Steven Paige, a successful consultant and founder of Delta Hollywood Productions, found this out from enrolling in the online MBA program at the American University’s Kogod School of Business.
Entering the program with a desire to blend his industry knowledge with more formal business teachings, Steven believes his MBA has paid off in more ways than one.
Here’s how this Kogod alum has used his MBA to build his business confidence and accelerate his company’s growth.
From California to Washington, DC and beyond via an MBA
The decision to join an MBA on the East Coast while having a business based on the West Coast was purposeful for Steven.
Steven was set on joining an MBA program tailored to his interests and needs, which meant looking further afield to online MBA programs at business schools beyond his home in California.
“I was instantly drawn to the Kogod MBA’s global immersions,” he says.
The fact that the online MBA at Kogod, a business school based in Washington, DC, is accessible to anyone, no matter where in the world they are located, appealed to Steven.
"I didn't need to commute anywhere to join classes, so it worked out great for someone who was running a business," he says.
The online MBA, which can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis, offers in-person immersions to locations including New York, San Francisco, Brussels, and Madrid.
“I couldn’t believe I could get to go to so many different places when there are MBA programs out there where you only visit one or two places—if any!” he says.
Steven had the chance to visit landmarks in Madrid, such as Real Madrid Stadium and the Picasso Museum.
He explains how getting to know his MBA cohort during these global immersions offered valuable lessons in cultural awareness.
On average, Kogod’s online MBA program comprises 48% minority students and 48% women students.
“Culture eats strategy for lunch,” he says, “you have to know about different cultures in different societies to be successful in business.”
Despite the online format of the MBA, students can gain access to Kogod's networks within the US capital where business and government intersect.
Becoming fluent in the language of business
Another reason that Steven was eager to join Kogod’s MBA program was to improve his understanding of business language.
During his time in the online MBA program, Steven worked for one of the largest healthcare companies in the US, managing the business data and being responsible to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
On the side, he also ran Delta Hollywood Productions part-time—which he now operates full-time—a business consultancy service in the events management sector. He advises clients about anything from strategy and project management to data management and productivity.
His role involves speaking with entertainment lawyers or representatives for companies such as Netflix, Disney, and Paramount.
“My job while earning my undergraduate degree was at Disneyland—events management has been in my blood forever,” he says.
Although he had a good idea of how to run a business, he wanted to be better able to explain complex business concepts more clearly to his client base and learn how to listen more actively and ask better questions.
Steven’s Kogod online MBA courses in core areas such as finance, accounting, marketing, and strategy helped improve his fluency in business.
There were also many practical components of the MBA program that taught him real-world lessons in entrepreneurship, such as when he visited a business incubator in Belgium and saw applications of new technology happening right before him.
“Part of being an entrepreneur is not just about how to run a business, but how to change your business,” he says.
At Kogod, there are also opportunities for students to compete against other US business schools, such as Harvard, Yale, or Columbia, during case competitions. Such practical initiatives allow students to apply their business skills in an agile setting, preparing graduates for a challenging business world.
Juggling a career with an online MBA
As Steven worked 40- to 50-hour weeks alongside his part-time online MBA program, he had to learn to work effectively and productively.
“The online format was the best decision for me as I didn’t have to worry about commuting to classes,” he says.
This lesson in discipline was just what he needed to propel his business, which can often be quite demanding.
He’s found that with an MBA experience under his belt, communicating with clients in the entertainment events management sector has become second nature.
“An MBA helps you talk to high-level folks, providing you with credibility and authority to speak about different business topics,” he says.
It also helps that he now has a broadened virtual network of diverse Kogod MBA peers to turn to whenever he's looking for a new perspective on his business venture.