“The only reason I am where I am today and enjoying the lifestyle that I’m enjoying is because I chose this program.”
From USMC to EMBA
Executive MBA Online, Class of 2015
Global Operations Manager,
Brian Lewis’ decision to earn his online Executive MBA came from a place of struggle — of not knowing how he was going to transition from being a Marine for more than 20 years to working in the private sector. Industry transition is never easy, but going from the military into the business world can be especially daunting. But as a Marine lieutenant colonel, he was up to the task.
With a family that includes three kids, plus a job with a ton of required travel from the West Coast to Asia, Brian needed a flexible Executive MBA program. “For most of us who are really committed to raising a family, paying bills, and getting through life, the 100% online program was the only option I had, and it’s fantastic.”
Around the world. Around his schedule.
Brian completed the majority of the Washington State University online Executive MBA program while he was on active duty. “The recordings and ability to catch up with your classes, do your coursework, and have a predictable schedule of when homework was going to be due was really the only way that I was able to get through an advanced degree program like this one and use it as a vehicle for an industry transition.”
For Brian, it was all about the technology allowing him to participate fully, wherever or whenever. “The tools to conduct classes, listen to recordings, and collaborate with classmates were tremendous.”
In fact, he still stays in contact with some of his classmates from the program. “I met people who were working all around the world. We had doctors, lawyers, and business folks in the program who really brought a unique perspective that was obviously different from my perspective from the military and just rounded out my learning.”
Putting in the Work
By his own admission, Brian has very little finance or accounting background. But he says he is a prime example that an online Executive MBA is not an insurmountable program to complete— and if you put the work in, you can do it.
“I would basically lock myself away for four-hour blocks when I had the opportunity and I would just blast through my coursework, catch up on recordings, and prepare my assignments,” he said.
There were some courses that required greater effort for Brian to catch up on, but he always had the support of the faculty to help him get through. “I had great course instructors who were accessible to me whenever I needed them — either through email or by phone. They have a vested interest in your success and that really shines through. It made a big impact on me.”