Bradford Fleming knows firsthand how daunting it can be to consider a part-time MBA program while working full time. “At the time I was a project engineer at UTC, and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do the schoolwork and my job.” But a desire for more career opportunities convinced him he needed to give it a chance.
“It really clicked that I wanted to work in more than just engineering. I had a degree in chemical engineering but also liked managing projects and people and taking down road blocks to get people to be more efficient. WPI’s MBA program fit in really well with where I wanted to go.”
With the support of his WPI account team, Bradford finally decided to make the leap. “My operations manager at the time, Stacy, is the one that got me into the program. If she wasn’t there I probably would have never started. She made it really easy for me to get going.” Bradford also credits the support he received from UTC during his studies. “It seemed like people really understood and respected that you were going to school to be better at your job. If I had to leave a meeting early to get to class everyone would say ‘ok, let’s wrap this up so you can get to class on time.’ That kind of understanding from colleagues and management really helped make it easier to get my MBA.”
Despite frequent traveling for work, getting married, and welcoming a new baby, Bradford found that he was always supported in his studies. “Greg, my operations manager, was always there helping me with the right strategies. I wanted to finish the program early to meet some personal goals and he provided me with all the information I needed.” He also credits the convenience of local and online classes and the flexibility of WPI’s faculty.
“Having classes held near my work made it extremely easy to fit in class time. But one of my big apprehensions about starting the program was that I used to travel a lot for work. Thankfully there were a lot of tools available for the professors to work with me and they were open to recording the class or having me call in to participate live. Plus summer classes were held online. It was entirely manageable.”
Bradford feels his MBA experience has had a direct impact on his career. “When I started my MBA, I was a project engineer. Through the progression of my schooling I was promoted to project manager and now am a program manager with responsibility for managing other program managers, overseeing their projects, and driving process creation and improvement. I think pursuing my MBA helped me through this progression.”
When asked what advice he has for others who are considering joining a WPI MBA program Bradford responded,
“Don’t wait. If I were to do it again, I would have started years earlier.”
♥ Love this post? Subscribe to Catalyst.