“Naval officer, flight test professional. I’m passionate about discovering problems, developing solutions, and communicating results.”
Hometown: Grand Forks, ND
Fun fact about yourself: I have over 2,000 skydives.
Undergraduate School and Degree:
BS Physics, U.S. Naval Academy
MS Engineering Systems, Naval Postgraduate School
Where are you currently working? I have been in the U.S. Navy for 15 years and am currently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron THREE ONE (VX-31) in China Lake, California, serving as the F/A-18 and EA-18G Advanced Weapons Laboratory Military Deputy.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Flying over 2,400 hours in F/A-18 aircraft as a Weapons Systems Officer. About 200 of those hours were spent supporting ground forces in combat and 850 have been spent conducting flight test to develop better capabilities for current and future warfighters. The best part of my current job is that I am still flying almost daily.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose the UW MBA Consortium because it provided a highly-ranked, flexible, and affordable path to obtaining a MBA and increasing my business knowledge. I valued the completely asynchronous format, as I was able to participate in several courses while at sea on an aircraft carrier, on travel, and when I relocated from Virginia to California.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Sharing experiences with so many diverse and talented people working in different industries from around the world. It is especially interesting for me to listen to perspectives from people outside of the military and defense industry, as that is where I have worked since college.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate experience, due in large part to the great professors I had. I was very pleased to find a number of high-caliber professors in this program as well. What I find really interesting is how technology has made learning so much more accessible. I could read assignments on my phone and easily compose essays while traveling. Balancing a career while completing this program was a lot different from my traditional undergraduate experience. Not only was it doable, I am very pleased with the experience.
What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would incorporate a real-time collaborative tool for group projects. In several courses, my group made use of Microsoft Teams, and other groups set up conference calls or VTCs. It was useful to have a way to communicate and share documents outside of email or public discussion boards.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? Last fall, with business credits I completed in this program, I was able to apply for membership in the Defense Acquisition Corps, a pre-requisite for selection to command a Test and Evaluation squadron. In March of this year, I was selected by the Navy’s annual board to command VX-31. While my online MBA education was not the sole reason I was selected, I would not have qualified without it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely. I learned a lot in areas where I had no previous knowledge. For sheer practical reasons, it was worth it: I no longer fear accounting and investing, and I restructured my personal financial portfolio. Equally important, I learned a lot about my organization and DoD acquisitions through research for various assignments throughout the program. In many courses, I was able to focus on areas of personal or professional interest, then turn around and apply that knowledge at work.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My long-term professional goal is to continue to serve in the Navy and make a positive, lasting impact on the systems and capabilities we acquire and develop to support the warfighter.
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