Hamline News

Dual MBA/MSBA Degree Blends Business ‘Soft Skills’ with Data Analytics Knowledge

Photo of Justin Hockensmith and photo of Mike Kroenke

By earning a dual degree that combines a Master of Business Administration with a Master of Science in Business Analytics, Michael Kroenke ’21 and Justin Hockensmith ’21 are getting ahead of the game.

Both graduate students had their eye on competitive careers: Kroenke in major-league sports analytics and Hockensmith in hedge fund management. As both explored new careers, they realized that the dual MBA/MSBA would give them the edge they needed to stand out, with just one more year of coursework.

That extra year gets them the leadership and business skills of the MBA, combined with the more technical data analytics skills of the MSBA.

Hockensmith was drawn to Hamline’s programs as a way into analytics without a tech background.

“The MSBA gives you that technical skillset that you need,” he said. “The MBA helps you take that technical skillset and apply it.”

For Kroenke, the MBA filled in the gaps from his prior education as an engineer, like public speaking and team management. Analytics isn’t just about numbers: It’s about communicating those numbers and transforming them into valuable business decisions.

“The MBA/MSBA gives you that combination of hard and soft skills that makes you a complete player,” said Kroenke.

Both Kroenke and Hockensmith were also drawn to the personalized nature of Hamline’s classes—and the connection with professors that comes with it. Small class sizes mean students can have the professors “on speed dial,” said Hockensmith, availability to meet one-on-one any time to answer questions, help with career preparation, and ensure students succeed in class.

The dual degree has opened new opportunities for Kroenke and Hockensmith, who have gotten interviews with companies—including Major League Baseball teams and top financial firms—who wouldn’t have called back without that second degree on their resumes. And the extra year of time and tuition brings a significant return on investment, bringing both higher earning potential.

“If you’re willing to put in the time and take advantage of the MBA/MSBA, you will have opportunities regardless of what you want to accomplish,” said Hockensmith.

Learn more about Hamline’s dual MBA/MSBA program at hamline.edu/business/dual-degrees.

Written by Anne Kopas
 July 12, 2021