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GWSB Launches New Customized MBA Program for Athletes, Celebrities

Dean Doug Guthrie welcomes the first STAR EMBA class.

“Realize that you are investing in yourself in a way that will change your life,” said GWSB Dean Doug Guthrie, at a welcome luncheon for the 23 students in the inaugural class of the School’s new STAR (Special Talent, Access and Responsibility) EMBA program. The program, specially designed to serve athletes and celebrities who have not had a “traditional higher education path,” is the first fully accredited MBA curriculum in this field.

The STAR EMBA program will be led by world-class business faculty in various locations around the country, including Washington, New York and Los Angeles, allowing students to experience business in each city while enjoying unique access to business leaders, philanthropists and change makers throughout the country. The program will be offered in six two-week modules, allowing students to work around their professional schedules. STAR EMBA students will be able to create their own personal business plans, guided by the program’s professors, mentors and coaches.

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management, is teaching a career management course and overseeing the STAR EMBA’s capstone project, the program’s thesis component, which requires candidates to complete a business plan, strategic planning or career development project. Neirotti, who was named one of the top 25 innovators and influencers in the sports industry by SportsEvents magazine, described the students in the program’s first class as “very enthusiastic and ready to learn.”

STAR EMBA Students

STAR EMBA students in their "Organizations and Leadership" class in Duquès Hall

One of several current and former NFL players in the program, Samari Rolle, said that he is expecting the STAR EMBA to help him learn “the ins-and-outs” of business. Rolle, who retired due to injury after a 12-year pro career with the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, said, “I want to learn how to deal with people on a professional level.” While primarily interested in pursuing a front-office position in professional football, Rolle is also the co-owner of a U.S. Patent for a revolutionary new type of football blocking sled, and is looking to acquire the business and marketing skills to capitalize on the invention.

Rolle is already very close to one of his fellow classmates: his wife, Danisha Hemphill-Rolle, founder and editor-in-chief of SET Magazine, a “luxury lifestyle” sports and entertainment publication. Hemphill-Rolle said that she hoped the STAR EMBA program would allow her to further hone her business skills and allow her learn from the experience of other professionals.

“Customized programs such as STAR EMBA are the future of business education,” said Guthrie. “The GW School of Business is leading the way in innovative programs offering more opportunities tailored to specific audiences in the future. In the case of STAR EMBA, we are working with a very select group of professionals, who have had a good deal of success and access to resources early in their careers, to help them become leaders and great contributors to their communities and society.”

Posted by gwsb on June 21, 2011 | Filed under: GWSB News.

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MBA Admissions and Experience Blog

The members of the MBA Admissions team contribute to the blog with postings about recruitment tours, events, interviews with current students, and insights about the admissions process. The team is composed of:

Christopher Storer, Executive Director
Jason Garner, Associate Director
Patsy Torres, Assistant Director
Jason Smith, Assistant Director
Shelly Heinrich, Admissions Consultant
Jessica Page, Coordinator