As the lead professor of Statistics in Bethel University’s MBA program, I have done my best to teach students that my course is not about crunching numbers or learning complex formulas, but rather it is about thinking. Statistics is at the core of what an MBA graduate should be able to do successfully. As with any subject, you will forget a lot of technical material, but our hope is that you remember the major concepts, that you can use your knowledge to think and make wise decisions, and that you appreciate the value of each subject in business and in life.
Every manager has their personal expertise, and yours may be in finance, marketing or technology. Regardless, as a manager you should understand the need for surrounding yourself with experts in the different fields, and yet being comfortable enough to talk with each of them intelligently. As such, you should cherish every subject you take, whether you think them boring or fun. Mark Twain once said that “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” Likewise, the student who refuses to learn has no advantage over the student who cannot learn.
With regards to my subject, my hope is that you don’t blindly trust journalists, advertisers, politicians or anyone armed with colorful graphs simply because you fear numbers. What you learn in statistics enables you to ask good questions and think for yourself by seeking the data and using the evidence to draw your own conclusions, and this carries over to every subject. One of my favorite quotes comes from W. Edwards Deming — “In God we trust. All others bring data.” Embrace every part of your education.
Dr. Jim Mirabella has been an adjunct professor of statistics in the MBA Program at Bethel University since 2009. He teaches full-time in a private university in Florida but has served in the U.S. Air Force, worked in the corporate sector, and worked as a state school administrator, so he understands how his courses apply in different sectors of the workplace. Dr. Mirabella feels blessed to be a part of Bethel’s program.