The best thing about my MBA experience was applying principles and theory to real-world problems through classes and graduate research assistantships (GRA). My GRA was with the Auburn University Small Business Development Center (AUSBDC) and I was able to apply the principles, theories, and case studies I learned about in class to real businesses. My MBA and GRA activities allowed me to experience the consequences of my decisions not only for myself but also for the business, business owners, and employees whose livelihoods depended, in some part, on my analysis. My Auburn MBA taught me how to answer the question, “what if” and showed me the practical consequences of that answer.
Why earn your MBA?
My reasons for earning an MBA were two-fold. One, several of my relatives hold advanced degrees and it’s kind of “the thing to do” in my immediate family. Two, since high school, I’ve wanted to be a business consultant as I tend to do best in fields that allow me to address varied issues and problems. I’m a firm believer that as a business person you should be “cross-trained” (have a well-rounded understanding of the many facets of business), and an MBA allowed me to address that belief as well as move into the business consulting field.
What makes a good MBA candidate?
A good MBA candidate should have an understanding of what the word “career” means these days—it means they will experience change. They should be prepared to experience employment changes, as well as moves to different fields and areas of expertise, just to survive in today’s business environment. An MBA prepares a person for the transient nature of today’s business world.
Advantages of Your MBA Degree
It’s an undeniable fact that my MBA has served me well. My graduate work exposed me to knowledge and practical experiences that helped to combine my undergraduate and graduate education along with work experience into what has been a successful career—aesthetically, financially, etc.—thus far.
Devron’s Career Path
I started as an inventory/quality control specialist for IBM after school. While earning my MBA, I became a GRA with the AUSBDC and developed a great interest in entrepreneurship. Upon acquiring my MBA, I remained with the AUSBDC and eventually became the director of the center. In the meantime, I indulged my love of music and started my own business as a studio musician. In 2000, I became the director of the Bessemer Business Incubation System, a business incubator aimed at helping young businesses become long-term successes. I’m responsible for business recruitment, program development and consulting, financial management, and personnel.
I try not to plan too far out into the future; five years (with updates) is a good, realistic time frame for me. My individual consulting days are mostly behind me, and through my capacity as an officer for the national and Alabama business incubation associations and my membership in the Appalachian Regional Commission incubator steering committee I have become more involved in making the national business environment more inviting to entrepreneurs. I’d like to continue along that path for a few more years. Small businesses make up more than 51 percent of all businesses in the United States and employ more than 80 percent of all working Americans. I’d like to have a hand in making it as beneficial as possible for people to achieve their livelihood goals.