"One of the features of the WSU EMBA program that appealed to me the most was the fact that I never had to walk into a classroom."
EMBA Online, Class of 2015
Manager of Worldwide Training Delivery, John Deere Power Systems
A major benefit of the WSU online EMBA is the freedom to complete your coursework at the coffee shop across the street, your office across town, or in Cary Slominski's case, halfway across the world.
"One of the features of the WSU EMBA program that appealed to me the most was the fact that I never had to walk into a classroom," he said. "I completed the entire program while based in India on a three-year expatriate assignment. My professional role in India was building the capabilities of our dealer channel and field managers to support new products and processes. I also implemented a customer contact center and continuous education program for our entire field sales and customer support teams. Besides traveling throughout India, I also had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The online format of the program allowed me to join classes and submit assignments from all of these locations."
For a busy professional like Slominski, it's important to know you're not alone when you set out to earn an advanced business degree. That's why the Carson College of Business puts so much emphasis on faculty support. "WSU tailors its program for the working professional by allowing the coursework to be completed anywhere. The professors understand the challenges of balancing academic, personal, and business commitments. I found the faculty to be responsive and available."
Connections and Networking
But as engaging as Slominski found the EMBA faculty to be, it was his fellow classmates who really brought the program home for him. "I was amazed with the diversity of my classmates," he said. "There were experienced leaders from hightech, medical, military, and many different manufacturing companies. One of the reasons I chose the WSU EMBA program was for this diversity that I felt I would not get with other programs that the majority of my colleagues attend." The diversity and stature of the EMBA student body provided Slominski with unique learning opportunities and the chance to make lasting personal and professional connections. "I built several lasting relationships with my EMBA classmates. I looked forward to their perspectives in class and feel my network of contacts increased significantly from completing the program. Today it is easy to stay socially and professionally engaged with them through media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc."
From Capstone to Farm Technology Innovation
Beyond the bonds Slominski forged with his peers and faculty, the capstone project provided him with an avenue to connect with decision makers at John Deere. "The capstone experience allowed me to interact with different leadership teams within my company, including product development, legal, supply management, and sales and marketing. I think it's the best way for students to pull together the entire EMBA curriculum into one reallife business plan."
He based his capstone project on the fascinating technology behind satellitesteered farm equipment. "When selecting my capstone project, I wanted to document my experience as an expatriate," he said. "I chose to complete an internal company project that looked at introducing existing technology from our developed markets into the developing markets I was supporting. The technology is intended to assist customers with field operations by allowing farm equipment to drive in straight lines automatically using a satellite receiver mounted on the top of the equipment and a mechanical system that controls the steering assembly. The goal is reducing overlap, which results in lower crop inputs, lower fuel costs, and less operator fatigue."
Slominski credits the EMBA program for helping him ascend to the role of manager of worldwide training delivery. "My WSU Executive MBA was very important in reaching my current role with John Deere Power Systems. The EMBA program allowed me to transition from a knowledge leadership path based on my technical engineering background into a people leadership path. I transitioned to a new management position the same month as graduation."
Proud to Be a Coug
Graduation was a memorable experience for Slominski. "The campus was alive with excitement," he recalled. "I had been to Pullman many times before but really enjoyed the ASWSU Global Reception and Carson College of Business MBA Reception. My family and I enjoyed the ceremony and even made it to a WSU baseball game." When he talks about his Cougar pride, a natural enthusiasm shines through. "To me, being a WSU Cougar is about pride and relationships. I know that I will forever be a part of the Cougar nation and will have a great network of friends and colleagues that I can utilize for the rest of my career and life. I am proud of my connection with WSU and hope I can contribute more to the university and Carson College of Business as my career grows. Go Cougs!"
For the role it played in his development and career progression, it's no wonder Slominski endorses the program with such conviction. "I started the program as a manager and feel I graduated as a leader ready to tackle any challenge with my company," he said. The program has the power to propel your career forward as far as you're willing to go. I would put the WSU EMBA program up against any EMBA program in the country for ease and depth of learning."