3 iMBA Students Named “Best And Brightest” By Poets&Quants

Three Gies College of Business iMBA students have been named to Poets&Quants’ 2021 Best & Brightest Online MBAs. Christopher Go, a 58-year-old entrepreneur from California; Judy Safian, a 58-year-old Rhode Island native running her own consultancy; and Mariama Trotman, a 34-year-old mother working in the tourism industry were named to the list.

Christopher Go, a Valencia, California native, built his dental practice from the ground up and is now CEO of a startup called ActivTape. ActivTape is a kinesiology tape which has medicaments such as Capsaicin, Menthol, CBD, and Lidocaine embedded into the adhesive. He hopes to bring ActivTape to market by the end of 2021.

“I think the greatest takeaway I received from the iMBA was confidence,” said Go, whose dental practice has grown to more than $2 million per year in revenue. “This confidence comes from the knowledge I gained from the program. I can look at a financial statement and understand how my business is doing and where it can improve. I can understand how world events might impact my startup and what adjustments I can make in order to capitalize on current and future conditions.”

Judy Safian joined the iMBA program from Providence, Rhode Island as a way to supplement her extensive professional experience. The founder and CEO of Judith Safian Consulting, Safian chose the iMBA because Gies provided the perfect combination of rigor, reputation, cost, flexibility, and value that allowed her to attend live classes, travel for work, and juggle family commitments.

“The Gies MBA for me wasn’t primarily about professional advancement. It was about personal fulfillment: taking advantage of a great opportunity to learn and grow – and to give back, by supporting my peers and partnering with program administration through mentoring and student council,” said Safian. “The Gies iMBA included all the elements of my undergraduate experience (e.g., professors office hours, live classes, library access, chatting with classmates, social gatherings), but allowed us to learn based on individual learning styles. It was far more impactful and engaging than my undergraduate experience!”

As a mother of a one-year-old son, Mariama Trotman was limited on the type of MBA program she could consider. She needed the flexibility of an online program, which Gies offered. She was also drawn to the College’s positive reputation, knowing her degree would be respected by current and future employers; the reasonable price point so she wasn’t plunging her family into debt; and the curriculum, which offered a comprehensive set of courses and the ability to customize her degree through specializations.

“I never felt that I was missing out on an in-person experience,” said Trotman, a Barbados native who works in the tourism industry. “I attribute this in part to the fact that most classes were highly interactive, even more so than some in-person classes that I have experienced. Support was always accessible at every point throughout my academic experience; both teachers and support staff were always willing to assist whenever I encountered any challenges.”