Small School Feel with Big Global Benefits

Published Date: 11-02-2021

This summer, Carroll University introduced a number of big changes to our online MBA program, the largest of which was the addition of Dr. Alexandra Sielaff as the new MBA Director. She previously taught in our online MBA program as well as a number of other institutions around Wisconsin and has a vast, global experience that not only serves to enhance the online MBA program as a whole, but also directly benefits our students. 

Dr. Sielaff was a consultant in Washington, DC during the collapse of the Soviet Union. She was able to travel to Poland to advise on their economic shift from a command economy to a market economy. 

Before being part of such a significant time in history, she completed her undergraduate degree in Slavic Language and Literature and earned her master’s in Soviet/East European Studies with an emphasis in Economics/Geography before making the practical decision to pursue a second master’s in international management at the Thunderbird, School of Global Management. 

Sielaff was exposed to a globalized education early and has a unique perspective of the importance of having such an internationally relevant education, especially for those pursuing an MBA.

Why is having a global business education important?

The short answer: because business is global.

The longer answer is a bit more complex. Understanding international business, from supply chains to simple marketing tactics, allows a person to be able to navigate the ever-expanding business world. Nearly all businesses, even small businesses, have a connection to another part of the world. Whether they’re selling products or services to a consumer in a different country or somewhere along their supply chain the product comes from another country, global business knowledge is essential.

Having a global business education also allows for connections beyond borders. Through a globalized education, students can network with people across the globe, building close relationships and partnerships that can benefit their businesses and personal growth. 

Tapping into Dr. Sielaff’s expertise, Carroll University seeks to integrate globalized learning into every facet of its curriculum. From embracing a diverse student body to ensuring international courses and topics are taught as part of its online MBA program, Carroll embodies what it means to be a global university. 

Internationally Integrated Curriculum

The online MBA curriculum offers an international studies course to those who are interested. “I just designed that course early this year,” says Dr. Sielaff. “I’m pulling in a lot of expert sources, especially from the Thunderbird, American Graduate School of Global Management.” 

But it isn’t the only course where you learn about international business. Often, professors utilize articles and other global resources in order to teach their students. Business is an extremely global career path, and Carroll cultivates the need for global knowledge throughout their online MBA program. With the continued globalization of the world, understanding how businesses operate on a global scale is key to making yourself not only stand out in the job market but also makes sure that students are absolutely prepared for anything, small or large, that may come their way. 

Carroll’s faculty stays abreast of everything going on in the world of business, both internationally and locally. Many are seasoned professionals. They’ve been active in the community for a long time and have significant experience. Many are new to Carroll and excited about Carroll’s future and the online MBA program in general. 

Dr. Julio Rivera is one such example. He’s one of the premier geographic information systems (GIS) professors in the world. He’s worked as a GIS subcontractor for many large companies as well as has worked with Snap-On and the economic development in Southeast Wisconsin. He brings his expertise and knowledge of GIS to the students in the online MBA program. 

Worldwide Recognition

There are Carroll Alumni living in at least 33 different countries around the world and current students from at least 18 countries. While the number of students fluctuates every year, what doesn’t change is the recognition that Carroll is well known in the international educational community.

Dr. Sielaff, while at a meeting for Thunderbird alumni, recently experienced just how widespread Carroll’s notoriety is. “I host Thunderbird gatherings once a month. We do it all over the world. One of the guests was a Thunderbirds masters student from the West Bank of Israel who said his sister was a criminal justice student here at Carroll,” says Dr. Sielaff. The master’s student continued to say how excellent Carroll University is. 

The online MBA program allows students from all over the country, and the world, to learn together in a cohort-modeled environment and foster a strong community that transcends their time in the program.

Future Plans

Dr. Sielaff has big plans for the future. “We’re looking forward to many new and exciting ways of connecting our students to foreign learners, encouraging, short project work abroad, whether it’s virtual or in person.”

She hopes to one day offer alumni retreats, current student retreats, and reflective opportunities for all students, even for online students! She plans to also offer career coaching! “I am a Certified Professional Coach,” Sielaff says. “And there are few others here at Carroll University. I’d like to offer professional coaching to our students as something that can help give them time to reflect because coaching is very self-driven.” 

Your Carroll Future

Your future with Carroll is ultimately up to you. Carroll will provide you with the resources to succeed both academically and professionally, inside the USA and abroad. With Carroll’s connections, you will network with professionals from across the world, even while attending online. 

At Carroll, you will earn an online, globalized education taught by some of the most esteemed and caring faculty in the world. You won’t just be another seat in the classroom, you’ll be part of a diverse, welcoming community that will push you and empower you to be the best version of yourself.

Beginning your Carroll journey is easy. Contact our Recruitment Support Specialist at 262-771-3026 or send an email to




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