Two husbands, two wives, four master’s degrees and two new babies.

Two young women receiving their Downtown MBA in April 2010 had more in common than an advanced degree from the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU).

Each of these hard-working students had husbands with an Executive MBA (EMBA) from the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business, a school the men eagerly recommended.

Another coincidence: right around graduation time, each woman had a baby.

And each was determined to finish her degree.

EMBAs prove ideal for these husbands, Downtown MBAs perfect for these wives.

Dakore (Victor) Miriki (EMBA ’05) and Tomi Miriki (MBA ’10) are originally from Nigeria, where Dakore earned his undergraduate degree. He worked as a senior executive for many years at a telecommunications company in Miami before pursuing his EMBA at FIU. Now he has his own telecom consulting and service business, SageVone.

Dakore (Victor) Miriki and Tomi Miriki with daughter Gabrielle (son Daniel joined the family in 2010)
Dakore (Victor) Miriki and Tomi Miriki with daughter Gabrielle (son Daniel joined the family in 2010)

Tomi, a grad of Louisiana State University, moved to Miami from Texas in 2005 when the couple married; she is a consultant and project manager with Hewitt Associates, a Fortune 500 company.

“When I started on my master’s degree in 2008, I had one child and was working full time,” Tomi said. “But I thought, if I don’t get my degree now, when will I?”

Tomi gave birth to the Mirikis’ second child a few months after she completed her degree.

Mariana Garcia Borges (MBA ’10) also had delayed starting her master’s.

“I always said one day I’d get it, but my job in Brazil demanded 12 hours a day for seven years,” she said. “When I moved to Miami and got married, I decided to start.”

Mariana’s husband, Felipe Borges (EMBA ’07), heartily recommended FIU. He had worked in the financial services industry for 10 years before getting his EMBA, and is pleased with his choice of schools.

“I talked to friends from FIU and from the University of Miami,” said Felipe, now co-owner of a hedge fund, Triton Investment Fund.  “What I learned about rankings from the program director Sarah Perez also convinced me to select FIU.”

Felipe Borges and Mariana Garcia Borges, daughter Liz
Felipe Borges and Mariana Garcia Borges, daughter Liz

Felipe and Mariana met at the end of his MBA program, and were married in 2008. Working as an intern at his company, Mariana soon began her MBA program. She gave birth to their daughter just weeks before graduation, and still graduated in the top ten of her class.

Tomi and Mariana liked the convenience of the Downtown MBA program.

“Having classes just two evenings a week allowed free weekends,” Mariana said. “And I liked having only a five-minute drive.”

Both husbands expressed admiration for their wife’s determination.

“Mariana was pregnant and we were moving, yet she continued to work very hard on her degree,” Felipe said.

“When I was getting my master’s, I did not have the challenges that Tomi did, that’s for sure,” Dakore said. “But she made up her mind, and she succeeded.”

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