“You have to find something that’s the right fit for you. WSU checked all the boxes for me.”
Executive MBA Online, Class of 2019
Executive Director of Engineering, Cirrus Aircraft
Gary Poelma has been with aircraft manufacturer Cirrus for more than 30 years and has had a hand in just about every aspect of its trajectory from homebuilt business to global corporation.
He started out helping to design two of the company’s early-model planes before going on to serve in various management and leadership roles in engineering. Poelma also worked in the production, customer service, and international business divisions before making his way back to engineering, where he is now executive director.
The idea of returning to school had been in the back of Poelma’s mind, especially as he witnessed the business changing and expanding into new markets over the years. He determined he needed to take that next step to keep growing along with the company.
“I didn’t want to be left behind,” he said. “My boss was a very strong advocate of continuing education, so he and I talked about it for a while. He took the plunge and got his MBA and kept talking about the value it was bringing for him.”
A Program with You at Its Center
Poelma had considered enrolling with another premier business school that advertised an online MBA, but he would still have to travel to campus every few weeks to satisfy the program’s residency component.
“I said, ‘You know what? That’s just not going to work for me and my family.’ I quickly settled on the fact that I needed an online-only program.”
Besides offering the convenience Poelma was seeking, WSU allows applicants with sufficient leadership experience to waive the GMAT, which was a key factor in his decision-making process.