Online Flores MBA Program Graduates First Student

Austin Hatch in his cap and gown.

Austin Hatch

May 20, 2015

BATON ROUGE – It’s been an eventful 25 months for Austin Hatch. He moved his family across the country to California, welcomed his first child into the world and on Friday, May 15, became the first-ever graduate of the LSU Online Flores MBA Program.

“The online program was a challenge. I had to grow as a learner and hold myself accountable in a way that was different from my undergraduate learning,” said Hatch, who did his undergraduate work in aviation technology management at Utah State University. “At the same time, I don’t feel the courses were harder or easier because they were online. Once I got into the rhythm of the structure, it became something I preferred to classroom study.​

“(Being the first graduate) is an honor. The first have to be willing to adapt to ongoing changes and overcome unforeseen challenges. They can’t rely on the experience of others … I feel that my experience made the program better for those to come in the future.”

Hatch said there were a number of factors he looked for in an online MBA program when making his decision. He wanted a curricula that was attached to a brick and mortar school and wanted a program that had the same accreditation as those of the university’s full-time and professional MBA tracks. He also wanted to still be able to participate in international business exchange trips and have the ability to focus on one course at a time.

“We’re so proud of Austin. This is a rigorous program and we know he managed a lot to get through it,” said Dana Hart, director of the LSU Flores MBA Program. “It was a pleasure to shake Austin’s hand when he walked across the stage as our very first online MBA graduate. This is indeed a big moment for all of us."

The LSU Online Flores MBA Program was recently ranked No. 28 among public schools in the United States by the Online MBA Report. The two-year old MBA track is designed for professionals with at least five years of work experience. Recognized by some of the world’s most influential business thought leaders, this program helps students hone the leadership, management and critical analysis skills to set themselves apart in any industry. The program consists of 14 courses, each being seven weeks long.

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Angela McBride
LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business