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How Far I’ve Come and Where I Plan on Going

Written by Joe Drury

Having completed the first quarter of my MBA education, I thought now would be a great opportunity to catch my breath and reflect on how far I’ve come and where I plan on going. Coming into Broad, my aspirations were to start my own venture. Being an 11-year U.S. Air Force veteran with a non-existent business acumen, I was excited to learn as much as I could. Additionally, I was intrigued as to how that dream would change once I started my MBA; I believed that as I started to focus on my concentration and be exposed to a breadth of desirable jobs at great firms, my passion to create my own company would be dashed. Not only was I wrong, but my convictions are even stronger now that they’ve been challenged by those aspects.

Only a quarter of the way in and I’ve been exposed to a robust diversity of curriculum that have not only provided me an understanding of the material, but I have also gained experience in the application of that knowledge. After a semester of Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain, Statistics, and Accounting, my confidence has grown to take the next steps with my venture. The professors have pushed us beyond the sanitized, theory you get from textbooks and have had us “touch” the material regularly which has given me a lot of comfort in my pursuit. On a regular basis, we have had to apply the lessons learned through real-world historical and current applications.

During the previous semester, I have been able to apply the professors’ lessons as I am in the process of creating a commercialization strategy for a Michigan State University technology as a member of the  Spartan Innovations Venture Fellow. Perfectly in line with my aspirations of starting my own venture, I have been given the opportunity to take a semiconductive diamond technology developed here at Michigan State, determine its viability and feasibility, and then develop a business that optimizes income opportunities around that technology. More recently, I have been accepted into The Hatch which is an on-campus entrepreneurial incubator. Before I started this MBA experience, I couldn’t have imagined being better oriented towards my goals, and I couldn’t have imagined being happier with my decision to pursue my MBA here at Broad.

Lastly, in the vein of my happiness here, I would be remiss to not mention my dynamic. As a father of a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old in addition to being married to a full-time nurse, I thought the deck was going to be stacked against me, especially having to learn business for the first time. I never could have accounted for how much I would benefit from my classmates, and especially how much my teammates would help me. I had one teammate who spent 2 hours on the phone with me to explain a concept in Finance, while my group completed a couple projects that were due while I was at a Veterans MBA Fair in Chicago.

While it’s been exciting to reflect on how the first quarter of my MBA experience at Broad has been so far, I’m even more excited to think about what lies ahead!

 


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