Masters Matter: Dr. John Whitehead and Kimberly Dull, Business Administration

Dr. John Whitehead, professor in the Department of Economics, and graduate student Kimberly Dull discuss the Master of Business Administration. This program is housed in the Walker College of Business.


  • John Whitehead: My name is John Whitehead, I’m the department chair and professor of Economics.

    Kimberly Dull: My name is Kimberly Dull, I am an MBA candidate.

    JW: Right now we are in the boardroom of Peacock Hall and this is where all the MBA students have their classes and do the rest of their work.

    KD: My concentration in the MBA program is Leading and Managing Human Resources. It’s one of the seven concentrations that’s offered within the program. My day to day right now, since I’m in my first semester is mostly core business classes such as supply chain analytics, economics, finance and accounting; things that are going to really set you up to be a business professional.

    JW: Yeah, Kimberly is in my class—

    KD: What he means by that is ‘Kimberly is succeeding spectacularly in my economics class’

    JW: (Laughter) Yes, she’s one of the top students in my class. I’m teaching ‘economics for decision-making’ but it’s a managerial economics class. We work through some economic theory like demand curves, cost structure of the firm and applying that to a bunch of different pricing schemes.

    KD: I will say that undergrad economics made me slowly die every day but I have really enjoyed this class. Honestly, I’m not just saying it because Dr. Whitehead is sitting next to me. The first day in class he tried to convince us to all join the National Society of Economists, is that what it called?

    JW: National Association for Business Economics.

    KD: The National Association for Business Economics just in case any of us wanted to pursue a doctoral degree in economics or become economists. Just the fact that that was considered a possibility for people in our classroom, I thought that was pretty cool and it showed how much he loves the field. He was excited about it and it's fun to learn from him.

    JW: So the students are young, bright, and highly motivated. We can push them pretty far and you can see how they are or are not totally excited about economics but along the way you can observe their progress and they get to the point where they don’t hate economics at the end of the semester, that’s not always the case with people you  talk to at cocktail parties or something like that.

    KD: I looked at the program because of the time-scope. You can do either a one year full time track in Appalachian’s MBA program or you can do a two year night program on campus, or a two year program in Hickory. So the options for someone like me who’s coming in after nine years of work experience, it made it less scary to decided that I wanted to go back and get my masters. Now that I’m in the program I love things that I associate with all of Appalachian in general. I love the compassionate students; I love professors like Dr. Whitehead who care more about how you’re doing and what you’re learning than about what you’re grade is. I just really love the high quality of the program.

    JW: So if you’re thinking about a MBA program, an App State MBA, a Walker MBA is a good idea, the classes are small, the faculty are highly motivated to work individually with the students, there are a number of concentrations within the program so it’s a very flexible degree. You can go from focusing on Human Resources all the way to Data Analytics and even Economics. There is in international component to the MBA so if you are interested in working in international business there are a number of opportunities for that.

    KD: I think that if someone was considering programs other than App, I would be really impressed by our MBAs, our international opportunities are incredible. Every MBA is required to go on an international trip. You also get so many fantastic academic networking and career preparation opportunities within this finite period. Again, it reminds me so much of the other components of Appalachian in that I am not just coming for a degree at the end of 11 months but I’m coming to gain networking opportunities with my peers, forming hopefully lifelong relationships with my professors and I’m leaving prepared to be an effective business professional, and that means the world to me.