How Do You Learn Best?

Many students and most effective educators recognize that individuals retain knowledge best when using differing techniques. Specific techniques can be grouped into “Learning Styles”. Some students find that they have a dominant style of learning, while others might determine that they use multiple styles depending upon the circumstances. Once you recognize what learning styles work best for you, it enables you to enhance the speed and quality of your studies in addition to understanding yourself and others in work, family and relationships. In a study about learning styles, Aranya Srijongjai noted that “According to the Memletics model, everyone has a mix of learning styles, and learning styles are not fixed (, 2003).

There are 7 categories of Learning Styles:

Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.

Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.

Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.


The most widely accepted model of learning styles is called the VARK model:

Visual (spacial) learners learn best by seeing.

Auditory (aural) learners learn best by hearing.

Reading/writing learners learn best by reading and writing.

Kinesthetic (physical) learners learn best by moving and doing.

No matter what theory your learning styles fall under, knowing your individual “best practices” will help make your overall learning more successful.

UMass Boston offers courses in multiple modalities to fit your schedule and desired learning environment, we encourage you to reach out for more information!

Staying Connected

Though social media platforms seem to have begun somewhat frivolously as a way to explore whether your favorite college classmate was single, or a more efficient way to share videos taken at the San Diego Zoo, today, these communication avenues have nearly infinite possibilities.

Facebook has transitioned from a college networking facilitator to a channel with 600 million users and over 2.32 billion active monthly users. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users (Pewinternet, 2018). Social media has in essence changed the way we exist.

Statistics from 2019 note that there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. That equates to about 45% of the current population (Emarsys, 2019). 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users (Emarketer, 2019). 3 hours are spent per day, per person on social networks and messaging (Globalwebindex, 2019). The shift in communication, specifically via social media presents opportunities for businesses and consumers who are looking to talk to you, and each other.

With all of this comes the growing importance of staying connected, understanding what resonates within ourselves, our teams and our consumers. Effective communication is key to success in our daily lives and in today’s society, much of that is done online.

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Is It Worth It?

Starting Graduate Business School is a big jump. In faith, financial investment and effort. Your time is a precious commodity; it’s important to consider all aspects before making the leap. Eagerness and determination to push forward, often commiserates with salary increase, career growth and expansion of your personal and professional identity.

MBA courses encourage students to hone their skills in resolving business challenges. Ultimately, this fosters students becoming more innovative and equipped with the tools needed to lead successfully.

Mike Catania, reflected, one of the major reasons for attending Business School was an aspiration to expand his network. “I got exactly what I wanted – access to brilliant classmates and faculty that I would never have encountered on my own. It’s difficult to ascribe a value to that, but I look at it as only temporarily intangible – the relationships forged over the next few years will positively affect my opportunities as an entrepreneur moving forward.”

A 2018 report on the financial return on investment for an MBA, shows the long-term profit. Notably, within 10 years of earning an MBA degree, the average  graduate had an estimated decade-long return on investment of $390,751, even after subtracting the tuition and opportunity costs. The average MBA salary varies according to concentration. According to a 2016 study by Poets & Quants, some graduates made close to twice as much as others based on the field entered.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducts research reports on how graduates from business schools rate their experience during and after school. Their 2016 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report notes that 95% of MBAs heralded their degree as good, excellent, or outstanding value. More than four out of five reported that their expectations from their education were met. Further, 93% of alumni would in fact pursue a graduate management degree if they had to do it all over again.

UMass Boston, College of Management is currently accepting applications for the MBA Summer and Fall, 2020 semesters. We’re available to support getting over that next hurdle in your career.


Productivity is defined as the efficient use of resources in the production of various goods and services. Higher productivity means accomplishing more with the same amount of resources or achieving higher output in terms of volume and quality from the same input. The pressure to execute is more prevalent than ever before.

Many of us translate being productive into the need to keep moving; in perpetuity. As this idea is perpetuated by social media and competitive professional arenas, many find themselves busy for the wrong reasons. Research indicates that only 26% of people often leave the office having accomplished the tasks they set out to do.  People may feel productive due to the level of activity, yet they aren’t truly making much headway.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, the best way to increase productivity is to infuse your schedule with balance so that when the time comes to work, you are fresh and ready to go, rather than feeling overly stressed or anxious. 

We encourage you to continue to fill your toolbox with skills that support the opportunities to work smarter, not harder.


Smart Communication


Active Listening; mindfully hearing and attempting to understand the meaning of words spoken by another. An invaluable business skill that should be honed by everyone.

In their Harvard Business Review article “Leadership Is a Conversation,” Groysberg and Slind state: Leaders who take organizational conversation seriously know when to stop talking and start listening. Few behaviors enhance conversational intimacy as much as attending to what people say. True attentiveness signals respect for people of all ranks and roles, a sense of curiosity, and even a degree of humility.

This means that we’re not only focusing, but showing verbal and non-verbal signs that we’re engaged. Smiles, eye contact, attentive posture and mirroring, are all ways to express that you’re in-it to win-it, with the speaker.

As studies point out, that  we spend 70 to 80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication, and of that time, 45 percent is spent listening. We all want to know, that in some capacity, what we’ve got to share is important and useful. Having the skill to deliver that to your peers and colleagues, to your potential clients, to that future employer- is an step in the best direction.

21st Century Skills

Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity; the backbone of the 21st Century Skill Set. Employers are increasingly in search of candidates with technical expertise paired with interpersonal skills. The technical tools can often be acquired on the job, but the “soft skills” are more challenging to get right.  Recent data in the Financial Times 2018 Skills Gap Study reflects that soft skills, were rated as “most important” by 64 percent of respondents.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Lou Solomon reports that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees.

Throughout your business school experience, you’ll have the opportunity to build these skills as you work on group projects and interact with mentors. The collegiate experience also assist in honing additional skills:

Problem solving


Analytic thinking



Ethics, action, and accountability

Reach out to the College of Management, Graduate Programs team to take the first step in building your 21st Century Skill Set.

Getting Started; the Most Important Step

Uncertainty often prevents people from getting started. Philosopher Lao Tzu said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Taking one small action, though often daunting, can propel you toward success.  Procrastination is defined as putting off intentionally the doing of something that should be done. Though it’s challenging, small steps taken over time have the potential to grow exponentially.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does   anything.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Success is not an event, it is a process. Once you gain the awareness that you’d like to begin striving for more, you can make choices each day that aid in attaining your goals. It can be helpful to map out the circumstances that you need to create, to gain momentum. List action items that are as tangible as possible. This will assist in motivating you to continue forward. As your momentum builds, remain focused and accountable. Track your actions to gauge what has resulted in success and what we can learn from, or not repeat in the future.

Often, life long learners feel hesitant to return to the scholastic environment because they’ve been away for so long.  We’re here to assist with the process if you’re looking to take the next step in your educational goals.




AACSB Accreditation

Enrolling in graduate business school is a huge decision. One place to start is to consider their accreditation; specifically with the AACSB.  The AACSB or  Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International is a voluntary, non-governmental accrediting agency that oversees the standardization of collegiate schools of business and accounting nationwide.

Gaining AACSB accreditation, is no joke! It’s not just something that a school checks off the list. Accepting and pursuing this approval is a long-term commitment made by the institution to provide the highest level of quality education deliverable to its students. It’s tracked and quantified and re-reviewed every 5 years in order to stay relevant.

By attending a school that is AACSB accredited, you’ll know that engagement, innovation, and impact are at the forefront of the curricula and learning environment; these are the three pillars.

It’s been shown that this honor, increases students chances at landing a valued, and often higher paying job. Employers are more inclined to recruit students who they know have ultimately gained the necessary skills and knowledge needed to be productive and innovative in the workforce.

UMass Boston’s MBA (Master’s of Business Administration) is an immersive management program at a Tier One business school. Our MBA maintains strict AACSB accreditation. Our flexible program is a 12 course streamlined curriculum, with no prerequisites, designed to develop the skills you need to make complex, real-world business decisions. Lets get you started as a part of the engagement, innovation and impact being fostered within the UMass Boston College of Management.




The Importance of Multiculturalism in Education

One facet of the scholastic experience that can at times be discounted is the institutions multiculturalism. Attending a university that values diversity, better prepares it’s student body to take part in an ever expanding global society.

Sure, attending business school is about covering topics like- the ‘Break Even Point’, Profit Margins and the Accounting Equation, but steadfast wisdom is built when we strengthen our ability to recognize perspectives outside of our own and weave that knowledge into our daily practices.

Group polarization is a theory that states; if you’re only surrounded by those who share your same opinion, as a group you become more and more extreme. If all of your friends agree with you all the time, it’s probably time to make a few new ones. By interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences, and opinions, we can take inventory of our own judgements from a more unbiased perspective.

One of the best things about about college is that it’s a convenient spot to find multitudes of people to disagree with you! Collaborating with students who might have a different perspective, enriches your educational experience, promotes personal growth and a healthy society, strengthens communities and the workplace and enhances economic competitiveness.

UMass Boston was voted the most diverse student body – measured by ethnicity, gender, age, sociocultural background, professional aspiration and disability—among regional schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

A faculty member in the College of Management, teaching Computer and Information Systems shared: ” In spite of the diverse student body in this relatively large class, practically everyone was involved in class discussions. In the end, the class was unified in spirit and enthusiasm. On the last day of class, students on their own, brought in food to share and we had a going away party, of sorts. I was very pleased. In addition, considering this is a gateway course into the program, and in spite of varying degree of completion in the MBA program, they insisted on a group picture- very fun.”

We encourage you to continue to explore ways to progress on the path to further education in scholastic, professional and personal environments!



Networking, Not Just a Buzzword

“Networking is gaining visibility for yourself or your organization, and not just when you need a job or a favor,” says Debra Fine, a former engineer turned speaker and trainer.  It’s about building and maintaining long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with people you meet throughout your career. According to a study by human-resource advisors Drake Beam Morin, 64% of  people surveyed said they found their new jobs through networking.

Not only does it aid in obtaining that newest, desirable role, networking can help you to enhance your skill set, connect with mentors and clients and gain access to the necessary resources that will advance your career.

In a perfect world, your organization would ensure that your employee development is at the forefront of their strategic plan. In reality, we exist is in what Carter Cast, author of  “The Right (and Wrong) Stuff: How Brilliant Careers Are Made,” refers to as “the era of do-it-yourself career development.” Cast details that the responsibility falls to you, to propel yourself forward.

As you invest your time with your colleagues,  and more importantly professionals outside of your field, you will build connections with varying experts. In addition you will continue to develop the soft skills which in today’s professional arena are imperative.

Opportunities such as Speed Networking at the Pioneer  on July 30th, offer a chance to practice these skills. This fun 3 hour event will allow you to introduce yourself and what you’re about to everyone around you as well as meet and connect with other professionals…can’t beat that!

As always, life-long learning and immersing yourself in the growth mind-set is never a bad thing. We encourage you to visit the UMass Boston College of Management website for further information on our graduate programs which will assist in surrounding you with peers and colleagues looking to expand their networks to include you.

The Need for Environmental Management

At the present time, there are approximately 7,718,013,622 people inhabiting the planet, with this number growing exponentially each minute. As we know, the resources afforded to us are limited and continue to decline. The need for environmental awareness and management increases by the second.

Though this is the case, there are many things that we all can do personally and within our places of business to prioritize environmental awareness.

To enhance and support efforts to propel sustainable practices forward, The College of Management at UMass Boston offers MGT671 Introduction to Environmental Management for the Fall 2019 semester. This course takes a deep dive into the details of creating competitive advantage by implementing environmentally sound practices in support of business goals and the welfare of our surroundings and each other. We encourage you to explore this and all of our course offerings to develop hands-on experience and the skills to implement environmentally aligned business goals.


Volunteerism; The Right Choice for You?

“The essence of life is to serve others and do good.”- Aristotle

76% of career advisors agree that professional candidates with volunteer experience on their resume are more likely to get their preferred job. In addition, volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress in participants.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most likely to volunteer their time and those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment. 92% of human resource executives agree that contributing to a nonprofit can improve an employees leadership skills.

Managers say that skills-based volunteering experience, especially international, builds vital skills:

Collaboration: 93.8%

Communication: 97%

Emotional Intelligence: 89.3%

Grit: 80%

Innovation: 70%

Leadership: 90.3%

Problem Solving: 90.3%

There are more than 1.8 million active nonprofits in the United States alone (the ability to volunteer is endless). If volunteering feels like a good fit for you, be sure to approach the opportunity strategically by taking a quick inventory of what you’re hoping to contribute to and gain from the experience.

In addition to investing in others, it’s beneficial to invest in ourselves by the continuation of life long learning. UMass Boston offers multiple graduate business certificates .  One such opportunity is the Health Care Management  Certificate which features Social Enterprise and Poverty Alleviation. To supplement any volunteer experience this course emphasizes blending defining elements of the business and nonprofit models. Social Enterprise aims to fill a particular social deficiency or correct a certain market failure associated with poverty. As opposed to maximizing shareholder value the way a prototypical business does, a social enterprise may retain its surplus to further its social mission.

We encourage you to explore these opportunities and to engage with your community members  as we support each other along the journey to progress.