knowledge of an MBA, I can provide more to the team and ultimately to the overall success of the organization.”

Steven Bryan, a certified public accountant and USA budget analyst, said his MBA will help him round out his accounting background with other solid management skills, such as motivation techniques and communication skills. Plus, he said the networking opportunities with his classmates were an invaluable bonus.

“My experience with the Mitchell MBA program can be summarized as challenging, enlightening, and rewarding. I have learned to understand and apply analytical models and strategic frameworks which will enhance my professional career,” he said.

For more information about the Mitchell MBA program, visit or contact Dr. Gamble at (251) 460-6418 or by email at The application deadline for fall enrollment is July 15.

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