BNI MBA program

2018 is really quite a time to be alive. We’re living in an age of rapid evolution in technology, science, business, and the arts. Continuing education is being regarded as the ultimate tool in our tool belt. Most University MBA programs are catered towards big businesses and those with big budgets. This is why BNI was more than thrilled to launch the first chapters of BNI University in the form of the BNI Acamedy in 2012. Now in 2018, members in western Pennsylvania have access to BNI’s online learning environment as well! But what is this program all about? What are the benefits and what is actually taught in the environment? Keep reading for a BNI MBA program overview!

BNI brought its networking referral system to Pittsburgh 20 years ago. Those who have been a part of the group have had access to all kinds of education. They are continually offered in-person seminars and workshops geared towards success through the BNI system. But we have come such a long way since 1998. Many are working harder and longer than they ever have before. And in many cases, most of us are working more than one job. And we are craving work/life balance. We simply don’t have the time or span to invest 3-5 hours at a time to extra training.

The Breakdown

The program is geared towards small business owners, offering real-world tips and strategies for running a successful business. It covers a range of topics from visibility and creating genuine relationships to effective branding solutions and insights to digital marketing. Do you have questions about incorporating social media and video marketing strategies into your business plan? BNI University has you covered! Are you overwhelmed with purchasing land or leasing residential or commercial business space? Don’t worry! BNI University discusses that too! From business law and insurance to design, technology, and visioning, BNI honestly touches every aspect of running your own business.

Each chapter is composed of a number of lessons, broken down into specific topics that fall under that chapter umbrella. These lessons run as short videos, which can be replayed as needed throughout the lesson. There are short quizzes and exercises involved in these lessons as well. They are great for opening the mind and showing where you might have gaps in your business strategies. The only mandatory aspect of the MBA program in that you follow the chapters in their appeared order. However, the lessons within the chapters can be attacked in any order you choose. You have the option of knocking a bunch out at once, or on those busy days, taking a break from other responsibilities to accomplish one. There are no time limits or deadlines, meaning you are fully in control of your education.

If You’re New Here

We encourage potential BNI members to check out our private Facebook Group for new members. In it you will find materials and testimonials form our current members speak to the benefits of BNI as a source of:
  • Small business education
  • Close supportive business relationships that act as a mastermind to improve one another business
  • a referral system for marketing your small business
  • A positive and supportive group of people that life our philosophy of Givers Gains®

The BNI Free Trail

  • Potential members are free to visit a BNI group twice and participate in the meeting just as a member does this includes:
    • Open networking with the group members – to get the most return we alas recommend to members and guests to show up 15 minutes before the start of the meeting – this gives you thirty minutes to meet and greet members and other visitors
    • An opportunity to present a picture of your ideal client and what you offer to them as a way of growing your business
    • A free ten minute educational presentation from one of the members
    • Small brunei’s networking education for a BNI member of the chapter
To get started we suggest that you go to find an opening in a chapter that you can visit where you will not find your competition in the room – one of BNI’s key advantages.

My Personal BNI Testimonial

And while this all sounds great on paper, you may still be a bit skeptical on how you specifically will be able to benefit from the BNI MBA program. So I’d like to briefly share my experiences as a new BNI member as a testimonial. My name is Kelly Gallagher and I’m a content creator for onCOREventures – an up and coming marketing firm in Pittsburgh.

I’m not exactly a people person and fall into the cliché of the creative introverted type. Networking and connecting with others organically has never really been my thing. I’m the kind of woman who would much rather spend an evening with a good book rather than at a bar with colleagues. I have a lot of social anxiety and fears regarding meeting new people and public speaking. I value authenticity and vulnerability and cringe when others force their sales tactics upon me. Actually, to be honest, I tend to NOT want to buy a product more than when someone is forcing it at me. This is especially true when I haven’t expressed any interest in their products at all.

I know. It’s a little ironic as that’s what marketing essentially is, which is why I am so proud to be working for a company that promotes conscious marketing tactics and is straying from that forceful business model.

But BNI has been such a changing factor in my professional and even personal life. I’ve only been a part of BNI for a few months now and in the spirit of being authentic, the only reason I joined in the first place was because I was “volun-told” to do so. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As we were all giving our 60 second spot commercials, I genuinely thought I was going to throw up or pass out. And in my mind, I continually thought, “There’s no way I can do this long term. I need to get out of here now”.

But here we are, eight weeks later, and I can genuinely say that chapter meetings are one of the highlights of my week. I now have the confidence to talk about my career and the kind of work I do. And more importantly, I have the confidence to know I can genuinely make a difference in the lives of those around me.

I sincerely feel lucky. My chapter, Undertaking Success, is comprised of some of the most wonderful human beings. Every single person is so incredibly kind and they are all the type of people that would give you the shirt off their back. They have eased so much of my anxieties and have shown me examples of how businesses should be run. With compassion. With empathy. And with love. They have made me, essentially a stranger, feel so welcomed and appreciated. I can only imagine how their customers must feel!

In Conclusion

The addition of the BNI MBA program is only icing on this networking cake. As someone with a background in design, I feel like I have extremely strong digital marketing, video, and branding skills. However, while I’m strong in design and creativity skills, I definitely lack in insurance, leasing, and traditional business skills. I love that I am able to jump onto the BNI University site and invest in those lacking skills. Time is something I don’t have a lot of, as I actually have two other jobs at the moment. I also take on the additional freelance job here and there. So having the freedom to create my own schedule is something I value greatly!

But don’t just take my word for it. I strongly urge you to check out the program as soon as you can! The BNI MBA program truly is an investment – not in just your business, but in yourself. If used effectively, it can build the skills and confidence to follow your small business dreams head on. For current BNI members, you can check out the BNI MBA program here! If you are not a member, we invite you to attend a meeting at any BNI chapter in our region. For more information about BNI and to find a chapter to visit, simply click here.

Editors note – Kelly is a new member of BNI and is in the Undertaking Success Chapter and writes blogs and other content for the customers of her firm.


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