When it comes to his engagement with Daniels, Kirk Roberts is a triple threat.
The alumnus, lecturer and corporate partner first got involved with the College as a student in the Executive MBA program. “When I came to DU, I was not looking for a graduate degree necessarily, and I was also not looking change jobs,” said Roberts, the senior vice president of strategic development at Bona, a global company that supports wood and other premium flooring surfaces. “I had recently been given more international responsibility so I came to DU almost out of fear. I needed help, whether it was through executive coaching or something along those lines. And that’s when I discovered the EMBA program.”
Although Roberts was initially concerned about his work travel schedule conflicting with classes, he found the format of the program easy to navigate (classes in the EMBA program are once a week on alternating Fridays and Saturdays). So, Roberts cruised through the curriculum and graduated, but his time at Daniels wasn’t over. Not long after earning his MBA, Roberts was back on campus as a lecturer, and today, he’s also a corporate partner, working with Denver MBA students as part of the College’s challenge-based curriculum.
When asked what drew him back to Daniels after graduation, Roberts said, “Without question, it was my experience with the professors. I appreciated the fact that so many of them had real-world experience. They took their teaching responsibility very seriously, and they took the program seriously, but they really treated us like peers. It felt like we were getting good advice from people who had been there.”
Roberts also enjoyed the cohort aspect of the program, which allows students to take courses with the same group of individuals—resulting in deeper bonds and highly connected classmates.
Since his graduation in 2007, Roberts has been a guest lecturer at Daniels—speaking to every EMBA cohort—and his passion for students and the College is palpable.
“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s an honor, really,” Roberts said.
This past spring, Roberts worked with students in the Denver MBA program during the Corporate Challenge and he’s returning this fall to work with them on the Global Challenge—a cross-cultural, live consulting project where students team up with international companies (like Roberts’ Bona) to solve a major business issue.
“[Working with these students] has been a win-win,” Roberts said. “The great thing about this [collaboration between Bona and Daniels] is that the students not only gain an international perspective, but they get experience that translates to the real world.”
For Roberts, this collaboration also means spending more time at his alma mater—something he doesn’t seem to mind.
“Anything I can do to help,” he said.