Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I have always taken pride in my past work experience, as it has helped me to further my current business endeavors. Working as an advertising director from the age of 17, I always felt my past experience would benefit the future organization in which I chose to work. At age 24 I realized that furthering my educational background would only enhance my professional experience. By continuing to work full time and enroll at Hood, I would not jeopardize my continued professional experience. While balancing all the challenges of work, life and those of the graduate program, I learned a lot about myself. The lessons learned and academic accomplishments will forever be remembered.
Why did you choose Hood College Graduate School?
After committing to working for Maryland Paper Company LP, Alabama Paper Products LLC and California Paper Products LLC, I made the move from Chicago to Bethesda, Md. Our corporate headquarters is in Williamsport, Md., and I felt Hood was a perfect mid-point from home and work. I did some research on Hood and found the faculty to be highly experienced. I knew I wanted to learn from professionals with academic credentials, but more importantly, with actual field experience. Hood’s graduate school professors had a perfect combination of both and I found the faculty to surpass my initial expectations.
What do you value most about your relationships with your professors?
I value the personal relationships I have developed with many of my professors. With small- to medium-size classes, Hood’s faculty can really get to know the students on a personal level and vise versa. I admire their open-door policy and willingness to help with both school and my individual endeavors. The best lessons can be learned from the personal experiences of others. By listening to the past experiences of my professors, I was able to apply their strategic recommendations to my own organization. The faculty and staff have been tremendously helpful in providing me the resources needed to enhance my work and personal life. I hope to continue the friendships developed at Hood and always keep my door open, as my professors have done for me.
What was your most rewarding class or academic experience at Hood? Why?
My most rewarding class at Hood was MGMT 590, Management Policy. Professor Jose was one of the most inspirational and motivating people I have ever met. Her ability to facilitate the enormous amount of information in a fun and active way led to applicable “take-aways” that could be applied outside the classroom. Her knowledge of business and corporate strategy is impeccable. She has the unique ability to retain everything she reads and her profound passion for business runs deep. Even more so, her passion and ability to motivate students to reach their potential is unsurpassable. I will always remember my MGMT 590 class, and I will cherish the lessons learned from Professor Jose. aka “AJ.”
How do you manage your many other obligations such as work and family with the demands of graduate school?
It was challenging to manage time with my personal and work commitments these past three years. During my time at Hood I had moved from Chicago, got married, bought a house, started a new career and still managed to enjoy life. I couldn’t have done this without my wonderful wife. I owe a special thanks to Katie for being the person she is. She always supported me and would remind me how proud it made her to see me working hard to accomplish my goals. She always understood why we couldn’t join others as my work and school schedule couldn’t permit. For that I owe her thanks, and a trip to Spain come May =). Time management is easy when you have the help and support of others. Katie was both, and I will always be grateful for her help.
Can you offer any tips to prospective students?
If a master’s degree were easy, everyone would have one. It’s challenging at times but as the late Steve Jobs once said, “the journey is the reward.”
When you aren’t in class, what is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Spending time with my wife and family, playing ANY and ALL sports, and teaching our puppy Osito some snazzy tricks!