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The Walsh Master of Arts in Business: The Business Degree for the Right-Brained.

There is a dictum in business commonly attributed to Peter Drucker, “Innovate or die.” In order to survive in an ever-changing world, companies need to anticipate change or be left behind.

The same holds true for schools that teach business. The true test of innovation for those colleges and universities is their responsiveness to the demands of the business world and the needs of their students. As a result, more and more colleges and universities are creating programs around the evolving requirements they see in their students and in the business community.

One such program is the Master of Arts in Business (MAB) degree at Walsh. It is designed specifically to provide professional development for non-business majors. Dr. Michael Rinkus, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Walsh spent 35 years in the international banking field. “I saw people in the industry that had degrees other than finance, other than accounting, other than business degrees bring a different perspective to how we and other companies would transact business.”

The Walsh MAB was created for people with a non-business bachelor’s background. “The good news is they loved what they were doing, the bad news is they found themselves being promoted,” said Dr. Rinkus. Whether it’s running their own businesses or working within a corporate culture, he believes there is a large group of people who can benefit from a stronger understanding of how business works: fashion designers, graphic artists, chefs, architects, entrepreneurs, nurses, police officers, even figure skating instructors. Understanding the ins and outs of business is a key component for professional growth.

Sandy Lyons, a figure skating instructor and a current MAB student at Walsh, said what drew her to the program was its ability to focus on what was important to her. “I was considering a career change and I didn’t want something that was math heavy. I wanted something that was more focused on people with an art background, which is what I have. I don’t have a background in accounting or finance.” Ms. Lyons had considered similar degrees offered by other schools but found them to be mostly re-tooled MBA programs.

“The Walsh MAB curriculum looked a lot more varied and a lot more interesting.”

The Walsh Master of Arts in Business offering started with a two-fold strategy. First, review their MBA program and ensure that it meets the needs of their core business students. Then, create an entirely new program for people who are more right-brained. “We really wanted to talk to people that needed a program heavily weighted toward tactics rather than a re-baked MBA program,” said Dr. Rinkus. “In order to do that, we took a look at the requirements for a Master of Arts in Business and molded that program and the faculty. It’s a completely different program, but with the same high standards that we are used to here at Walsh.”

One of the biggest draws to the Walsh program for Ms. Lyons was the convenience of having her coursework completely online. “I’m not a traditional student with a 9-to-5 job who can go to a class that starts at 7:00 at night. I’m still on the ice at 7:30 most nights. What’s brilliant about this for me is that I can drop my daughter off at school in the morning, then come home and work all day long on the classes,” she said.

For her, and students like her, innovative curriculum like the Walsh Master of Arts in Business is a way to gain the crucial knowledge needed to be successful in business without taking on a full MBA. According to Dr. Rinkus, the faculty is learning as much from the MAB program as the students, “Throw out the old PowerPoints, come up with new delivery mechanisms, use the whole brain.”

Added Ms. Lyons on the impact the program has had on her, “You need to have something there that’s a little bit different than what you learned before. You need a bit of that edge to stay in front of the competition.”

For more information on the Walsh MAB, please visit:


Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school. Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township and Port Huron, as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (