Mimi Raza: Finding Success with an Online Master’s Degree


By Staff Writer Published on January 11, 2016

After serving in the Army and then working for ten years as a hostess and DJ, Mimi Raza was ready for something more. “I wasn’t making enough money,” she says. “I wanted to improve my life and just get a better life.”

Mimi realized that many of the managers she worked with in restaurants and nightclubs had college degrees. “Some of these managers were my role models,” she says. “I started getting interested in possibly pursuing a degree, so I could move up to a management level.”

While earning her bachelor’s degree in business, Mimi was able to find a good daytime job. However, one of her lifelong goals was to become a business owner. “I just wasn’t sure of what,” she says. “I was close to opening up a hookah bar with someone, but it didn’t work out.”

After earning her bachelor’s, Mimi married a flooring contractor. “At the time, he was just an installer,” she says. “I told him, ‘Listen, instead of you working for other contractors, why don’t I go back to school for my master’s and you get your contracting license, so we can open up a business.’ That’s what motivated me—I finally found a partner to open up a business with.”

The Online Degree Solution

With a full-time day job, Mimi needed a flexible master’s degree program. “Trying to meet up for class after work, with traffic and all that, would have been hard,” she says.

Mimi found her solution with Independence University’s online MBA program. “It’s on your own schedule,” she says. “Online gave me the flexibility to study during lunch or at home after work. I really enjoyed that it was online!”

During her program, Mimi mostly corresponded with her instructors online through IU’s learning platform or via email. “If needed, I could actually call an instructor, which was nice,” she says.

For her final project, Mimi created a tentative plan for her flooring business. “I got a lot of guidance and advice from my associate dean and instructors,” she says. “That was really nice! What I liked about IU is that I had constant communication with my associate dean. She called me and sent me reminders and checklists. She was there with me the whole time.”

Confidence to Succeed

Earning her master’s degree gave Mimi the confidence to open her flooring business. “My husband got his contracting license, and we’ve been in business for a little over a year now. It’s going great!”

Mimi is applying her new knowledge and skills in her business. “My master’s is very helpful because now I have a greater understanding of how business administration works and how it should be managed. My business plan is the backbone of our business. I’ve even helped other people with their business plans.”

Currently, Mimi runs her business from home. “My goal is to work full time for my business and expand into a bigger company and hopefully have a storefront. I’m so glad I got my MBA online!”

Mimi Raza shares her success story in this video.