Joe Fernandez Jr.
“Hard working and dedicated sales professional, but most importantly, an engaging and loving father and husband.”
Hometown: Canton, Ohio
Fun fact about yourself: I am a certified PADI scuba diver and have logged over 40 dives around the world.
Undergraduate School and Degree: John Carroll University — Marketing and Logistics
Where are you currently working? The Sherwin Williams Company
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I have earned two Masters Awards at Sherwin Williams for high achievement in sales and profit growth.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose Ohio University based on the streamlined structure of the program and the ability to focus on one class at a time. The program came highly recommended by a colleague of mine, and once I interviewed multiple universities, I knew that the executive management concentration at Ohio University aligned perfectly with my career aspirations.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of the online program was the ability to manage the program and work at my own pace around my busy work travel schedule. It gave me the chance to work on assignments while I was on the road. In addition, the program allowed me to meet business professionals from industries all over the country. Now, not only do I have business contacts around the world, but I also have made life-long friends.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The thing that surprised me the most was how well group work could be completed effectively and efficiently without ever having met the team members in person. There are so many different styles, experiences and opinions that people have, and yet, we worked together flawlessly.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I was able to focus more in an online environment and apply the years of real world experience I’ve had in the workplace to find success. Thinking back to my undergraduate years, I did not have that experience to utilize during discussions and paper writing.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? My advice is to not take the curriculum lightly and dedicate 20-25 hours a week to assignments in order to get the most of the program. Also, do not ever be afraid to challenge the professors during assignments or discussions if you feel there is an alternative viewpoint that gets to the same answer.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? The online education has helped me immensely. Not only has it given me addition insights to be able to speak intelligently with clients and management teams, but once I completed the program, I was selected as an Emerging Leader at Sherwin Williams. This is a tremendous honor for me, as I am one of 25 people out of 5,000 people in our division to be selected for this prestigious group. What this means is, I am identified as the best of the best in our organization as a potential executive leader.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? I absolutely would. Although it was a significant time commitment, it has made me more well-rounded from a business standpoint. It has also allowed me to develop myself professionally and personally. I feel like I have a greater respect from my colleagues. In addition, the program got me thinking again in terms of the way business has changed over the years.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Professionally, my goal is to lead business professionals. I am on my way to being at the director and vice president levels. The degree has helped propel me in this direction with the selection of the Emerging Leaders program.