Student Spotlight

Early Advantage MBA Students Reflect on a Semester Unlike Any Other at Crummer

Early Advantage MBA students share their thoughts on their first semester as Crummer MBA students in time no one could have imagined.

Early Advantage students that started this fall have entered Crummer in a semester unlike any other, amid a pandemic and a transformation of the Crummer learning experience with the introduction of hybrid-delivery learning.

With a full semester under their belts, Crummer News spoke with three EAMBA students to talk about their journey during their first semester at Crummer, their favorite experiences, and how they have been able to adapt during this difficult time.

You came to Crummer during a semester unlike any other, amid a pandemic. How has your experience been through the first semester on campus?

Alexandra Borg: Although we are in a pandemic, my first semester at Crummer turned out way beyond my expectations. All professors and the Crummer staff have done such a great job keeping us safe socially distanced yet still providing a unique and effective learning environment. The hybrid system has worked flawlessly and, although I prefer being in-person, I know I can be just as engaged virtually if something were to happen. Working on a team and being in a professional environment has also been extremely rewarding; it has inspired me to try to be the best version of myself, which, without a doubt, prepares all students for life after graduation.

Ziad Melhaoui: My Crummer experience has gone off to a great start. It’s great to be back on campus with everybody, and great to see everyone’s efforts in keeping us safe and keeping our campus open.

Kayla Crosby: Definitely unique, from wearing a mask to class to relying on zoom and email for most communication is something I’ve had to get used to. However, it has been an amazing experience so far, I know I’m learning a lot and gaining experience across a broad range of areas, while simultaneously having a greater appreciation for the opportunity to interact face-to-face with other human beings.

Laney Helmers: I’m so lucky to be able to invest in myself this semester by furthering my education and getting my MBA at Crummer. I feel as if this was the best decision I could have made before entering the work force in a time of uncertainty. Crummer has made learning in the classroom as well as virtually, seamless and inclusive to all who attend.

How have the Crummer safety protocols allowed you to still connect with your classmates while remaining safe? 

Alexandra Borg: I am grateful for Crummer’s hybrid system as it has allowed me to attend class in-person, safely. The Crummer safety protocols have allowed me to connect with my classmates while remaining safe by always wearing a mask and having assigned socially distanced seating for each class. This is something I have been very grateful for as I learn a lot more with an in-person learning environment.

Ziad Melhaoui: Socially-distanced in-person classes are great, I enjoy being in the spacious auditorium for classes and feel very engaged. Having the virtual option is also great for days that you do not feel safe or healthy to attend in person. This class format is great and helps take some pressure off us MBA students.

Kayla Crosby: The Crummer community has worked very hard to try and conduct business as usual and provide a hand-on in-person experience that allows for classmates to interact every day. Also, the ways in which Crummer has accommodated assigning and intermingling the teams from onboarding to every day class has definitely allowed our cohort to get to know each other like we normally would, even amidst this crazy time.

Laney Helmers: Being able to communicate to classmates through our Zoom accounts has been extremely helpful. We’ve saved time and been able to work around each other’s hectic schedules in order to accommodate everyone and stay socially distant. Zoom will change the work force dynamic and learning how to do group work virtually is something I’m glad I get to experience in Crummer.

What have been some of your favorite moments thus far throughout your first semester at Crummer?

Alexandra Borg: There are many moments to choose from, but I think my favorite one thus far was when I realized how far my team and I have come. Throughout our first semester, we have been able to get to know each other personally, which has increased collaboration, communication, and overall teamwork. I also love how accustomed I have become to public speaking and giving presentations which I know I’ll have use of in the workforce.


Ziad Melhaoui: Some of my favorite moments are times when we break up into teams and engage in group discussions. Not only we get to learn from other’s stories and experiences, but we get to know more about our classmates. 

Kayla Crosby: Some of my favorite moments during this first semester have been the presentations in Dr. Marshall’s Fundamentals of Business Strategy class and Dr. Hammond’s Communication in Business class. It was so fun and interactive to get to see the creative ideas and alternatives teams came up with in various case studies and projects. The new perspectives I have gained from my classmates has been a very intriguing element at the start of this journey to achieve an MBA.

Laney Helmers: My Team! Team 11 has been the highlight of my experience at Crummer. We’ve become so close and are constantly joking around while producing high quality work we are all proud of. They have truly made this learning experience so wonderful and I’m excited to see what amazing achievements are in their near future. Thanks Justin, Haley, Ziad, Marcus, and Blake!

What are you looking forward to most as you continue your Crummer journey? 

Alexandra Borg: As I continue my Crummer journey, I am looking forward to beginning my Marketing concentration and completing an internship.

Ziad Melhaoui: It seems that every step of this journey have a lot to be excited about… I’m looking forward to the next class, next week, next semester… All are parts of this exciting MBA experience!

Kayla Crosby: I am excited to grow as a cohort, watch everyone develop, and land internships, then see where the future takes all of us who have journeyed together through the 3/2 program or recently become acquainted during our first semester.

Laney Helmers: I am looking forward to taking classes in all different concentrations and working alongside my team to further my strengths and build on my weaknesses. I have my fingers crossed for an abroad experience next fall, but I know Crummer will do what’s best for the students!


Would you recommend Crummer to a colleague? 

Alexandra Borg: There is no doubt that I would recommend Crummer to a colleague. The environment is so professional, which leads to highly competent, respectful, mature, and accountable students who are working towards common goals of becoming global business leaders and innovators.

Ziad Melhaoui: Although it might seem challenging, or might not seem like the right time, but it’s a decision that your future self will thank you for! 

Kayla Crosby: The community of Crummer is extremely supportive and has an aura of mutual respect and personal esteem. Every student that passes through this building brings something different to the table, and has earned their place to reside in this community. And our professors want to make a connection with each one of the students and support their success as they proceed through the process of obtaining an MBA. It truly is a community that looks to prepare young adults to excel and gives them tools to take on the world that stands in front of them, before they may even realize what they are fully capable of doing.

Laney Helmers: The close connections we make within our Cohorts and the alumni base is amazing. I feel that Crummer gives me lots of opportunities to get involved and learn how to best represent myself.