In the past three decades, substantial technological advancements have compelled businesses to adapt to new strategies and embrace significant changes. Yet, according to Dr. Bola Bayode, Assistant Dean of Distance Learning at Montreat College, as well as Professor and Business Program Director for the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, the core of today’s business world is not as different from the past as it might initially appear.
“I believe the foundation of business is the same, though the mode has drastically changed,” said Dr. Bayode. “At the end of the day, even with technology, you have to build relationships with customers because you want to have repeat customers, and that is what we are trying to reinforce when we teach our students.”
After an extensive career that spanned more than two decades in the private sector, encompassing diverse industries such as banking, retail business, and telecommunications, Dr. Bayode transitioned to academics to impart his decades of knowledge in the private sector to a new generation of students. Today, Dr. Bayode and his colleagues are actively equipping students to navigate the intricacies of today’s complex business environment through undergraduate and graduate degrees at Montreat College.
“The world is becoming a global village, and we must be able to acclimate our students with what is going on in other environments and also equip them with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st-century economy,” Dr. Bayode said.
Recognizing that many business students balance academics with family and other responsibilities, Montreat’s AGS designs its master’s level courses to alleviate the need for students to take multiple courses simultaneously. Semesters are structured into two eight-week spring, summer, and fall sessions. While some students may accelerate their coursework, others have the flexibility to complete their degree in just 20 months by taking one course at a time.
“We emphasize that learning is not a sprint but an experience because we want our students to do well. It’s not just rushing through things but enjoying each course and finding something of value students can hold on to as they work to accomplish their educational goal,” Dr. Bayode said.
Within the business program, Montreat emphasizes an open line of communication that acknowledges professors as collaborative partners with students on their journey to success. In addition, the program offers courses that provide students with hands-on experience, enabling them to conduct research within organizations and offer recommendations for improving systems or processes. Through these valuable experiences and relationships, students are adequately prepared to make a meaningful impact in the workplace upon graduation.
“What differentiates us from other schools is the connection and relationship between us and our students,” Dr. Bayode said. “Montreat is a Christ-centered learning environment where our programs are developed in a way that empowers you to acquire skills that will make you successful. Whether you plan to work with private or public organizations or operate your own business, we provide the academic and administrative support to ensure that when you go through our program, you will be successful.”
Theory with Practice
In addition to providing students with sound financial training and foundational business knowledge, Montreat College equips students with essential leadership and communication skills needed as supervisors, managers, or business owners. Their business courses are thoughtfully crafted to equip students with information technology and critical thinking skills to ensure they are well-prepared for success in entrepreneurship or the corporate environment.
“At Montreat College, we are not just developing our students to become good professionals and business owners who can make a living,” Dr. Bayode emphasized. “We want them to become good citizens, and we do that by sharing our faith and integrating faith into our curriculum. We believe no matter how good they are professionally or whether they know how to put all the business theories into practice, if they are not good citizens, it will marginalize their rate of success. So, we emphasize and integrate those values in our courses. No matter where you find yourself, if you are not serving God, if there is no spirit behind what you do, no matter how much you earn, you will still not be fulfilled.”