JD/EMBA student sees benefit of EMBA

September 28, 2012

Sarah Beth Yoder graduated from West Virginia University in 2010 with double bachelor's degrees in communications studies and English. Having served as a legal intern with a Wheeling, W.Va., firm, she enrolled in the WVU College of Law in 2011. In 2012, she enrolled in the joint JD/MBA program and is a student attorney in the College of Law's Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

"During my first year of law school, I learned about the joint JD/MBA program and thought it would be fantastic to extend my education to business as well as law. It sounded like a winning combination. The program is the best way to specialize and focus my learning on areas that would really benefit me throughout my career."

Encouraged by her family to attain a solid education and motivated by her husband who won the West Virginia Statewide Business Plan Competition in 2010, she decided that a background in business would be a worthwhile advantage. The EMBA program is Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) which is considered the gold standard for business school accreditation. The JD/MBA program is popular particularly among students interested in practicing business law such as intellectual property, patent, copyright and trademark law.

Already Yoder has received awards for earning the highest grade in three of her business-related law classes, which she attributes in part to her new business understanding through the EMBA, she said.

"I believe this degree sets me apart from other JD candidates, and the EMBA opens my resume up to employers in fields other than law, so I will have more flexibility in my career. Overall, I feel much more confident in my career with a master's and a professional degree from WVU to show to future employers." She said the group of EMBA students of which she is a part "clicked almost immediately at orientation."

"Though we only see each other a few times over the course of our program, we support each other and work as a team," she said. "Online learning can take a little adjustment initially (our team is scattered across three different states), but once you get the hang of it, it's really convenient. I love the fact that I can work at any time, from any location. I would have a much more difficult time with my MBA and law school without the online format. I know some of our students who are also parents or students who work full time really benefit from the flexibility that this program brings."