master of business administration '21 (outstanding grad)
“I appreciated the flexibility in course offerings from the Goddard School - from in-person, hybrid, online synchronous, and online asynchronous, there are courses that can fit different working schedules and learning modalities. The Goddard School's emphasis on trust made it unique amongst business schools. It was great to be in a program that emphasized both people and profit.”
WHY WEBER STATE?
I moved out to Utah back in 2013 to complete my Master of Fine Arts in Film & Media Arts from the University of Utah. After graduating with that degree, I began working in the film industry - first at PBS Utah, and later at a prosocial film production company in Salt Lake City (Vavani Productions). After working in the film industry for a few years, I found myself taking on more of an operations role at Vavani Productions. These newfound responsibilities naturally piqued my interest in business, and led me to begin exploring MBA programs in the area. Around the same time, my wife began working at Weber State in the Arts Learning Collaborative. As a result, the Goddard School of Business & Economics was a natural fit!
While my BA (University of Virginia '13) and MFA (University of Utah '16) were more focused on creative pursuits, I have always had an interest in math and business. After establishing expertise in the arts and content creation, I felt that pursuing an MBA would allow me to complement my existing skillset with business knowledge and capabilities.
As a student who began his MBA as the COVID pandemic was just beginning, my Weber experience has been primarily virtual/online. While this format could have been mundane given the circumstances, I found the classes engaging and dynamic. I appreciated the flexibility in course offerings from the Goddard School - from in-person, hybrid, online synchronous, and online asynchronous, there are courses that can fit different working schedules and learning modalities. In think this is crucial for professional MBA programs. In addition, I appreciated the Goddard School's particular expertise in contracting and supply chain. Finally, I thought the Goddard School's emphasis on trust made it unique amongst business schools. It was great to be in a program that emphasized both people and profit.
Although I attended all my classes virtually for the MBA, there were some professors who went above and beyond to make this program especially educational and enjoyable. Shaun Hansen was a terrific professor for my first classes. I appreciated his desire to check in on students, his insights on the stakeholder trust model and organizational behavior at large, and his responsiveness despite the asynchronous course format. Andrea Gouldman and Michael Stevens were also great professors who led the classes that I found the most enjoyable during my time at Weber. They both had well-crafted syllabi and challenging assignments that pushed me to improve as an accountant (Gouldman) and leader (Stevens).
I would highly recommend the MBA program at the Goddard School! The program is flexible, the course offerings are varied and interesting, and the professors are engaging. For incoming students, I would recommend exploring the various electives offered in the program. I found that some of the topics I knew the least about (e.g. Data Analytics) were the most interesting. I would also recommend structuring your course load carefully, as some of the more challenging classes require substantially more time than other classes.
I will continue to work at Vavani Productions as the SVP of Operations and Post-production. In this capacity, my responsibilities have continued to evolve, and the tools gained through the MBA program have been invaluable. As for career aspirations, I love my current job! I sincerely enjoy the mixture of creative tasks and business responsibilities I have. I can honestly say that I learn new things every day and have never been bored. I look forward to continuing to grow in this position!