“The educational experience is fully based on your ability to use the concepts you’re taught—to integrate and articulate those concepts in your business environment.”
Online MBA, Class of 2020
International Buyer, Abilene Machine LLC
U.S. Army veteran Kevin Beasley had a goal of earning his MBA. For the 2020 graduate, WSU’s Online MBA program’s strong veteran support enabled him to complete his goal and move forward in his career.
When Beasley first started WSU’s Online MBA program, it had been 20 years since he had to study for a class. Getting back into the rhythm of academia was his only concern. He knew he wanted an online program because much of his military training was online and he liked the flexibility. He also had three kids at home and needed the option to study when they were asleep.
He knew he had made the right choice in selecting WSU.
“All the reviews I’ve read about Washington State say that the MBA program provides a very strong education and is a good environment to learn and develop. I didn’t want just a credential or those three little letters behind my name. I wanted to have the knowledge and background that comes with a strong MBA program,” Beasley said.
The Online MBA with Global Applications
Beasley always had the personal goal of earning his master’s degree but didn’t know what area to pursue until he started working as a purchasing agent. It quickly became clear that this was what he enjoyed, but he needed to learn more about international business to be successful in his promotion to international purchasing agent.
“I have Chinese vendors, Turkish vendors, Indian vendors,” said Beasley. “And all of them have different religious and ethnic ideologies, different backgrounds, and I understand how to synchronize and order or ship products around their needs or holidays because of my international study. Somebody without international experience would have a difficult time just relying solely on what they’ve learned in the U.S.”
Blending Military Experience with the MBA Experience
Beasley noted one particular thing that drew him to WSU’s Online MBA is that the program offers both live and recorded classroom sessions.
“If I was struggling with a certain topic, I could watch those sessions in real-time and ask questions,” said Beasley. “Then later on when I was studying, if I had a question, I could go back through the recorded session. Even better—the professors don’t only record the webinars, they record the practice sessions as well.”
Beasley also really enjoyed Washington State’s strong veterans program. He quickly started corresponding with veterans who had already graduated from the MBA program and felt his veteran status helped with networking and learning new ideas.
“The military taught us to go out and utilize concepts, not just memorize things,” said Beasley. “And I think that’s the great thing about Washington State—it’s not about rote memorization. The educational experience is fully based on your ability to use the concepts you’re taught—to integrate and articulate those concepts in your business environment.”
Beasley has intertwined a great deal of his military experience with his educational experience. He’s been able to reach several milestones for himself by blending what he learned in both experiences.
“One of the things we used to say in the army is that the commander is the smartest guy in the troop—it’s not because he knows the most, but because he has 427 people he can ask. And to me, that’s the true nature of leadership,” said Beasley. “That’s really what Washington State has done. They brought together this great group of highly motivated, highly intelligent students that are able to not only work together, but also gain understanding from each other.”
His Advice: Transition From the Military with Confidence.
Even with the best opportunities, transitions are difficult, and diving into something new can be scary. For military or veterans looking to earn their MBA, Beasley offers this advice:
“Washington State is a place where you can feel at home as you transition from military life. Don’t be afraid that you’re going into a situation that you are not ready for. It’s just like in the military—you have brothers and sisters to your left and right that will continue to help you, continue to push you, and continue to aid you while you reach that final goal.”