Beavercreek, Ohio Assistant Manager, American Line Builders
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, and attended undergrad at Radford University in Virginia. I have been with American Line Builders, a chapter office of the National Electrical Contractors Association, for over eight years and currently live just minutes from Dayton’s campus with my fiancée.
What has been your experience collaborating with classmates in an online environment?
A majority of the MBA@Dayton program involved group projects in a team atmosphere. I found that our groups were able to collaborate with ease using tools like Google Docs and Zoom. Being in an online program created opportunities to interact with people from all over the country. As I moved through the program, I became close with a group of classmates, and we tended to work together.
How has what you’ve learned in the program impacted the work you are currently doing? How will it prepare you to be a leader in your industry?
The financial and marketing base of the program immediately helped me in my current role. I’m more comfortable having business planning meetings now knowing how that information is delivered and impacted. As an upcoming leader in my industry, the program has given me the confidence to make sound business decisions while helping those around me. Servant leadership wasn’t a concept I was familiar with when beginning my MBA. However, I understand and appreciate how servant leadership can help your organization succeed and uplift those around you. If you constantly are thinking about how to build up your staff, then you will become a great leader.
How will this degree move you closer to your long-term career goals?
I was tapped to become the next executive director of my office and earning my MBA at the University of Dayton was a key step. I’m now transitioning into this new leadership role after graduating in December 2019.
How has MBA@Dayton’s focus on servant leadership influenced the way you approach business?
I now approach business looking at how I can help my staff become better versions of themselves while doing the best job they possibly can. I am also finding new ways to serve and support customers. As I take a service-based approach to business, I am constantly looking for ways to build a better organization. By following this process, I will personally succeed without being selfish.
What advice do you have for others considering this degree?
I would say go for it. The University of Dayton community is top-notch, and the relationships you will build through the program will last a lifetime. Once in the program, I would suggest you reach out to your professors, who are all more than willing to help by providing office hours or other ways to connect. Another piece of advice is to be prepared to actively participate in class so you get the most out of the program. Managing your time is essential and something that will take a semester or two to fine-tune.
What was it like meeting and connecting with your classmates in person at your first immersion?
At my first immersion it was awesome to see my classmates in person. By that time, I had worked with many of them for hours, but only as a two-by-two-inch square online. It was nice to make that in-person connection but also to be able to pick right up where we left off online. The immersion on campus really drove home that I’m part of the Dayton family. Even though I study online, I’m still a part of the Flyer community.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from an immersion you attended?
For me, the most valuable parts of my immersions were solidifying relationships with my classmates and the poverty project. Being introduced to poverty from a first-person perspective and working through how people survive was eye-opening and changed how I approach things today.