Eric Nodiff is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Cantel Medical Corp. Eric has almost 30 years of experience in corporate legal services and is currently enrolled as a full-time student in the Online M.B.A. program.
Why did you choose a fully Online M.B.A. program?
I have an incredibly busy work schedule – working long hours and traveling a fair amount. The online program provides the flexibility I need to fit in studies during non-work hours. I can also complete the work no matter where I am – at home or in a hotel room on a business trip. Given my schedule, I couldn’t possibly enroll in an M.B.A. program other than through an online format. I selected Hofstra since it is my alma mater (B.A. ’80, J.D. ’83) and I know of the great reputation of its business school. Importantly, I like the triple bottom line emphasis of the program – focusing on the environment and social responsibility in addition to profitability. I also like the global spin of the program.
What are you hoping to obtain by furthering your education with this degree?
I am looking to obtain a formal knowledge base of business concepts and strategies that I can apply in my current job or future position. I’m confident that it will provide considerable benefits in my professional life.
We are now a couple weeks into the semester – how has your experience been so far with your courses and instructors?
The course material is very interesting and the instructors have been extremely helpful in assisting students with the online format. The program is quite rigorous and requires a significant time commitment. It’s been over 30 years I’ve been in a classroom (at the time there were no cell phones and no one had a computer), so it’s a bit of a challenge getting back into it. I sense it’s taken me longer than most to figure out how to navigate the blackboard, discussion boards, etc., but I have a very positive outlook and I’m getting up to speed. I only wish I remembered statistics and calculus!!
How has an online education experience differed from any classroom education experience you may have had? Which one do you prefer?
The online experience is quite different from a traditional classroom experience. Its greatest attribute is the flexibility it provides for completing the course material. I can listen to lectures and complete assignments at any time 24/7. Although there are deadlines, appropriate time is given to complete the work. The one attribute I miss from the classroom experience is the real time dialogue and exchanges among students. Students in the online format use discussion boards to share ideas and comments but it isn’t quite the same as a live classroom environment. I truly like and highly recommend the online program format but honestly if I didn’t have such a rigorous work schedule I would opt for the traditional classroom.
What would you say is the best part of this program so far?
I am enjoying the course material – particularly operations management and accounting. Also, I greatly appreciate the availability of the professors and their constant communications with students through emails and postings on the blackboard. Also they are quite understanding of my work schedule.
Were you able to attend the first residency requirement and if so how was that experience? Do you think this residency was beneficial and if so why?
Because of a scheduled vacation, I only attended one day of the residency. It was a very positive experience since it provided an opportunity to meet fellow students and several of the professors.
In a fully online program a deterrent to some people might be the lack of face to face interaction with classmates and instructors – how has this been for you?
Clearly there is limited face to face interaction in an online program. I definitely miss the face to face interaction, which I valued so highly in law school and as an undergraduate. However, the flexibility of the online program outweighs this one negative inherent in the class format.
Upon completion of this program what do you hope to accomplish?
The same way law school taught me to “think like a lawyer”, I’m sure that this program will change the way I think as a business executive. This will make me a more valuable member of our corporate team and enable me better to understand and address issues, opportunities and challenges. In particular, I hope to use my newly acquired knowledge in the development and implementation of operating strategies at my company and achieving success in all aspects of the triple bottom line mentioned above.
How will this degree benefit you most in your career?
The degree will enable me to expand my role at the company, which although business oriented is predominantly legal in nature. I would like to play a greater role on the business side – development of the strategies, problem solving, improving operations and expanding globally.
In your opinion how do you believe your work experience has prepared you for this program?
My work experience has enabled me to understand many of the inner workings of a mid-sized public company. My position requires strong communication skills – written and oral – which I hope will assist me with assignments.