Students turn weekend time into a Professional BBA degree.

While it may have been Friday the 13th, it was a lucky day for the 46 students participating in the recent College of Business graduation ceremonies for the 29th session of the Professional BBA (PBBA) Weekend program.

The weekend program is designed to offer an accelerated part-time Bachelor of Business Administration degree option to students unable to attend traditional classes during the week.

“All of us are working professionals, many with extended family responsibilities,” said Gabriel Diaz (PBBA ’12). “This program provides an excellent means to get a quality education in an efficient way that does not disrupt your weekday commitments.”

Diaz, who was named valedictorian, is next headed to law school.

Gabriel Diaz and Clifford Perry, then faculty director, PBBA programs

For Libardo Angarita (PBBA ’12), the PBBA program offers the best pathway to an advanced degree that he believes can lead to “job promotions, higher salaries and the possibility of creating your own business.”

PBBA program forges strong group connections.

The weekend program is one of two Professional BBA programs offered at Florida International University (FIU). The alternative PBBA Sunrise program provides an early-morning class option.

In both cases, the student groups enter at the same time and take all courses together.

“it was an intense program, as I worked and studied for a double major,” said Carolina Arenas (PBBA ’12). “I think all of us in the group really supported each other in and out of classroom.”

The students build tight bonds with their professors, too.

This year, the PBBA weekend group chose Chris Ellis, instructor, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems, to receive the Circle of Excellence award for Best Professor.

Clifford Perry and Chris Ellis

“He engaged our class in a way that merged two types of learning—what comes from the classroom and books, and what you learn from doing while in the field,” Diaz said. “He also showed that he genuinely cared about us learning what he was teaching.”

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