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One Degree, Four Modalities: The Krannert MBA Portfolio

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

With historic strengths in science, technology, engineering and math, Purdue University has a reputation for producing highly capable graduates not only in STEM disciplines, but also in business.

At the graduate level, for example, the Krannert School of Management at Purdue offers four MBA options with its Weekend, Executive, Global and Online programs, each of which attracts diverse industry professionals who share a commitment to making the next giant leap in their career.

Seeing the big picture

Natalie Marthaler, who began the Krannert School’s Executive MBA program in 2021, hails from Lowell, Indiana, and now lives in Valencia, California. A 2015 graduate of Purdue University who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she currently works as a systems flight engineer for AeroVironment.

Marthaler says her interest in management is an extension of her work as an engineer. “Using my skills as a knowledgeable analytical engineer to push forward the development of projects ignites my passion in management,” she says. “I believe that my EMBA will complement my technical background and enable me to hone my craft to transition into my next professional role.”

Christopher Waldron, who commenced his IMM Global Executive MBA studies in 2021, also brings a STEM background to his studies. A native of Southern California, he received his bachelor’s degree in welding engineering through Weber State University’s Manufacturing Engineer Technology Program. He currently serves as a welding engineering manager with BAE Systems in Louisville, Kentucky, a new position he helped secure in part through the IMM program. 

“One of the things that most attracted me to welding engineering was the different functions of the field and the opportunity to interact with multiple departments,” Waldron says. “The IMM program gives me a way to broaden that exposure into even more areas, including marketing, corporate finance, strategy and accounting.”

Djimbaye Andemel, a native of Meyrin, Switzerland, brought his technical background to the Online MBA program in 2021. He earned both his BS and MS in computer and information science from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California, and currently serves as a customer solutions engineer at Google.

“My role consists of working hand-in-hand with sales, product, engineering, and customers to find gaps in our technical solutions offerings and identify or create new solutions to solve those challenges,” he says. “Having considered where I am in my career journey and what lies ahead for me, I decided that completing an MBA was the most effective way to acquire the business skills I needed to take the next step.”

Not all Krannert MBA students come from engineering or technical backgrounds, however, including Malika Butler, who began the Weekend MBA program in 2021. An Indiana University graduate with a degree in political science, she currently works as director of public affairs in the Public Affairs Strategies Group with Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Indianapolis.

“My experience in advocacy on behalf of the manufacturing industry has led me to pursue my ‘big picture’ perspective in business and I’m confident the Krannert School of Management will help get me there,” Butler says.

Finding the right fit

As an alumna of Purdue, Marthaler says her decision to pursue an Executive MBA at the Krannert School was based on experience. “I have seen firsthand the instrumental value that a Purdue education has to professional success,” she says. “Purdue is world-class institution with a renowned reputation. When considering the next ‘Giant Leap’ in my professional growth, I knew that Purdue and Krannert would help me achieve my goals.”

As he completes the IMM program, Waldron continues to complement his technical background and position himself for even greater career progression. “Having spent the last 11 years on the operations side, I am confident the program is providing me with the tools to move into more strategic roles,” he says.

With participants from a dozen states and eight countries, the program’s international focus and the opportunity to study abroad was another draw. “Most industries participate in the global market, so it made sense to have a global focus for my MBA,” Waldron says. “I feel that Purdue provides the best balance of having a challenging program at a top university while remaining cost effective.”

Andemel says he chose to pursue his MBA at Krannert “because it is the online offering of an acclaimed, proven and successful program that delivers results without cutting corners while providing a lot of flexibility for professionals.”

Like his peers in other programs, Andemel’s goal is to bolster his professional expertise with a solid business acumen and diverse skillsets — including data analytics. “My biggest takeaway from my time in the program so far is the richness of experiences and expertise represented in each of my classes, from the instructors to my classmates,” he says.

Marthaler says the EMBA leadership team, faculty, and students have all exceeded her expectations. “The team-based learning environment has been both rewarding and beneficial as I’ve been able to form strong friendships and bonds with other passionate and brilliant professionals from different backgrounds,” she says.

Another plus is Krannert’s emphasis on applied learning, says Butler. “What I learn in the Weekend MBA program can quickly be applied in the office on the following Monday and I'm already reaping the benefits,” she says. “The program allows me to gain the knowledge and skills that apply to any professional endeavor in my future.”

While their career goals may differ, each of the more than 200 students who began their studies in Krannert’s MBA programs in 2021 want to earn their degree without the demands of a full-time, residential program. Whether it’s done on weekends, virtually, or abroad, the path to a Krannert MBA begins with finding the right fit. To learn more, visit