Los Fresnos News

UTRGV Online MBA Alum Scores Profession Dealing with International Business for San Antonio

Jean Luc Mette, UTRGV alumnus of the 100% online accelerated MBA program. Courtesy Photo

by Amanda L. Alaniz
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – UTRGV alumnus Jean-Luc Mette is no stranger to international borders.
He grew up in Germany, where he graduated high school and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism.
He worked for the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., found a job with the shoe company PUMA in the marketing and communications department, and had a chance to see Usain Bolt at the Olympics in London. Then he moved to the United States in 2013 with his wife, who is from the States. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2016.
Today, he is the International Economic Development Manager for the City of San Antonio, a position that was possible for him because he had completed the UTRGV accelerated online Master of Business Administration program from the UTRGV Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
“I don’t think I would’ve gotten my current role without the MBA from UTRGV,” Mette said. “Simply on paper, I would not have been the best candidate. This position is kind of unique in that it combines international relations with the business side. I had always had the international background, and some corporate experience, but not a solid business foundation from an educational perspective. But now I am able to legitimately say, I am very qualified for this position.”
Called the 100% online MBA, the master’s program accredited by AACSB International, provides the leadership and project management skills required for success in a competitive job market, like the one in San Antonio where Mette now works.
The program in 2017 was ranked sixth in the nation among the 50 most affordable online MBA in financial planning degrees.
The online program can be completed in as few as 12 months and offers a highly qualified faculty ready to help students equip themselves with the necessary skills to enter the global job market and sustain a career.
Interested candidates applying for the online MBA do not have to have an undergraduate degree in business. However, they would need to add three foundation courses to the degree plan, such as Introduction to Finance or Accounting for Managers.
The university would advise on which foundation courses are necessary for the student to be successful in the MBA program.
In Mette’s role with San Antonio, he helps bring international companies, jobs and investments to the city, and occasionally assists the mayor and city councilmembers on international business trips.
He also oversees the city’s trade office in Mexico City, Casa San Antonio, and works on special events, such as the visit of the King and Queen of Spain last summer.
He started working for the city in 2015 as an international relations specialist, an entry-level position. He helped organize a large trade mission to Germany that resulted in a Sister City relationship with Darmstadt. Following his promotion to senior economic development specialist, he worked mostly with companies that were considering locating to or expanding in San Antonio.
He said exposure to those responsibilities really sparked his interest and, ultimately, the decision to find an MBA program that would work with his hectic schedule.
“I wanted to pick a school in Texas that didn’t require me to be on campus several days or nights per week, preferably within the UT System,” he said.
Mette said he was impressed with the UTRGV curriculum, and the class structure was smooth. His overall experience was satisfying, helpful and worthwhile, he said.
“The professors were good, classes were well-structured, and much of the content was the exact same as they teach at leading MBA programs across the country. The UTRGV MBA was the right choice,” he said.
Asked about plans for a Ph.D., he said he wouldn’t rule it out completely, but right now he wants to focus on his career and his growing family.
He also is involved in a side project that he says the MBA helped him prepare for. Mette, his wife, his brother and a business partner plan to open a bar east of downtown San Antonio in early 2019. When he wrote up the business plan, he said, the worth of the MBA from UTRGV became obvious.
His advice for perspective college students is to find something they are passionate about.
“Because then, learning and studying at night or weekends won’t feel like work,” he said. “It comes naturally. You’re probably better at it if you care and find it interesting.”
Visit the Robert C. Vacakar College of Business and Entrepreneurship to learn more about its MBA programs and other business-related degrees.