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What Jobs Can You Get With A STEM-Designated MBA In The USA?

Find out how a STEM-designated MBA in the US helped this international student athlete pivot into a career in analytics and land an internship with Nike


Tue May 7 2024

Last year, over one million international students enrolled in US university programs, a large portion of whom came from China and India. What’s more, according to GMAC research, more than 50% of Chinese and Indian prospective graduate business students would now prefer to study STEM-designated programs.

But why?

Well, one of the major reasons is the opportunity to apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension. While most international students coming to the US are granted an F-1 student visa allowing them to remain in the country for one-year post-graduation, studying a STEM-designated degree enables students to seek temporary employment (OPT) in a field directly related to their studies for an extra two years—greatly increasing their chances of finding employment in the States.

This is desirable for several reasons. Despite post-pandemic uncertainties, the US remains the world’s strongest economy: in 2023, its GDP was over 40% greater than the next-largest national powerhouse, China. Plus, with US b-schools continuing to perform well in MBA rankings, the education system holds a strong appeal for those looking to come from overseas.

This was the experience that Canadian-born athlete, Kyleigh Arthur, found after studying a STEM-designated MBA at the Price College of Business, Oklahoma University. Now, having completed an internship at Nike and currently working as a data analyst for Capitalize Analytics, it’s clear that her degree opened up a world of job opportunities.

So, how did the STEM-designated MBA help her get there?

Why the STEM-designated MBA at Oklahoma?

Despite the numerous compelling reasons to study in the States, Kyleigh’s (pictured right) journey across the border actually started off…as a joke.  529d4fda3bf18f0e7ddf678cd3aad8869224e729.jpg

After completing an undergraduate degree in marketing, she searched for a way to further her education while also balancing her life as a rower. Considering the wealth of opportunities available there, she mainly focused on MBA programs in the US. 

However, there was another reason.

“It was always a dream of [mine and my sister’s] to go to the same school. So, when she matched her medical residency at Oklahoma University, she said: 'Why don't you write the coaches and see if they'd be interested in you',” Kyleigh recounts. 

She was also attracted to the fact that, not only were the staff and coaches accommodating to her commitment to rowing, at Oklahoma, students can opt for a dual degree program alongside their MBA, which allows them to get two Master’s degrees within the span of two years. 

Plus, critically for international students, these dual degree options include the MSc in Finance or the MSc in Management Information Technology—which provide access to the much-coveted OPT visa.

When Kyleigh initially applied to Oklahoma, she wasn’t expecting anything to come of it—but, luckily, her dream of studying alongside her sister came through. 

What skills did you learn?

At OU, MBA students are allowed to take introductory classes in several courses before they pick one they want to study as a secondary degree. 

This proved to be life-changing for Kyleigh, who, before taking an IT class, figured she would be focusing on marketing for her MBA. 

“I remember looking at that class and being so intimidated. I thought, there's no way I'm going to be able to code,” she admits. 

However, after her first lesson she quickly realized she had an undiscovered a passion for coding, which drove her to pick the MSc in Management Information Technology (MIT). 

As a STEM program, the intensive course emphasizes Big Data and Analytics, alongside other key skills that can be applied to fields such as business, cybersecurity, and healthcare.  

These pair with the MBA side of the dual degree, which preps students with important soft skills such as management and communication, as well as the chance to choose electives in more specialized areas such as entrepreneurship, finance, and law. 

Not all lessons are taught in the classroom. Students are also offered the chance to go on a Global Business Experience, which was a program highlight for Kyleigh. 

Her cohort were flown out to Chile and Argentina, to visit various companies and take part in activities like wine-tasting. 

“We had so much fun and got to know each other on more of an intimate level,” Kyleigh says. 

What career opportunities were available?

Given Kyleigh’s background in sports, the opening at Nike quickly jumped out at her during the search for internship opportunities 

Though she entered in a marketing role, during the internship she switched to working on a data analytics project, which involved providing Nike with long-term strategic insights. 

“When I left my internship, I wanted to go into the data analytics role,” Kyleigh says. 

Every year, OU hosts a careers fair, which is attended by more than 500 companies. There, students can find out about different roles on offer, while for international students there is the added incentive to find somewhere that is willing to sponsor you.

Kyleigh found that with Capitalize Analytics, who were happy to accept her student visa and hire her into a data analysis role. Other top companies that hire Oklahoma MBA grads include Amazon, Deloitte, Boeing, and Dell. 

In her day-to-day role now, Kyleigh works on the robotic process automation team, which involves using tools such as UiPath and power automate to build automation robots for clients.

The role requires a range of technical abilities, as well as soft skills that were instilled throughout the MBA, such as organization and networking.

“Every day I'm using things that I've learned within the program to help me succeed,” Kyleigh says. 

Studying a STEM-designated MBA in the US can completely transform your career outlook. For other international students looking to take the leap, Kyleigh says, “Just give it your best shot and embrace every moment of it.”

Student Reviews

University of Oklahoma - Price College of Business




On Campus

an Unregrettable choice of university

The University of Oklahoma has been a great experience for me. The professors are all very knowledgeable and willing to help where needed. The campus is also very beautiful and there are plenty of activities going on all the time. The student body is also really friendly and I have made a lot of new friends here. Overall, I'm really glad I chose OU and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great college experience.




On Campus

It is a life changing experience for me.

I am enrolled in a Ph.D. program that is research-intensive. I get continuous guidance from my supervisors that help me to conduct my research skillfully. I will gladly recommend students to study here.





Good institution

Good institution for in class courses. Online classes are pretty hard because the instructors are most of the time not available. The student has to do everything on their own without any assistance.





Best school ever

This has been the best experience. of my life! Freshman year completely changed my life in so many ways! Through club’s organizations and social events the university of Oklahoma became my home. I loved being there




Amazing Univeristy

OU is an amazing university. Love the athletic department so much. They have so much hype and love for their athletes and students typically maintain a healthy lifestyle. I’m engineering student and OU has one of the best teachers and facilities I had so far. I know their engineering program is prestigious but I don’t know much about the other departments. Beautiful campus and amazing social events. Diversity is enormous. LOVE IT SIMPLY.




On Campus

Getting the best at OU

I am a current student at the University of Oklahoma and I must say, I am extremely impressed with the quality of education and resources available here. The professors are knowledgeable and truly care about their students' success. The campus is beautiful and there are always events and activities happening. The community at OU is welcoming and diverse, making it a great place to grow and learn. I highly recommend this university to anyone looking for a well-rounded and fulfilling college experience. Boomer Sooner




On Campus

Everybody is really helpful over here

The university has beautiful buildings and scenic fields with benches for enjoying the weather. There are a lot of nice students, so it's a pleasant experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes and gained valuable knowledge from the professors. It was a pleasure to work with my professors during my first year, as communication was easy and they consistently made themselves available during office hours, accommodating any scheduling conflicts. I had a smooth academic transition into college thanks to the great faculty.




On Campus


I would say it is the best university in town. The education, knowledge, curriculum, extra curriculum activities, modern laboratories, big grounds, and spacious classrooms. I would say everyone who can should study here.