William MBA '18 and Jaime MBA '18 Buda
William MBA '18 and Jaime MBA '18 Buda did something brave — enrolled as a newly married couple in Concordia Irvine’s MBA program. The result was a deeper personal relationship, and promotions at their respective jobs.
“I thought I’d never go back to school,” Jaime admits, having labored through her undergraduate years while working long hours.
But the couple reached a place of terminal boredom in their careers and decided to do something radical: quit their jobs, go on a delayed honeymoon and start over when they returned.
“We decided we would get jobs we really liked so we didn’t wind up in the same place again,” says Jaime.
William was interested in grad school, and attending an info night at Concordia excited them both about the MBA program.
“I had a whole spreadsheet of programs in Southern California charting things like, How long are they? What’s the cost? How far away from us? What are the acceptance rates? Class sizes?” Jaime says. “We landed on Concordia because it checked every single box: it was affordable, close to us, had the accreditations we want, and small class sizes.”
Together, they plunged in.
We landed on Concordia because it checked every single box: it was affordable, close to us, had the accreditations we want, and small class sizes.
“We sat on the front row in every class, raising our hands,” Jaime recalls. “We said, ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re soaking it up and getting every dollar’s worth.’”
Being married opened doors to talk with other students.
“It freed people up to talk, and that opened discussions that made it that much richer,” William says. “The group of friends we made really made a difference in the experience for us.”
For the Budas, classroom discussions often came home with them.
“When William and I got to collaborate, that’s when the magic happened,” says Jaime. “At the gym I’d say, ‘What about this?’ Eating breakfast, ‘What about that?’ Twenty-four hours a day just spitballing, working on it together. It made it more rewarding.”
One of their favorite teachers, Professor Osborne, often encouraged students by saying, “You guys are business-planning geniuses.” The Budas adopted the phrase as their own.
“We would look at each other and say, ‘We are MBA geniuses,’” William says with a laugh. “The experience brought us closer. It was interesting to bounce ideas off each other and work through the frustrations.”
For Jaime, there was even “a whole new attraction to see how intellectual William is,” she says. “You feel so proud of each other. I’m so happy I did it, and going through it with William was amazing.”
Both Budas started the MBA program within a year of starting new jobs and both were promoted upon completing their MBAs. Jaime works for a consulting firm that helps cities and counties with compliance-related issues and federal funds. William works in marketing for an office seating manufacturer.
“I feel more confident in my abilities at work,” Jaime says. “Being promoted made me feel really good.”
William says his promotion came earlier than expected because of Concordia’s MBA program.
“It worked out really well that way, and for my confidence level,” he says. “It was great taking that next step.”
The couple calls their Concordia journey “an amazing experience.”
“The flexibility made it great. Small classes kept you accountable,” says Jaime. “To this day we can’t praise it enough.”
MBA Testimonial: William Buda
MBA Testimonial: Jamie Buda