masters of business administration '14
“As I completed my degree at Weber, I was blown away with the quality of professors who not only have real experience in the workforce but treat students with respect and took an interest in ensuring I was successful in my journey. I had always heard that the Goddard School of Business had one of the best MBA programs in the country. I can now say that I agree 100% with those statements.”
WHY WEBER STATE?
I received my Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and had been working as a civil engineer for about 8 years. I started looking for my next opportunity and how to separate my talents from colleagues with a similar background. At the time, it was not clear how I was going to stand out among other engineers, but it was clear that I wanted to manage people. I looked at a masters in engineering, but it appears that program sets people up to be technical experts in specific fields of study. I then looked towards MBA programs and every program I researched spoke about management and leadership classes. I was still unsure if an MBA program was right for me, until I found Goddard. I was living and working in Ogden and Goddard offered evening MBA classes for working professions. This allowed me to not interrupt my career and investigate an MBA program. The material from the first class was interesting and the work load was manageable while I continued to work my normal job, so Goddard was right from me.
I have always been interested in management roles and leadership. I was looking at master’s programs in engineering, but those programs seemed to place you into a very specialized field, sometime working alone or managing a few individuals. I knew I wanted to manage people with differing backgrounds, not just engineers, and the MBA Program at Weber State aligned with my goals and career aspirations.
The most unique aspect of the Goddard School is how working professionals can easily attend in-person classes and continue with their profession. The classes are scheduled for evenings during the week, so you can work during the day and attend classes during the evening. This does create long days when you have class, but it is totally manageable. Also, I think the Goddard School’s lower tuition costs are also with noting. The Goddard Business School had all the resources I needed to be successful in the MBA program. However, some of the more notable resources that Goddard used were case studies and material from the Harvard Business School. Numerous classes I attended took case studies right out of books and websites that Harvard was using to study. These case studies were past and present and it was great to know how the best and brightest business minded people handled issues in the past, and how current business issues are being evaluated today. It was also nice to feel like Goddard students were evaluating the same material as Harvard students.
Professor Mark Stevenson was the Dean of the College when I attended Goddard and he was my most influential mentor while I was in school. I did not really have direction on the next step in my career and he helped guide me in the direction that best fit my ambitions.
The class that had the biggest impact on me was taught by Professor Michael Stevens. The class was Leadership Through People Skills and it focused on reading peoples personalities and how to manage conflict. This was an interactive class that actually put us in difficult situations using role playing, and we had to use an outline to work through the conflict, constructively. I still use the material and outline from the class in my professional career.
Pursuing an MBA, in one way or another, will have a positive benefit on your life, personal and professional. There does not need to be an end goal in mind, or a benefit that you will see, right away. I did not know what benefits would come from an MBA when was started, but I began with an open mind knowing I would learn something. The macroeconomics program taught me how to think globally when it comes to personal investing. The Leadership Through People Skills course taught me how to handle difficult conversations with everyone in life, not just at work. Lastly, my current employer hired me because I have the managerial and leadership skills that I learned from my MBA.
HOW HAS THE MBA PROGRAM IMPACTED YOU?
First and foremost, an MBA has completely opened up my earning potential to a level I never dreamed of and couldn't be more grateful for. I have confidence in my ability to lead teams, manage complex projects, and mentor others who are looking to progress in their own career.
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
I am currently the Assistant City Engineer for Layton City, in northern Utah. This is a dynamic position where I get to work with citizens, City leaders, other community officials and assist in managing an engineering team. I spent the early stages of my career on the technical end of civil engineering, but I always knew I wanted to manage people. I started looking at colleagues that were managing people, and I evaluated what I needed to do to make it to their level. The biggest thing I noticed was how my colleagues could easily communicate with everyone they worked with. I began looking for techniques to improve my communication skills and one of the suggestions I found was to take courses in professional communication. After a quick internet search, I found numerous courses in the Goddard MBA Program that focused on workplace communication and networking. During my time at Goddard, I took every elective course that focused on communication. I still use and reference communication techniques learned from Goddard in my everyday work life. After I was hired at Layton City, my supervisor indicated that I was hired based on my friendly, direct communication style.