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College of Business Online Programs Recognized by U.S. News & World Report

The Georgia Southern University College of Business online graduate programs have been recognized again for excellence in rankings released by U.S. News & World Report.

Among those recognized, the Georgia Southern online MBA placed in the top 50 of more than 260 schools ranked for the 2018 Best Online MBA Programs. U.S. News ranked online MBA programs using categories such as student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

The online MBA has been offered at Georgia Southern University since 2001, boasting high student satisfaction and graduation rates. The program is asynchronous, team-based and fully accredited by AACSB International. Students complete the fixed 30-credit hour curriculum in a time and location independent format in about 21 months.

In addition to the online MBA program being recognized, the College’s online graduate business programs, non-MBA, were ranked in the top 50 of more than 155 listed schools as U.S. News2018 Best Online Graduate Business Programs. Factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials, student services and technology, peer reputation and admissions selectivity are considered for the annual rankings.

The Georgia Southern College of Business offers non-MBA graduate business programs in accounting and applied economics. The Master of Accounting (MAcc) is offered on the Statesboro campus as well as online. Both MAcc programs are 30-credit hour programs which prepares students and accounting professionals for the Uniform CPA Exam. The Georgia Southern School of Accountancy holds a separate accreditation through AACSB International.

The Master of Science in Applied Economics (MSAE) program provides graduates with analytical capabilities in economic development, financial economics and regulatory issues. The program provides quantitative and analytical skills that will assist businesses in market analysis. Graduates compete for employment in financial institutions, industry and government enterprises engaged in financial economic development, public utilities, and federal and state regulatory agencies.

To learn more about the Georgia Southern graduate business programs, visit

Start your 2018 marketing plan

Valerie Cote, Consultant, UGA SBDC at Georgia Southern University

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your business’s marketing efforts this past year? Did you get a good return on investment for every marketing dollar spent, or could resources have been used more efficiently? What did you plan on doing in 2017 that you just never got around to doing, and why didn’t you do it? For business owners wishing to maximize their marketing efforts in 2018, a marketing plan is essential. If you are unsure of where to start, here are some tips to get you started on a marketing plan for 2018.

Determine what worked and what didn’t. It is easy to get caught up doing things as they have always been done. The end of the year is a good time to reflect on what you have done and determine if that is the best use of your resources. While weeding out the less-effective marketing efforts, look at what worked well. Would spending more time and money on that continue to yield greater results or have you reached a point of diminishing returns?

Evaluate what has changed. Markets are constantly changing and businesses need to take note and change with it. New competition may need to be addressed. A small retailer that may not have had any close competitors five years ago can now find themselves with others opening up shop near them while simultaneously facing increasing competition from online retailers such as Amazon. As demographics change, a business might find that its customer base is also shifting. Businesses need to recognize these changes and adjust their marketing efforts to meet these new challenges.

Determine how you will implement changes. Business owners have a lot on their plate every single day. Implementing new marketing becomes an item on the “someday” list and gets pushed to next week, next month and next quarter. By the end of the year, those changes that were desperately needed were never made and your business falls behind. Get specific on what is going to be done, when it will be done, and who is going to do it. Also determine what resources you are willing to dedicate to marketing. Many business owners are excited about the idea of doing more on social media because it is “free.” While it may require less capital, social media can use a significant amount of another resource—time. When creating your marketing plan, be sure to account for both time and money.

Lastly, set expectations for your marketing efforts. What do you expect your return on investment to be for your marketing? When do you expect to see a return? Business owners can sometimes be quick to judge a marketing effort if they do not see immediate results. Be sure to be realistic about when you will start to see results. Different marketing methods will produce results at different rates. Know ahead of time what you are expecting and allow adequate time to get those results. At the same time, if marketing efforts are not getting the results they should be, stop putting resources there.

Valerie Cote is a business consultant with the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Georgia Southern University. If you would like assistance with creating a marketing plan, the Small Business Development Center offers one-on-one consulting at no cost to local business owners. Feel free to contact Valerie Cote at or 912-651-3200 to set up an appointment.

College of Business Internship Spotlight – Kelsey Monaghan

Our College of Business students often seek internship opportunities during their junior and/or senior years of study. Internships provide our students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, while giving the employer an opportunity to evaluate an intern’s skills, work ethic and cultural assimilation before incurring the expense of hiring the employee full time. Many of our student interns go on to work full time for the companies with which they completed an internship.

If you are interested in hosting a Georgia Southern business student as an intern, please contact Jim Davis at


Steve Charlier on Joining the National Millennial Community at Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Department of Management Associate Professor Steve Charlier talks about GSU joining the National Millennial Community to help engage in the conversation about millennials in the workplace and the future of workforce development.

Double Eagle gives back to soldiers overseas

Double Eagle Sarah Beth Todd (’11, MBA ’13) is no stranger to serving her community.

At various points throughout her academic career at Georgia Southern, Todd served as a University BUILD leader, SOAR leader, Southern Ambassador, Eagle Entertainment (now University Programming Board) publicity chair, and Habitat for Humanity Statesboro ReStore volunteer among her many other activities and services.

“I did a lot of different service work at Georgia Southern and felt like the University really helped me realize my passion for that,” said Todd. “Before even starting as a freshman at BUILD, I really got a taste of working for Habitat for Humanity right off the bat, and it made me want to get more involved.”

So it’s no surprise that just a few years later, Todd is continuing to serve by spearheading Georgia Power’s participation in The Bert Show’s “The Big Thank You” initiative.

A pricing analyst for the company, Todd has spent the last three years dedicating her time giving back to Georgia Power and her community. She is a Citizen of Georgia Power volunteer and embodies the spirit of the company’s motto, “We’re a citizen wherever we serve.”

In early 2016, Todd began encouraging her co-workers to participate in “The Big Thank You,” an initiative to send letters of gratitude to American soldiers stationed overseas. The letters are delivered annually on Thanksgiving week.

“I have family, some who have previously served and some who are currently serving in the military,” said Todd. “I find ‘The Big Thank You’ is a simple way to bring a lot of joy to someone’s life.”

Since starting the project, Todd said she has received emails from veterans who have expressed their gratitude for this project, often saying that receiving mail overseas is the best part of their entire week.

“One [veteran] recently told me the very first time he was deployed overseas was over Christmas,” she said. “Walking off a plane in the Middle East and receiving a sweet letter really meant a lot to him. He still has that letter to this day. The personal impact it has on people like that — that’s what got me engaged.”

In her first year leading the initiative, Todd helped collect 1,000 handwritten letters. She set a goal to increase the number of letters each year, and collected 50 more letters for 2017. Next year she intends to reach out even more in the community and send at least 1,500 letters to soldiers.

In addition to her efforts with “The Big Thank You,” Todd participates annually in the Georgia Power-sponsored Run For the Reason American Cancer Society relay. This three-day run from Georgia Power’s headquarters in Atlanta all the way to St. Simons Island is just another way Todd likes to give back.

“That race and the letter-writing campaign are truly my heart,” she said.

Todd is thankful every day for her time at Georgia Southern for helping get her started in her career and opened her heart to serving others wherever she can.

“My background is all sales and marketing, and Georgia Southern prepared me very well for my career,” she said. “From the endless job opportunities  on campus that gave me directly applicable work experience, to resume critiques and practice interviews I had ample opportunity to grow. Now my MBA is helping me with the financial and pricing aspect of what I’m currently doing.

“I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and I attribute a lot of my success to my education and my experiences and my friends that I met at Georgia Southern. I couldn’t be prouder to be an alumna.”

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,418 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit