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.
Kogod School of Business - American University
Clean and well maintained campus
I am completely enamored with this school. The entire student body is driven, inclusive, and highly intelligent. The decision to attend American University is not made haphazardly. Its close proximity to Washington DC, making it one of the most strategically located schools after Georgetown, means it's just a short train ride away. The campus is well-maintained, with mostly attractive buildings, although there are a few that are less appealing. Additionally, there are numerous excellent food options available. The wide range of clubs and organizations to join is remarkable. It is undeniably a school filled with immense passion.
I’m having a wonderful time at American University. I love that I can get to a big city and still feel like a traditional campus. Sincerely, it is a school that may require some adjusting to, but in the end, it is a very good school with numerous opportunities for its students. The atmosphere in AU is so great that it pushes you in a positive way and offers every opportunity you could want.
Amazing helpful professors
American College is an incredible school with astounding teachers. Best professors I could have asked for at an amazing school. My opinion is that American University's professors are its greatest asset. They are extremely intelligent and always eager to assist their students. They go above and beyond in their classes to make sure that their students do their best.
The workload is quite high and AU is definitely not an "easy" school. Students take their studies very seriously and can almost always find a group in the library, DAV, Starbucks or MGC. Courses can be quite ambitious if the right courses are offered and the admissions process can be confusing at times, but with the help of an advisor it is quite easy to navigate. The library can be crowded, and while it's not huge, there are plenty of other places to study on campus. The professors really want to help during office hours and interact with students. I've had good experiences with the professors and workload at AU, but it's an expensive city.
Majoring in Political and International Relations
The instructors are unique and the classes can be boring at times. Check-in is stressful (but it is everywhere). The workload is what I expected. The most popular majors are international relations and political science
I Love Being A Musical Theater Major
I love being a musical theater student, if you want to help behind the scenes, if you want to be an assistant director, if you want to be a director, if you want to write, you can do anything at this academy, very supportive, it's amazing, they are always there to help you. This is their working time. Even after the audition tells you what you did wrong, you can do better, or if you get picked, you know why they picked you, which is great
AU's Business Model
Overall, there were a lot of good opportunities at UA, both in terms of course range and faculty. However, I had a few complete misfires. People who shouldn't have taught at all. Like all universities, AU's business model is to hire hands-on assistants so they don't have to pay them extra or perform well. They are signed and if that does not work, they are not hired any more. The problem with this is that you end up with people who are unqualified and bring their own agendas, biases that may or may not be based on research. Most of the professors were absolutely fantastic.
AU - The Real Problem With Academics
Some teachers are amazing, some awful - typical of any school. But the real problem with AU is that many students don't care about academics as much as other things (eg, partying). The academics are really interrupted by the Greek life and the social life of the students. This makes it difficult for students interested in academics to get the most out of their school experience. Some students do not take classes seriously and do not respect teachers and other students. Courses and opportunities at UA are perfect for people who want to take advantage
American University - The Best Place to Study
They know their stuff - I chose American University because the campus is beautiful and the biology program is relatively small. But after the first semester, I realized that all the professors, especially the people in the science department, are experts in their field. They are enthusiastic and helpful in lecturing; even the TAs who teach the labs are amazing and engaging.