Aaron McPherson, Vice President of Integrated Care Services, Institute on Aging

McPherson, a seasoned healthcare executive, discusses how he went back to school through Georgia College’s WebMBA program, despite being located in Alaska. He shares online graduate school tips and tricks, and how attaining an MBA helps with career advancement.

Transcript of Show

Speaker 1: 00:02
It’s time for Lenz on Business with Richard Lenz on 95.5 WSB, Atlanta’s news and talk. Presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, exploring Atlanta’s business leaders and inspiring stories, lessons learned and tips for growth and success.

Jon Waterhouse: 00:26
Yes, it’s time to talk business on 95.5 WSB Atlanta’s news and talk. I’m producer John Waterhouse. And here on Lenz on Business we have the great opportunity to talk to business executives who decided to go back to school and get their master’s degrees online, and they each have a very unique story to tell. And here with us this week to talk about his own experience is Aaron McPherson. Aaron is a seasoned healthcare executive and currently the Vice President of Integrated Care Services for the Institute on Aging based in San Francisco, California. He received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Carolina, and he earned his Master of Business Administration through Georgia College’s WebMBA program. You can learn more about Georgia College’s online graduate business programs at makeyournextmove.org. Aaron, welcome to the show.

Aaron McPherson: 01:26
Hey. Good morning, John. Thank you for having me.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:27
And with the wonder of technology, we’re speaking to you in San Francisco, California. How are things in San Francisco?

Aaron McPherson: 01:35
It’s a beautiful day today. Great weather, definitely a good place to be in the summer.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:40
Wow. I know, it’s funny here in Atlanta the weather is fluctuating and I’m a bit envious. I love that mild weather in San Francisco, so I hope you are able to enjoy that right now. So Aaron, I want to talk a little bit about your background. You have a clinical background in physical therapy, but you eventually were attracted to explore the business side of the healthcare industry. What led you to that?

Aaron McPherson: 02:08
Right, yeah. So, as a clinician I had known, I guess since I was a child that I really wanted to get into healthcare. And all the way through my doctorate program I really loved working with people, I loved helping people, and being a clinician was all I knew. But once I really got into the clinical role, I realized that I gravitated more towards the business side. I always wanted to be a leader, I wanted to be able to make a decision for the team. And I realized that I wasn’t in a position to do that unless I had the credentials, or at least the position to do that. So, I’d always had the ability to communicate well, so I figured the management side would be kind of a given. But I didn’t really have the background knowledge to be successful in business, the finance aspect or accounting, those types of things.

So I always wanted to go back to school to get a business degree just to make sure that I could have that good foundation to be a business leader. Also, talking to people that were in positions of leadership, I always kind of asked, where is it that I need to go next before I can kind of fill the roles that you guys have? And business school always came up. It didn’t necessarily mean an MBA, it could have been something in healthcare administration. But I wanted it to be very, I guess diverse in my education. So I chose a business school, and I thought once I do this I really will have the keys to open the next door.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:42
And let’s talk a little bit about the doors that have opened in regard to your WebMBA. You’re currently working at the Institute on Aging. Can you explain what your company does and what exactly you do at your company?

Aaron McPherson: 03:57
Sure. So we’re a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that basically tries to meet the needs of seniors, those over 50 who have aging related needs. This can be everything from working on securing housing to making sure that they have medical care, and then all the social aspects of aging, making sure that they have the ability to socialize, work with other, or at least converse with other seniors in getting groups. We work on making sure that their food insecurity is taken care of. So it’s an organization that really focuses on making sure that seniors are taken care of. And as a clinician, that was always what I wanted to do, and now I’m doing it from a little bit different angle and looking at it through a different lens. In the organization we have 20 plus programs that kind of attack the aging spectrum, the problems associated with it, at least, from a lot of different angles.

And integrated care in which I manage from the VP level really looks at how to build a team around these vulnerable seniors and address all the issues kind of as one interdisciplinary team to make sure that we’re not missing anything. Not every senior is the same, and sometimes they need physical care, sometimes they need emotional care, sometimes it’s psychological, sometimes it’s as simple as just having someone to talk to. So having that kind of background to be able to lean on as a clinician has also helped in the business world.

Jon Waterhouse: 05:33
And Aaron, I definitely want to learn more about how your WebMBA played a role into you obtaining this position at your current employer, and very interested in learning more about that. And we’ll be tackling that later on in the show, but let’s go back a little bit. As far as your decision to go back to school, why did you choose Georgia College’s WebMBA program?

Aaron McPherson: 05:57
Well, I had grown up in Georgia. I knew that getting an education in Georgia would definitely allow me the connections with individuals, not just in Georgia, but the Southeast. With Atlanta being such a huge metro area business center, knowing the right people in the Southeast was key to me. So I knew that I wanted the benefit of knowing the right people. And going online, and when you’re looking at business schools it seems like you have all the time in the world to try to pick the right one. And I did my research. I went back and I looked, and the WebMBA program was very cost effective.

So I knew that I probably would never be a Fortune 500 CEO and I didn’t need the $150,000 MBA. I wanted something that was very cost effective for me that would allow me to move up in my career, but do it in a reasonable manner. So Georgia College’s reputation as a brick and mortar school is huge. It’s a great program, very good reputation in the Southeast, and I thought it really aligned with where I wanted to be. And then it also allowed the flexibility of doing that program from either Alaska, or California, or wherever you really were.

Jon Waterhouse: 07:14
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget, you can get your MBA Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started. I’m producer John Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Aaron McPherson. He is a graduate of Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And Aaron, you were mentioning just before I was giving our sponsorship read here that the fact that the program was online played a big part in your decision. Let’s talk about the flexibility of online learning and why that was so important to you?

Aaron McPherson: 08:02
Well, obviously as someone that has to work to make a living, it really was a huge aspect of choosing what business school to attend. Because if I had gone to a traditional school where I had to be in class at certain hours, I probably wasn’t going to be able to keep the same job that I had. It would have definitely been a huge life change to make that move. So finding an online program that really allowed me to continue my work, continue living where I was living and meeting all the needs of that employment, having the online option played directly into that. So, all I really needed was a good connection and the time to do it, and it worked out perfectly.

Jon Waterhouse: 08:44
Was it a challenge to balance work and life with school? I mean, here you are in the midst of an executive career and you’re diving back into studies. How hard was that?

Aaron McPherson: 08:55
Well, I would love say that it was super easy. I’d always been really good at school, but actually doing an online program was a challenge in its own. First of all, when you’re working in a position, I was a director at the time, a director job is never 40 hours a week, so you can’t really guarantee that you’re going to be off at five or that you’re not going to have to go in at night or on a weekend. So for me, it was really just learning, how do I manage my time? How do I manage the aspects of my job? How do I make sure that I have time for interpersonal relationships for my family? Those types of things.

So understanding that time management was the biggest aspect was huge. The only way I could really be successful was learning how to do that. After that it was building relationships with the people that I was in the cohort with on the program, knowing that business school was never just an individual effort, but it was working with people. And once I was able to do that, it worked out very well. Education, I think was a common goal for everyone in our cohort, obviously, so we were working towards the same goal.

Jon Waterhouse: 10:06
And one thing I’ve learned talking to other Georgia College WebMBA grads and folks who have participated in their online business graduate business programs, is life happens, it doesn’t slow down during the program. Were there any specific challenges that you had to face during this time and how were you able to overcome them?

Aaron McPherson: 10:26
Sure. So I had just moved from New Mexico up to Alaska right when I was accepted in the business program. I had just taken a brand new job, so it seemed like everything in my life was in turmoil. Not necessarily in a bad spot, but there was just a lot going on. So I was learning a new community, I was learning a new job, I was learning a new school, and nothing in life stopped. It was one of those things that you just had to kind of go with the flow and make it work. One of the most difficult parts of being in Alaska and doing a program at Georgia College was there was a four hour time difference. So managing the aspect that most of the peers that you’re working with are getting off of work at five o’clock their time and it’s only one o’clock my time.

And then understanding that group meetings and group projects would all have to be done on the majority of the group’s time was a huge adjustment for me. The team itself really appreciated my aspect as well and said, hey, we’ll work with you on that. But understanding that it wasn’t going to change and just buying into the fact that, hey, this is kind of business anyway. Sometimes you’re going to be in a different area code, especially international business, understanding that was really helpful for me as well.

Jon Waterhouse: 11:43
I’m sure it was. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business. I’m producer John Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs, including MBA Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. You can learn more at gcsu.edu/business, and we’ll be back with more Lenz on Business right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz: 12:12
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 12:42
We’re back at you with more business talk here on Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m producer John Waterhouse, and this week we’re talking with Aaron McPherson. Aaron is a seasoned healthcare executive and the Vice President of Integrated Care Services for the Institute on Aging based in San Francisco, California. He received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Carolina, and later he earned his Master of Business Administration through Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And you can learn more about Georgia College’s online graduate business programs at makeyournextmove.org. Now, Aaron, before the break you were talking about the fact that you were actually based in Alaska at the time when you were undergoing and experiencing Georgia College’s WebMBA program. You were talking about the challenges of that. Can you talk a little bit more about what that was like?

Aaron McPherson: 13:40
Definitely. So, one of the great things about the state of Alaska is there’s plenty of things to do, especially in the summertime. Great weather, plenty of outdoor activities, along with work. So, I think the hardest part for me was realizing that I was going to have to actually set some time aside for school and realize that I couldn’t do all the traditional outdoor activities that I really wanted to do in the summer. There were a couple of times that I was doing a group call from a boat while I was fishing for salmon or something like that. But, I think that the biggest part of it’s really realizing that no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection, the ability to meet with your team, there’s a lot of technology out there that will help you do that.

So I didn’t feel 4,000 miles away, I felt like I was always able to be very connected with the program. And for me that was key. Most of the people that were in my cohort, they also weren’t based in Atlanta, so they were mostly on the East Coast. But it was a program that we could bring all of our diverse aspects of our experiences of our jobs to the role. When I was in Alaska I had this viewpoint from a nonprofit, medical, small town hospital experience while I was working with other people that may have had bigger metropolitan or urban experiences. So I think it allowed me to bring a different aspect of experience to the group.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:08
Wow. Fascinating stuff. Folks, we’re talking with Aaron McPherson. He is a graduate of Georgia College’s WebMBA program, the online program, and he’s currently the Vice President of Integrated Care Services for the Institute on Aging in San Francisco, California. And you are listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. Don’t forget you can get your MBA Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online. GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form to get started. And we’ll be back with more from Aaron McPherson right here on Lenz on Business after news, weather and traffic on WSB.

Richard Lenz: 15:59
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsuu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 16:21
Welcome back to Lenz on Business. I’m producer John Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs, including MBA Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business. And joining me this week is someone who knows that program from the inside out, Aaron McPherson. Aaron is a seasoned healthcare executive and the Vice President of Integrated Care Services for the Institute on Aging based in San Francisco, California. He received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Carolina, and he earned his Master of Business Administration through Georgia College’s WebMBA program.

You can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org. Now, Aaron, we were talking about the fact that you were actually living in Alaska at the time when you were participating in Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And I think a testament to the program is the fact that you not only see students from all over the country participate in the program, but the bond is strong enough with the university and their classmates to the fact that you came all the way from Alaska to attend the commencement ceremonies. Can you talk a little bit about that and the bond that was forged with you and the members of your cohort, and Georgia College at large?

Aaron McPherson: 17:54
Definitely. So when you spend the amount of time that you spend with those people in your cohort you build this bond. You’re talking to them every week, you’re talking to them throughout the week, you’re spending hours with these people. And I think during the orientation process you learn a little bit about someone, but when you see them for just a weekend, you don’t really get to dive in. But through the process of 20 months, almost two years in the program, people start to have children, people get married, people get promotions. You see people grow in their careers and you get to celebrate those victories with them. We had a great group and everyone was really dedicated to the program, but also you could tell when somebody got a new house that the whole group was excited for them. When somebody moved into a new role, there was a celebration there as well.

So there was this bond formed. And once you’re finally done with the program, you don’t want to just say goodbye by logging out. You want to make sure that you get to shake hands, and hug, and enjoy a meal and get to join that celebration with your group. The professors that you meet, the professors and the administration that you build a bond with, it’s really hard to just kind of wrap up the program with just, like I said, just logging off. You really want to see them, shake their hand, enjoy the fact that you completed something of such meaning and that you finally have some closure almost. It’s such a joyous moment, you want to make sure that you’re there to celebrate with everyone else

Jon Waterhouse: 19:32
And a running theme, Aaron, that I seem to see with some of the graduates of the online graduate business programs through Georgia College, is the fact that these cohort experiences really do forge not only support and friendships during the learning process, but as you said, you don’t just log off. A lot of these people who I’ve spoken with talk about the fact that they lean on some of their former classmates in day to day business decisions and challenges, they’re able to reach for them, and also reach for some of their professors who they studied under during that time. Is that true for you?

Aaron McPherson: 20:12
It is. With LinkedIn being so prevalent and prominent now that the ability to connect with the circle that you’ve kind of formed really makes it easy. And then you get to know their circle. So the networking aspect is huge. You’re building bonds with people in different careers. My cohort was made up of banking executives, IT executives, government workers. And then of course, as you mentioned, the professors, they’re the subject matter experts, and it’s always great to keep that bond so when you do have a question in the business world, you’re able to kind of do your homework before going into a big meeting, and you’ve run it by somebody that knows and that has this experience. So, I think the best part about the WebMBA program was actually building those relationships and building that bond and network with those that I worked with for so long.

Jon Waterhouse: 21:04
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget, you can get your MBA Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete that form to get started. I’m producer John Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Aaron McPherson. He’s a graduate of Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And Aaron, let’s talk a little bit about how the WebMBA program really sets you up for professional success? I do believe you have quite the story there.

Aaron McPherson: 21:48
Well, for me having the ability to get that background, that foundational education that you can take and basically show your employers, hey, I know what I’m talking about. I have the experience now, or I have the education now, I really just need the experience. For me, I was working as a director in a small hospital in Alaska, and after graduation I realized that I really was set up for a larger job. So, just having an MBA really helped me move from a small position into a large market like San Francisco Bay area. It allowed me to take the experience that I had working as a clinician, it took the ability for me to show that I had management experience as a director, but it really gave me that foundation that said, hey, this guy knows a little bit about business now, he’s probably in a position where he can go for a bigger role. So that opened up the vice president world to me, and I moved down to the Bay area and took a job as a Vice President of Operations. And it really did open that door for me, it allowed me to step in and show that I was ready for that next move.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:01
So what are some of the professional challenges you’ve been able to overcome thanks to your WebMBA? And I’m speaking about the more practical sense, maybe some skills that you attained during your studies that you’ve put to action, put to use?

Aaron McPherson: 23:15
Sure. So, for me I always knew the managerial side pretty well, but I had no idea about how to read a balance sheet or work with the finances of an organization. And as soon as you step into a vice president role you’re managing budgets, you’re putting together forecast on a regular basis, you’re having to read the financial documents to even stay in the game. So for me, it really was the accounting courses, the finance courses, utilizing the business statistics courses to really stay relevant in my field. There was course on international business and entrepreneurship that really propelled me into being able to make some decisions with some organizations that were international. Dealing with with some of those people was, I think for me it was kind of intimidating at first, but then I realized that I had something to lean on.

And I mean, I think just the fact of working with a cohort added to that. So it wasn’t a formal course, but as you’re working through this program, you’re learning how to delegate among your team, you’re learning how to build those interpersonal relationships when one team member may not be in line with the way of thinking of the rest of the group. So you’re learning how to work through those delicate conversations already just by working in a group all the time. So for me, it really just allowed me to step right in and feel like I had been doing this for years.

Jon Waterhouse: 24:41
Do you think that attaining an MBA is key for career growth in the healthcare industry on the executive level?

Aaron McPherson: 24:50
I think that’s kind of a loaded question. I think that I’ve seen a lot of students go straight from their undergraduate studies and start a business program, and they come out without the background or the experience, boots on the ground experience. And I don’t think it’s as helpful. But if you’re looking for something to supplement the experience that you’ve already gained in the workforce, I think it’s essential. I think that itself, if you have some experience and then the education, you’re going to be able to grow so much faster. So in the healthcare field, I think a lot of clinicians have that background knowledge of the medical aspect. Now working with a team that’s not only medical requires a little bit more education and requires a little bit more experience with an interdisciplinary team. And the MBA provides that. It gives you an opportunity to kind of branch out from just the clinical knowledge, but now you have that interpersonal and business knowledge.

Jon Waterhouse: 25:53
And we were talking just a few moments ago about some of the practical applications of your WebMBA degree in your work life. Do you have any particular favorite courses that really stand out to you that you really enjoyed, that you feel like you got the most out of through Georgia College’s WebMBA program?

Aaron McPherson: 26:11
I think the entrepreneurship class just blew me away. It was a totally different way of thinking than I had ever been used to. So learning that aspect kind of just gave me a different way of thinking, which was extremely, extremely great. I would talk to friends, and every time I completed a lesson for the week I’d take it back to work and I’d say, hey, and I’d apply it there. And I’d say, this is something I really learned, it was really cool. And then I would also say the finance and the accounting classes. Because it was a different language to me, it was totally foreign, it felt like it opened up a door that I had never been exposed to.

Going through the biology undergrad and then getting a doctorate in physical therapy all very much science-based. But the language of money just really intrigued me. So going through those courses, even though they were a little bit more difficult for me, I definitely did not ace those courses by any means, but it gave me a whole new language. It was like learning French or something. And it allowed me to at least be competent at the time, and now it’s given me that foundation where I can really thrive. So those three courses really stood out.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:24
And we’re going to be hearing more from Aaron McPherson, a graduate of Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And Lenz on Business is presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. You can get your MBA Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form to get started. And also don’t forget that marketing matters, and Lenz knows marketing. From brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing to public relations. Think smart, think creative, think Lenz. Learn more at lenzmarketing.com. And we’ll be back with more Lenz on Business in just a few moments.

Richard Lenz: 28:15
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu.

Jon Waterhouse: 28:36
You’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College, Georgia is public liberal arts university, I’m producer, John Waterhouse, And today we’re chatting with Aaron McPherson. Aaron is a seasoned healthcare executive and the Vice President of Integrated Care Services for the Institute on Aging based in San Francisco, California. He received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Carolina, and he earned his Master of Business Administration through Georgia College’s WebMBA program. You can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org. So Aaron, you were talking a little bit about the cohort earlier, actually a good little bit about the cohort. Can you kind of give our listeners a definition of what the Georgia College WebMBA Online Graduate Business program cohort is all about?

Aaron McPherson: 29:31
Sure. The reason I mentioned it is because I think that was really one of the biggest parts of the program, is that was your group. That was the team that you worked with throughout the whole program. So once you start the program there’s an orientation in Atlanta, and everyone, the whole group of new applicants, new admittee’s to the program are altogether, and you get to pick a cohort. You get to pick a group of six or seven people that you want to go through the program with. And of course you don’t get to know them extremely well at the very beginning, but definitely throughout the whole program you do. That cohort, that six or seven people start the same curriculum. You’re in the same two courses every semester throughout the whole program. So you really get to learn their working styles, their learning styles, how they like to study, what kind of content they’re going to bring to the group. And throughout the program, the majority of the work is group work. It’s something that you may have to study individually and you may have to take tests individually, but you’re always producing some content together as a group. So you’re working with these individuals as a team to make sure that you’re succeeding as that cohort, as that team.

Jon Waterhouse: 30:48
Fantastic stuff. And as you said, working as a team, it enhances your work life. It kind of spills over. You learn those skills, they get sharpened.

Aaron McPherson: 30:58
Right, definitely. I mean, there’s very few positions in this world where you’re working independently, and the majority of the time in business you’re working with a team. And understanding how to manage a team, how to delegate through a team, how to have difficult conversations with a team, those are the most important parts of business school. You’re coming out with the ability to communicate and to move a group forward. Any company is going to be made up of multiple people, and being able to manage that function of bringing a team together and moving forward is essential. So that cohort environment allows you to do that.

Jon Waterhouse: 31:34
Well, thank you so much, Aaron, for joining us this week on Lenz on Business. And make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lensonbusiness.com. That’s L-E-N-Z onbusiness.com. And the whole shebang is presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. Don’t forget you can get your MBA Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournext move.org and complete the form to get started. I’m producer John Waterhouse. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you next time on Lenz on Business right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz: 32:26
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jody Yearwood, Senior Vice President & CIO, Executive Director of the Global Online College at Georgia Military College

We have the great opportunity to talk to business executives who decided to go back to school and get their masters degree online, and they each have their own unique story to tell. This week’s guest Jody Yearwood received his Master in management information systems online from Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Additionally, he oversees online learning at Georgia Military College. So Yearwood knows both sides of the coin. On this episode, he shares his online graduate experience, his thoughts on online learning in the COVID-19 era, and more with producer Jon Waterhouse.

Transcript of Show

Jon Waterhouse (00:28):
It’s business talk time on 95.5 WSB, Atlanta’s News and Talk. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. You know, here on Lenz on Business, we have the great opportunity to talk to business executives who decided to go back to school and get their masters degree online. And they each have their own unique story to tell. And here with us this week to talk about his experience is Jody Yearwood. He’s Senior Vice President and CIO, as well as Executive Director of the Global Online College at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. And it’s at Georgia Military College that he helped launch 29 online degree programs at both the associates and bachelors degree levels. So it made sense for this Georgia College undergraduate to go back to school via its online program for a master of management information systems. He’ll be sharing his experience and the effect it’s having on his job this week on Lenz on Business. And you can learn more about Georgia College’s online business programs at makeyournextmove.org. Jody, welcome to the show.

Jody Yearwood (01:40):
Hi, thank you for having me.

Jon Waterhouse (01:41):
So Jody, let’s talk about your job at Georgia Military College and why you went back to school and got your master’s degree online from Georgia College. Tell us a little bit more about what you do.

Jody Yearwood (01:53):
Okay, great. So right now I am overseeing the IT operations for GMC, and that spans 14 different campuses across the state of Georgia, all through the regions. So we manage all of those systems out of our department with the split across three divisions. And then the second part of my job is, I actually oversee the Global Online College, which has about 4,000 online students anywhere from the associates level up to the bachelors level. And we have students from all over the world. So our college functions much like anything else. We have the different degree programs, we oversee financial aid, coaching services, success coaching, admissions, business office services. You name it, it’s a complete package. So, it’s a very busy day-to-day operation.

Jon Waterhouse (02:42):
So you’re at the executive level. What made you want to go back and get your masters degree?

Jody Yearwood (02:47):
Well, it’s one of those lifelong goals that I always had after finishing undergrad. I started out as just a computer programmer and then worked my way up through industry and found myself in higher education, where degrees are very welcomed and expected. It’s one of those that I always planned to do but never could quite get around to doing it, with 12-hour work days and kids and family and you name it. Making that leap to go ahead and start back was always next year’s goal. But luckily my wife got involved, and wives can tend to push us pretty hard, if you’re familiar with that. So she did, she pushed me on that and said, “You know, you’re not getting any younger. It’s time to go ahead and get this done.”

Jody Yearwood (03:34):
So it put me in motion and got me looking at degree programs that are out there, and I started doing the research, and then ended up coming back home to Georgia College where I’d gotten my undergrad. It was just a natural fit for us. They had a good program, good faculty, I was familiar with them. It was online, so it worked around the schedule. And with enough pushing from her, I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and get it done.

Jon Waterhouse (03:58):
So any other reason that you chose Georgia College? Because there are quite a few online graduate business programs out there. Why Georgia College for your MMIS?

Jody Yearwood (04:09):
There are. Well, they were one of the ones that had that particular program that was out there. There are a lot of MBAs, but there’s not a ton of the MMISs. I liked their program, like I said, and I was familiar with their faculty. I’ve lived in Milledgeville and had been in community groups with them, and so I was friends with some of them, knew them all, knew it was a good program. It had a great price on it, I don’t think it ran me more than about $11,000 to $12,000 out of pocket, is what I paid for it. So it was very economical. So just familiarity with the actual degree program, the price, and then anybody that has any experience with it knows it’s a great school.

Jon Waterhouse (04:48):
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget, you can get your MBA, master of logistics, or master of management information systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re talking with Jody Yearwood. He did just that as a graduate of one of Georgia College’s online graduate business programs. Now, Jody, when you enrolled in Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business’s online master of management information systems program, you were one of the oldest in the program at that time. How did it feel going back to school at that age? Was it a little bit of an intimidating experience to get back into that mindset?

Jody Yearwood (05:47):
I don’t know that I would say it was intimidating. I was obviously one of the oldest ones around, so that was an interesting situation to find myself in. One of the, I guess, challenges that I had is, I wanted it to be seen just as any other student that was in there. And as I was coming in as somebody that had already achieved vice president, CIO level status, obviously I had the job that a lot of people starting into that program already wanted. So it was a little weird coming back after I had the job. So that was probably the largest challenge, is just, I wanted to be seen just like every other student and really participate in the program and learn with it. But I was able to bring a lot of experience, there was a lot of group work, a lot of research projects you did together.

Jody Yearwood (06:32):
So I think getting my experience of having been in industry for over 15 years at the time was good for the students that I worked with. But it was also good for me because they had fresh perspectives and they had, a lot of them had just come out of their undergraduate a few years before. So I learned quite a bit from them, and new ways of thinking and how another generation might approach different problems. So it’s good, when you put that many different levels of professionals together, everybody can learn from each other.

Jon Waterhouse (07:02):
So Jody, let’s talk about some ways that you used your own personal experience to help others along the way, and then we can look at the other side of the coin.

Jody Yearwood (07:11):
Yeah, so especially in the group projects, I would say when we would approach a particular problem or a research project or anything that’s out there, maybe not a problem is the best way to say it. But a lot of the things that we were researching I had already had previous experience with. Whether it be redesigning entire networks if you were more of a technical class, or some of the more business and leadership focused classes, managing staff, preparing budgets, how to do project management. These were things that I had all done in my career and was actively doing. So I was able to bring that real world perspective to the project, which I think is helpful whenever you’re doing academic work.

Jody Yearwood (07:53):
But it was great for me because seeing how they approached it, a lot of them a lot younger than I was, made me pick up maybe some things that I could say differently, do differently, think about differently that would work better with my own staff that I was coming back with that are a lot younger than I was. So it was a lot of give and take, a lot of share, and I hope they learned something from me. And I know I learned a lot from them.

Jon Waterhouse (08:17):
If you’re just tuning into Lenz on Business, we’re talking with Jody Yearwood. He’s a graduate of one of Georgia College’s online graduate business programs. In fact, it’s a master of management information systems that he received at Georgia College, brought back to work just across the street at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. Now, Jody, let’s talk about how you balanced school and work, and compare your undergraduate experience with your online masters experience. Because off the air you explained to me when you were in undergraduate school at Georgia College you were going to school at night, you were working full-time. Compare the two, that versus your online masters program experience.

Jody Yearwood (09:04):
Yeah, that’s a great question. When I was in undergrad, working full-time and having to work a traditional classroom based schedule around my work schedule, to say that was challenging would probably be an understatement. Night classes, very long night classes, if you’ve ever done night school work, very long classes, a lot of work, you’re jamming a lot there into the evenings, a lot of times after work. So you’re already tired before you ever get to classroom. Or working in classes based on the schedule, when you can take a lunch break or just trying to fit everything together and piece it together. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you just can’t make everything work. So it took a long time to get that undergraduate degree finished. You fast forward into the graduate degree program, because the courses were delivered online I was really able to tailor it around my schedule.

Jody Yearwood (09:56):
So I’m the type of person that likes to work in very long blocks of time. Maybe it’s my programming background or something, I don’t like to break it up into chunks. I like to dive into a project and get it done. So you do a couple of things during the week, attend a couple of lectures if you need to, that sort of thing. But I was really able to schedule a lot of my weekend time, Saturdays and Sundays, spent a lot of time in the office working 10 and 11 hour stretches, and get most of my work completed that way. So you really could tailor it around what you had going on in life, which was just such a better experience. Well, maybe not better, but an easier experience for a working adult.

Jody Yearwood (10:36):
My wife actually decided at the same time, she pushed me into going back to school, so I pushed her as well. So she started her graduate degree at the same time I started mine, and she approached it completely differently. She likes working in small chunks and she likes breaking up her days, and she was able to do that as well. She’d work over lunch breaks or maybe an hour every evening. So I would support the house and the kids and everything else while she was working on hers during the week, and we’d swap and she’d take over everything on the weekends. And I would sequester in my office for several long blocks of time. And at the end of the day we both graduated at the same time with pretty good GPAs.

Jon Waterhouse (11:14):
Well, I look forward to diving deeper into that topic. Because as you mentioned, you have two small children and you all were both going back to school at the same time and handling that as well. So I’m very curious about that. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs, including MBA, master of logistics and supply chain management, and master of management information systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business. And we’re talking with a Georgia College online business graduate, Jody Yearwood, here on the show. We’ll be back with more from Jody right here on Lenz on Business on WSB.

Richard Lenz (12:05):
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse (12:34):
We are back at you with more business talk here on Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re talking with Jody Yearwood. He’s senior vice president and CIO as well as executive director of the Global Online College at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. He received his master of management information systems online from Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, also based out of Milledgeville. And this week Jody is sharing his experience and the effect that his graduate degree is having on his job. You can learn more about Georgia College’s online business programs at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse (13:21):
Now, Jody, before the break you brought up an interesting note. Your wife also decided to go back and participate in another online masters program at Georgia College at the same time you decided to go back to school. And you both have two small children. Let’s talk a little bit more about how that worked. You were explaining about that before the break, but if you can dig a little deeper and give us an idea how you guys made that happen?

Jody Yearwood (13:50):
Yeah, that’s a great question. So definitely I would say that we like a challenge as a couple, apparently, and maybe we just like punishment and pain. Because it was not easy, three years together was in graduate school with the kids, and it was a lot of juggling. But being that the programs were delivered in the format that they were, the online, and we were able to work around and build the schoolwork around our already existing, pretty hectic schedule, we really were able to come together as a team and make it work. And a lot of that is because we approach work very differently. As I was saying before, my brain works, I do not like to be broken in a train of thought. So if I need to sit down and research and write a paper or do a project and it’s going to take six, seven hours, I want to work for six or seven hours and be uninterrupted. It’s just the way my brain kind of operates.

Jody Yearwood (14:44):
Hers is completely different. If she has to work for longer than an hour on any one particular task, I think she would go absolutely insane. So because of that compatibility of the way we worked, I was able to really work through most of the week with her, she could take a couple of hours a day, maybe at lunch or maybe in the evening after the kids settled down a little bit, and really knock her work out in small chunks, which worked for her. It wasn’t overwhelming, and she was able to get everything done that she needed to in the course of the week. And I was able to keep up with during the week if there were discussion forum posts or anything that I had to sign in to or be available for.

Jody Yearwood (15:24):
But most of the work in grad school is done in research papers, projects, that sort of thing that I find really fit well with that long block of time. So we would swap on Friday evenings and she would go over and she would be done with her work for the most part, and I would start sequestering in the office and just knocking out large chunks of work. It was not unheard of for me to pull a 12-hour Saturday in order to pump a paper out and get it ready to go for the next week. But it worked for us. If we had had to go to a traditional program where we were sitting in a classroom, I don’t think that we would have ever been able to pull that off, especially not at the same time.

Jon Waterhouse (16:06):
Well, this is incredibly inspiring that you both were able to pull that off at the same time. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget, you can make just like our guest this week, Jody Yearwood, and participate in their program. You can get your MBA, your master of logistics, or master of management information systems. That’s what Jody did. You can get those online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. We’ll be back with more Jody Yearwood on Lenz on Business after news, weather, and traffic right here on WSP.

Richard Lenz (16:53):
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse (17:16):
Welcome back to Lenz on Business. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs, including MBA, master of logistics and supply chain management, and master of management information systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business. And joining me this week is someone who knows that program from the inside out. Jody Yearwood is here with us, he’s Senior Vice President and CIO as well as Executive Director of the Global Online College at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. And it’s at Georgia Military College that Jody helped launch 29 online degree programs at both the associates and bachelors degree levels.

Jon Waterhouse (18:07):
So it made sense for this Georgia College undergrad, that’s where he went to school earlier, it made sense for him to go back to Georgia College via its online program for his master of management information systems degree. Jody is sharing his experience and the effect it’s having on his job with us this week. And you can learn more about Georgia College’s online graduate business programs at makeyournextmove.org. So Jody, let’s talk about some of the work that you experienced in the program. If someone is going back to school and is interested in the master of management information systems program via Georgia College’s online program, what should they expect as far as work goes and that type of involvement?

Jody Yearwood (18:54):
I would say I would break the type of work that you’re going to do into three very broad categories. And the classes are going to span, some of the classes are going to be focused almost all in one category and others will span all three, the first one being the technical aspect. You’re going to take a lot of, well, not a lot, but you’ll take some classes in there that are going to be very technical focused. You’re going to learn about networking infrastructure or maybe app development, programming, web development, e-commerce, security, and logistics. So all of these things, ERP, you’re going to take classes in these areas, and these are going to be very technically focused classes. So you’ll be doing a lot of projects, in-depth research on these particular areas and topics of study using a lot of online learning labs.

Jody Yearwood (19:41):
I really loved some of those that a lot of the professors have used where, and I forget the name of the software now, but you actually would log into it and build a network rack together by dragging and dropping certain components and plugging them in and making them all work and programming the routers and all of that fun stuff. So yeah, if you’re into the technical aspect of it, which I know most people in the information systems field are, there’s going to be quite a bit of that work. And it’s challenging, it’s not overwhelming, but I think it’s good to teach you the conceptual skills of some of the more technical aspect of your job.

Jody Yearwood (20:16):
And the second part of it will be the more business or soft skills. So there’s quite a bit about leadership development, staff development, managing teams, managing projects, managing budgets and expectations. You’ll spend quite a bit of your class time focused on the management aspect of somebody that is in business with a technical focus. So great classes, great topics, and I think those are the ones that will probably stay with me longest. Technical skills can get outdated pretty quickly, although the concepts, you can pretty much work with just about anything. But the soft skills are the ones that seem to never go away. Those are the ones that will stick with you. And working with people and working within companies and organizations and being an expert in those particular situations, I think, are something that will stay with anyone throughout the span of their career.

Jody Yearwood (21:13):
And then the third area that I would say, and this really runs through all of them, would be the research component. And it was probably the one I was least prepared for. I thought that I had done research. We say that a lot, “I’m going to research this topic and get back to you.” I didn’t have a clue until I hit that first class what actual research was. And they will make you very good at it. They’ll drill it into you and you’ll do it in just about any class. So I don’t care if it was a technical class or more of a business focus, it’s probably all of it’s going to have a research component. And you’re going to do papers, they’re going to require quite a bit of work.

Jody Yearwood (21:52):
And there’s a very specific way that is done. And I learned that one the hard way very quickly. So that was probably the most challenging aspect of it but the one that I maybe got the most reward out of it. Because it taught me how to go through and really research, dissect, put together a plan, and I’ve been able to use that in my career after taking those courses.

Jon Waterhouse (22:14):
And I want to learn more, Jody, about what you’ve learned and what you’ve applied in your career across the street over there at Georgia Military College. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget, you can get your MBA, your master of logistics, or master of management information systems online just like Jody here, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, and yes, we’re talking with Jody Yearwood, a graduate of one of Georgia College’s online graduate business programs. In fact, he’s a graduate of the master of management information systems degree. And Jody, let’s talk about some ways that you’re using your degree in your job at Georgia Military College.

Jody Yearwood (23:10):
I wish I could tell you that I do a lot of technical work. Those days seem to be behind me. I think I spend most of my days in meetings or projects or coordination and you name it. My teams don’t let me touch technical things any more because they think I might break it. I don’t believe that. I think I could probably pull it off, but we’ll see. But yeah, so I would say probably the main aspect that I brought back and really developed in my role now would be understanding and being able to apply academic research in a business setting. Before that, I am a data driven individual, I like making data driven decisions, we have tons of data in the college world and higher education. But being able to really look at a problem and build a research problem around it, do the literature review, set up your experiments, dive into it, and figure out what the problem is, and not only go on what you think the data and your intuition is telling you, but being able to actually do the research properly, has really opened my eyes.

Jody Yearwood (24:20):
Being that I run a college campus of about 4,000 students, one of the things that we dove into around the same time, and I actually used part of it for a project that I was doing in graduate school, was raising the success rates of online learners. I set that up with our deans and some of our faculties, we built the research project, we dove into the data, we did the literature review, we did it just like you were going to publish it somewhere. And at the end of the day we ended up with some very actionable solutions that probably none of us were thinking about before we went into the project. I certainly wasn’t myself, but we were able to, through implementing some of those tools, doing the research, doing it correctly, we were able to build an actual strategic plan that achieved our goals.

Jody Yearwood (25:10):
We raised the success rates of those students in those courses because we were able to really research and identify what the issues that were causing them to not be successful were. So it was bringing it home from the graduate studies into the workplace and being able to put it to good use and actually have a deliverable for the organization you work with.

Jon Waterhouse (25:31):
So Jody, you were talking about your experience, of course, in online studies in the graduate program there, Georgia College’s master of management information systems. Of course you had a great experience studying online, and your job over at Georgia Military College is as executive director of the Global Online College. So you have this great experience not only as an online student, but as an online executive director of study. Jody, how do you think the current COVID-19 era is going to have an effect on online learning? Obviously this gives us an opportunity amidst some of the social distancing guidelines that are being set up, and who knows how long some of these things will be on people’s minds and how it’s going to change things. How do you think online learning is going to impact this current era?

Jody Yearwood (26:26):
Well, I think, wow, I wish I had a crystal ball to really foresee the future. I think the ground is shifting underneath us in higher ed just about every day trying to keep up with the different directions and everything that’s coming out. I will say this, I think that online learning will probably be taken a lot more seriously in the coming years. If it’s not a part of your college’s delivery mode of education, if you’ve stayed away from it, if maybe you haven’t really launched those programs, I guarantee you every college president out there right now is wondering how they can get their online programs up and running. To give you an example, with GMC’s online programs, those 4,000 students, when we had to transition because our campuses went from in-seat learning to remote distance learning where everything had to be done remotely, like most other colleges, it was a large ground shift and everybody was scrambling to pull it off.

Jody Yearwood (27:22):
Our faculty did an amazing job, but it was not an easy lift. In the online college we didn’t miss a beat. It was already set up. We had everything built for the remote services. The students were used to taking the remote classes. The only impact we had was, we had more students coming into that online environment. And I think you’re going to see a lot more of that, especially as the uncertainty that’s out there in the higher ed marketplace right now, people are probably going to be looking for those online programs a little more than they were before this happened.

Jon Waterhouse (27:50):
Well, folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget that marketing matters, and Lenz knows marketing from brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing to public relations. Think smart. Think creative. Think Lenz. Learn more at lenzmarketing.com. And we’re going to be learning more from Jody Yearwood, a graduate of one of Georgia College’s online graduate business programs here on Lenz on Business. We’ll be back with more in just a few moments right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz (28:35):
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse (28:58):
You’re locked into Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’ve been chatting with Jody Yearwood. He’s Senior Vice President and CIO as well as Executive Director of the Global Online College at Georgia Military College, based out of Milledgeville. He received his master of management information systems online from Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, and he’s been sharing his online studies experience and the effect it’s been having on his job with us this week on Lenz on Business. And you can learn more about Georgia College’s graduate business programs at makeyournextmove.org. Now, Jody, if I’m not mistaken, you also received a promotion recently, not too long ago. And did your masters degree play a part in this?

Jody Yearwood (29:57):
Yes, it actually did. Yes, I was lucky enough to get promoted about, I guess, five months ago. I went from being a Vice President of information technology to a Senior Vice President. So what that means is that I was able to step up, and I actually have a cabinet level position now, reporting directly to the President. The graduate degree played a huge role in that. Number one, you wouldn’t be qualified to have a senior vice president role without a graduate degree. So it was that last piece that I needed in order to be able to earn the promotions that were in front of me.

Jody Yearwood (30:32):
But secondly, through the experience and some of the projects that we put in place that I talked about earlier with the research projects and really being able to apply that and move the needle on some business outcomes, we made the institutional decision to rebrand and relaunch our online programs from being an online campus, Georgia focus, to the Global Online College this past year. So I think it really showed the President what the capabilities and the possibilities are for what we can do and what we can bring to students worldwide. And that’s been growing gangbusters since we’ve done it, and it’s really going well. So without that degree I wouldn’t have qualified for it, and without the learning that I had there I don’t think I would have ever pulled off some of those projects in order to move some of my operations forward.

Jon Waterhouse (31:23):
And so, Jody, obviously you are a proponent of online learning. You were talking just a few moments ago about how this is definitely a game-changer in the world of higher education. Let’s talk a little bit more before the end of the program here some final thoughts regarding online learning, and why do you think people should consider it and consider a program like one that’s available, a masters program at Georgia College?

Jody Yearwood (31:49):
Well, it is an effective way to study. And I think a lot of people are scared of the format. They think they need to sit in a classroom in order to learn. And we’ve proved day in and day out that you don’t, you can have a very effective education without being in a classroom. So people don’t need to fear online learning. And they also need to understand, especially for the working adults and the people that need education to fit within their lives, online is a great option for them to be able to do that. There is no other way that you can really schedule all your work/life/school balance that you would need to have without that online option. So I hope that people stop fearing it and really understand that it’s a viable way to learn and it’s just as good as any masters degree you would get sitting in the classroom for three years.

Jon Waterhouse (32:38):
Well, thank you so much, Jody Yearwood, for joining us this week. And make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lenzonbusiness.com. That’s L-E-N-Z onbusiness.com. And the whole shebang is brought to you by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. You can get your MBA, your master of logistics, or master of management information systems online, GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. We’ll see you next time on Lenz on Business right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz (33:21):
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Dr. Karl Manrodt, Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, and Jeremiah Griffin, Senior Manager for Process Improvement and Supply Chain for Walmart

As consumers, we live in an on-demand culture. And in the age of COVID-19, businesses are feeling this pressure now more than ever. This means the world of logistics and supply chain just got tougher. Dr. Manrodt, an expert in the field, and Griffin, who sees the subject firsthand through Walmart, share their perspectives on logistics and supply chain amid the current pandemic.

Transcript of Show

Jon Waterhouse: 00:24
Yes, it’s time to talk business on 95.5 WSB Atlanta’s News and Talk. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. Today’s customers want our products yesterday. And thanks to Amazon Prime, UPS, FedEx, and others, we’re quite spoiled. And now in the age of COVID-19, businesses are feeling this pressure more than ever. This means the world of logistics and supply chain just got tougher. And here to talk about that in a whole lot more is Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt. He’s a Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the Director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program, an online Masters Program for working professionals. Dr. Manrodt has more than 25 years in logistics, transportation, and supply chain research. And with him today is one of his students, Jeremiah Griffin.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:24
Now Jeremiah knows supply chain from the inside out as Senior Manager for Process Improvement and Supply Chain for Walmart, of course one of the largest retailers in the country. Jeremiah is currently a student at Georgia College studying online for his Masters of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. You can learn more about Georgia Colleges Online Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program at makeyournextmove.org. Good afternoon, gentlemen, how is everybody doing?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 01:56
We’re doing great. How about you, Jeremiah?

Jeremiah Griffin: 01:56
Great. Happy to be here.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:58
Well, it’s great to have you two on the show. We’re practicing social distancing. We’re doing this over the interwebs, thank goodness for technology. So before we get started, Dr. Manrodt, for the uninitiated, could you give us your go to definition of logistics and supply chain?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 02:15
Well, you know what, Jon, I think if you were to turn on any news media outlet, they talk a lot about what a supply chain is. And suddenly I think we’ve been inundated with what it is, but maybe not necessarily a definition. So we need to break it down just a little bit, and I’ll keep it very non-academic. But if you think about how we get goods from anywhere in the world to the US, or from a point of origin to a destination, that’s really about logistics. So now we’re on the radio, but fortunately on my desk is a Diet Coke. So thank God Coca-Cola made it in one of their facilities, they had to transport it to get it to a store, that’s a supply chain. If you think about all the things that had to go into it: making the can, printing the can, filling it up with that nectar of the gods, and then shipping it out to us. Then logistics is a little bit more narrow, it’s just what an organization inside themselves, what they work on to get their product from their facility to the customer.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 03:13
So it’s more of a two parties working together, where supply chain is much broader, three or four organizations or more, in many cases many more than that, trying to get products to the customers efficiently and effectively. When you add in the complexities of coronavirus on top of that, that efficiency and effectiveness really starts to get stretched pretty dramatically. And that’s what makes our lives right now really interesting. I didn’t say fun, I just said interesting.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:45
I want to talk a little bit about how COVID-19 is having an impact on logistics. I can only imagine it’s having that impact every step of the way, and as an expert how have you seen the industry change in the past month or so?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 03:59
It’s an interesting question, and you know what? I think I’d really love to get , Jeremiah’s take on this as well. If you think about organizations today, and let’s go pre coronavirus, what was the expectation? I walk into a store, I’m going to have product available onsite that I can pick up, and take home. What ripples that, or really impacts it pretty dramatically is whether there’s any huge fluctuations in demand that have not been seen or foreseen. So you’ll hear on the news people will talk about a black-swan event, and that basically is something that we never thought about, it’s the unknown unknown that just suddenly appears, and we didn’t really plan for it. Coronavirus in some ways is kind of like that black swan, and what has that done? It’s now made people who are normally rational act in an irrational manner.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 04:52
The virus hits, what do we need? Toilet paper, right? Suddenly everybody goes out there decides they need to go ahead and buy toilet paper. A store like Walmart can do a great job of supplying toilet paper to the facilities, and then to the stores. The issue is that that demand has been so high that pushing that through along with everything else gets to be really, really challenging, and very difficult because their trucks are already set up, they’d say, “I’m delivering toilet paper. I’m going to deliver detergent. I’m going to deliver milk,” and everything else, right? Now suddenly I’ve got to have that additional capacity that goes in there that says, “I need a lot of other stuff that I didn’t have before.”

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 05:33
Now the good news is we’re not going to run out of toilet paper, so if everybody can kind of stop that for a while we’re going to be in really good shape. But we just need to go ahead, and be a little bit more rational in our decisions in how we’re going to go ahead, and look at things that we’re going to go ahead and buy.

Jon Waterhouse: 05:47
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. And don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org, and simply complete the form to get started.

Jon Waterhouse: 06:09
Dr. Manrodt, you were talking about how COVID-19 is having an impact on logistics and supply chain these days. What businesses are really knocking it out of the park, and reacting in an impressive way?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 06:25
You know, I’d have to laud our grocery chains. I know that may sound odd a little bit, but they are providing the goods that we need on our … in the stores in a very timely manner. Now, I don’t think it’s probably very efficient, only because we put all that demand on them, and again in some cases it’s an irrational demand. We don’t need 87 rolls of toilet paper to be stockpiled in an apartment. But they’ve done a good job?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 06:55
But think about what that takes, and I think people are getting more aware of that than they have before. Somebody had to order that to put it into the distribution center, from the distribution center it had to be unloaded, put on into the slots, picked by another forklift driver, put into a truck. Somebody had to drive that truck, that truck driver stopped along the way to get a meal. Somebody had to be there to serve that truck driver. That truck had to pull up to the store, it had to be unloaded, and all those people involved had been so unseen by the general public, that suddenly they look around, and they’re aware of those drivers and everybody else that’s involved with it. So when they say, “Who’s done a good job?” I hate to just point out one, because in a supply chain there’s a lot of people that are involved with that. And if one part fails then the whole thing fails.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 07:53
So I just can’t say, again, I love our grocery stores, and if you saw my weight going up over the virus you’d understand that. But you have to think about all the other people that make that a possibility, that are the unsung heroes that are going out there, and working every day. I mean, I’m kind of blessed in a lot of ways, in that I get to work from home now. There’s a lot of people that can’t go to work, but I can do some of my work, or a lot of my work based on the internet, thank God to the technology you were talking about earlier today.

Jon Waterhouse: 08:27
Absolutely. So, Dr. Manrodt, what sort of long-lasting effects do you think the pandemic will have on logistics and supply chain?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 08:35
That’s a really great question, it’s actually one I thought a little bit about. And I’m going to give you the academic answer, Jon. It depends, and here’s what it depends on, how severe is it going to be? So if it is like now, and we get out of it at no great cost, and I’m not trying to discount in any way, shape, or form the people who are going through some very hard times, and the citizens we’re going to lose over the next couple of weeks, but if it isn’t, if it’s what they’re projecting now, we’ll go back to normal pretty quick. And the reason is we have no memory as a society. We are driven by price more than anything else, and because we’re a price-driven consumers we are paying that price now. We’re paying that price because we have allowed our supply chains to be so stretched so long, and all we’ve worried about is what’s our price going to be for that product. We haven’t thought about the consequences of viruses, or things like that on our system.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 09:47
Now what happens if it’s a lot worse? Again, let’s hope and pray that isn’t the case, but what that will do is that will start us to think about our memory a little bit, about how do we change things. I think some organizations are in that process of saying, “It’s really kind of silly to have 90% of our pharmaceuticals being made overseas.” Probably not a good idea, but if the consequence to that is, “What do I have to do if I’m going to move out of those environments where I make that product and put it someplace else?” Are we as consumers willing to go ahead and pay for that? When you start talking about risk mitigation and risk management, this isn’t just a me kind of decision, and we’ve tried it, we’ve really thought about it as a me-decision, because I can go and look at these different drugs or whatever I need to buy, and I’ll buy the lowest cost. That’s a me-decision.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 10:43
A we-decision as a nation we have to say, “Yes, but what’s the cost of that long-term for our nation? How do we think about it differently than we did before?” Maybe it’s not just I think about what I’m going to get out of it, but I need to think about it more about our nation and the impact. So long-term, it all depends on the impact, and are we going to go ahead and have that fortitude to rethink how we actually do it? Supply chains, they’re going to be efficient and effective, they’ll do exactly what we say. People like Jeremiah that are amazing and really great at their job are going to make sure we execute accordingly, but we’re going to execute according to what the strategy is. If the strategy says we’re going to offshore a lot of stuff, we’re going to offshore a lot of stuff. The country has to make that decision. We as consumers need to make that decision, and we’ll have to make it on a daily basis about what we’re going to be willing to buy and what price we’re willing to pay.

Jon Waterhouse: 11:42
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business. I am producer Jon Waterhouse, Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top-ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business. We’ll be back with more Lenz on Business, and Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt, and Jeremiah Griffin in just a few moments.

Richard Lenz: 12:15
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business, again that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 12:42
We’re back at you with more business talk here on Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re talking with Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt, he’s a Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the Director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program, an online Masters program for working professionals, and with him today is one of his students, Jeremiah Griffin.

Jon Waterhouse: 13:16
Now Jeremiah knows the supply chain business from the inside out as Senior Manager for Process Improvement and Supply Chain for Walmart, and Jeremiah is currently studying his Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Georgia College via its online program. You can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org. Now Jeremiah, let’s talk a little bit about some ways that you’ve adapted to the COVID-19 climate as Senior Manager for Process Improvement and Supply Chain at Walmart.

Jeremiah Griffin: 13:49
Yeah, Jon, this event that we’re experiencing across the world has been interesting to say the least at Walmart’s supply chain. We’ve done a lot to adapt. There are things Dr. Manrodt talked about in the first segment that there are some decisions being made right now that maybe aren’t as focused on the actual efficiency, or expense piece of it, but it’s just how do we move product as fast as we can at the volume that’s needed to, to make sure that we’re supplying the country with the things that they need right now. So we’ve done a lot of adjustments to our replenishment system. I would venture to say that we’ve gone old school in some cases, and really we’re having daily, almost hourly, calls on status updates, and where the opportunity lies within the supply chain.

Jeremiah Griffin: 14:45
If you think about Dr. Manrodt’s explanation of logistics versus supply chain, we’re really recognizing it even more so in an event like this that it’s truly a supply chain, all the way from the supplier, and then quite frankly ’til it gets to that customer’s shopping cart, and out the front door into their car. So all of those segments of the supply chain are having to work together very closely. We’ve seen teamwork like never before during this situation.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:19
Jeremiah, you’re in the midst of your Masters of Logistics and Supply Chain Management with Georgia College, can you talk about some ways that your current studies have prepared you for some of the challenges that you’re facing today?

Jeremiah Griffin: 15:32
Yeah, so interestingly enough, Jon, I’m in my first year, second semester, and this semester we’re actually the two courses that we’re taking are around procurement and buying, and then the second class is distribution, and so clearly a very timely course of study through this event. We are learning things about inventory holding costs, inventory costs in general, but what I really wanted to talk about is the concept that I’ve been able to actually use in Walmart, and talk about is, is the bullwhip effect. Dr. Manrodt talked about it briefly in the first segment, but what we’re seeing is this irrational buying, which then as it moves up the chain, up the supply chain, you start seeing people react to that in orders from our company to suppliers are getting bigger. The supplier is not … has dipped into their safety stock levels and is basically producing as fast as we can ship it.

Jon Waterhouse: 16:34
That’s an amazing information, Jeremiah, and after the break I want to learn more about this bullwhip effect. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. You can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, we’ll be back with more Lenz on Business on WSB.

Richard Lenz: 17:07
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business, again that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 17:35
Welcome back to Lenz on Business, I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top-ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business. And joining me this week is Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt, he’s a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the Director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program, an online masters program for working professionals. Dr. Manrodt has more than 25 years in logistics, transportation, and supply chain research, and joining him today is one of his students, Jeremiah Griffin.

Jon Waterhouse: 18:31
Now Jeremiah, he knows supply chain from the inside out as Senior Manager for Process Improvement and Supply Chain for Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the nation as we all know. Jeremiah is actually in the midst of his Masters of Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree, and you could learn more about Georgia College’s online program, visit makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse: 18:57
Now before the break, gentlemen, we were talking about the bullwhip effect. If one of you could please kind of give us a bit of a primer, kind of remind us what that’s all about, and what you’re seeing in the current COVID-19 outbreak, how that’s really happening and manifesting.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 19:15
Well, let me do the easy part. I’ll do the definition, and then Jeremiah can talk about how they’re actually responding to it, which is the hard part. So the easy definition, if you think about a bullwhip, if the bullwhip is in your hand, your hand doesn’t move very much, but the tip of the whip moves an incredible amount. So, let’s go back to Jeremiah’s water for just a minute, right? So we order a little bit of water at Walmart, and that moves a little bit, right? Maybe a couple inches, but then I think about, “Well, there’s the manufacturer.” Well, those demand ups and downs, those peaks and valleys are accentuated the farther away you move from your hand to the very end.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 19:56
So what’s accentuated? Well, in water it’s kind of a simple thing because you just got the packaging, and stuff like that, but take something like making a soup for instance, right? Think of all the ingredients that go into a soup, and then trying to figure out how much I need if suddenly I go from a hundred cases a day to 300 cases a day, and that amplifies all the way across the entire supply chain, back down to the folks that are making the noodles or canning the corn, and things like that. So it gets to be very complicated, and very hard to go ahead and manage that because you don’t know what the true signal is, but your still trying to respond to it. So I’ll flip over to Jeremiah to talk about how they actually handle that.

Jeremiah Griffin: 20:39
Yeah, so what’s interesting, Jon, is as you consider the bullwhip effect in the irrational buying that we’ve experienced lately has had on it. You really have to throw out all of your forecasting, and your replenishment methods, and just look at how we can get the most product to the stores at one time, with little regard to actual inventory levels in the stores. Because at this point we don’t know what the top end is when it comes to the sales. We have gone from, in many cases from shipping cases of products to shipping entire pallets of product. So for example in … I’ll just give you an example from one facility, we might send out on a daily basis maybe 200 pallets of single product, and then the rest of the load is case picked. We are sending out an average of about 1,500 pallets now in addition to the case picks. So we are now reacting to that irrational buying, and shipping more products to the stores to account for the unforecasted demand that we’re experiencing.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 21:59
I have great news for Jeremiah. Here is the deal, what’s happening is everybody is buying so much, at some point when this is all over they’re going to look and they have to say, “Dang, I don’t have to go to the store for a while,” and that’s going to cause another problem, right? Because now suddenly the bullwhip is going to go in the exact opposite way, in that nobody’s buying, right? Nobody needs toilet paper for the next three months, what do I do?

Jon Waterhouse: 22:23
Fascinating, fascinating stuff. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. Don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org, and simply complete the form to get started. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, this week we’re talking with Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt, and his student Jeremiah Griffin. Dr. Manrodt, of course, an instructor, part of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. Dr. Manrodt is the Director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program, and Dr. Manrodt, off-the-air we were talking about two terms that often get confused, offshoring and outsourcing. Can you talk about the difference between the two, and how they apply to the current COVID-19 crisis?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 23:25
Absolutely, and thank you for allowing me to do that. A lot of times people will come up and say, “We need to quit outsourcing,” and what they’re referring to is this idea that we’re shipping jobs, manufacturing, things like that offshore to some other place. So there’s two different terms we’ve got to be really careful about. So offshoring would be I’m making a product that I used to make in the US, and now make it someplace else. It is not I’m offshoring it to some other location, so I’ve allowed someone else to go ahead and do that. That is different than outsourcing, in that outsourcing could be it is taking a function or capability that I did myself, and give it to somebody else, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was offshored, it could be done here in the US. So why do companies outsource? It’s become because those individuals have a better capability, and infrastructure, talent, to go ahead and do that work.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 24:22
Do we want to allow outsourcing? Absolutely. Can I outsource and offshore at the same time? I certainly can. So under corona, and when you start thinking about the actions that Congress will take, and the Senate, and maybe even ourselves, we’re going to start looking and say, “Well, where did that get made? Or who made it?” So offshoring, that’s going to be our big thing. Where did it actually get made? We may not know who actually made the product, because sometimes organizations put their name on it, but it is outsourced to another party. So there’s a lot of stuff we buy that is actually done by others, it’s outsourced to them, and then we private label it, or make it … make them label it accordingly.

Jon Waterhouse: 25:07
Dr. Manrodt, how is this going to have an effect? How is COVID-19 going to have an effect on outsourcing and offshoring? Especially in the sense that people are already losing their jobs, many of these jobs might want to be brought back in-house or back into the country, how do you think that’s going to have an effect on things in the big picture?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 25:30
Well, I think this goes back unfortunately to the way that we act as consumers. A lot of times it’s going to be based on power and, “How can I go ahead and take advantage of either my suppliers, or those around me that I can get a better advantage of? Because now I know that everybody’s kind of in a weakened state, and you want my business, I’m going to go ahead, and I’ll leverage that against you.” So as far as what will happen to offshoring, I think we’re going to get less. I think that, again a lot of this is based, Jon, on the tipping point of pain that we have to kind of hit. If it gets to be bad enough, if we’re going to say, “I’m going to be willing to buy American. I don’t care of the price,” if that’s going to happen then we’re going to see a lot of offshoring or near-shoring, getting it closer to the US, maybe Brazil, South America, Canada, maybe it’s allies that we’re going to go ahead and say we’re going to buy from, or I’ll bring it all the way back in.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 26:25
Outsourcing, I think will still remain pretty active, and the reason is if I allow somebody else to do some work that I’m not that good at, I can get more efficient in what I do. So there’s many things, facility management, some parts of transportation that I will outsource to others because they’re much more effective, and efficient in doing that, and I think that’s still going to go ahead and stay strong. The offshoring, that’s going to be a bigger issue.

Jon Waterhouse: 26:51
Okay, can you tell us why?

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 26:52
Because I think under the offshoring, I think what’s going to happen is that is where we’re going to start saying, “Do we want to really allow all of our products being made elsewhere, and not in the United States? Do we really want it to be 4,000 miles away?” So when you start thinking about your supply chain, and the more nodes, and the longer you make it, the more impact or more risk can occur where problems can occur. If I have a very short supply chain, then I don’t have those issues.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 27:25
It’s like on Facebook, I think somebody was showing a picture of their grandmother, and she was in the garden, and she had a bunch of tomatoes, and it said, “Grandma knew her supply chain,” right? She just went outside, and she just picked her tomatoes, right? So that’s her supply chain. Obviously, she had to go get seeds, because she didn’t buy the plants, she bought seeds, and put them in the ground, and then she was done. So the more complex you make it the more risks you’re going to have, and somebody is going to have to bear that risk, and we are paying that premium for risk today.

Jon Waterhouse: 28:01
Wow, fascinating, fascinating stuff from Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt from Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. You’re listening to Lenz on Business sponsored by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Don’t forget you can get your MBA Master of Logistics, or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org, and complete the form to get started. We’ll be back with more Lenz on Business on WSB in just a few moments.

Richard Lenz: 28:38
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business, again that’s gcsu.edu/business. (Singing).

Jon Waterhouse: 29:06
You’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse, and we’ve been talking this week with Dr. Dr. Karl Manrodt, he’s a Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the Director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program, an online Masters Program for working professionals. Dr. Manrodt has more than 25 years in the logistics, transportation, and supply chain research, and with him today we’ve been talking with one of his students, Jeremiah Griffin. Jeremiah works actually in the supply chain business as Senior Manager for Process Improvement and Supply Chain for Walmart. Jeremiah is actually in the midst of his Georgia College Masters of Logistics and Supply Chain Management online program, and you can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse: 30:14
Now that was … let’s talk a little bit more about the program, and Jeremiah, if you can kind of tell me a little bit about why Georgia College attracted you. What lured you to this institution to receive your Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management?

Jeremiah Griffin: 30:31
Yeah, good question, Jon, and one that I’m actually very prepared to answer. I’ve got more than 25 years in the retail industry, but about five years ago is when I moved into the supply chain portion of the business, and I’ve just … I’ve learned so much, and become so intrigued by the entire concept of supply chain end to end. And so after a few years of working in the industry I decided, “Listen, I’m going to take the opportunity to go get my graduate degree, and learn more about supply chain.” As I researched colleges and universities, Georgia College just really stood out to me in the way that they present themselves from a family perspective, working with that working class individual, like Dr. Manrodt talked about, very quick response times to any inquiries that I had, just immediately brought me into the fold and, and made me feel part of the Georgia College family.

Jeremiah Griffin: 31:29
Now that I’m now two semesters in I still believe, and they show that culture every single day. It is a cohort-based program, so I’m following the path with a group of about 40 to 45 people in my class, and I have to say, Jon, I’m developing friendships. I’m developing a much broader network of supply chain peers, and all of that is because the way that the Georgia College manages their Masters program in supply chain.

Dr. Karl Manrodt: 32:08
One of the things that Jeremiah said is really interesting, is that he developed friendships. And I have to remember when I started here at Georgia College I thought this would be like a degree you just kind of do on your own, and there wouldn’t be that level of connectivity. But Jeremiah, hearing you talk about that is really exciting, because that’s exactly what we’re trying to do and develop. So you’re not alone going through this program, it’s not just a computer screen, but you’re developing those friendships that are going to last a lifetime, and that’s super exciting.

Jon Waterhouse: 32:38
Well, thank you both, Dr. Manrodt, and Jeremiah Griffin for joining us this week, and especially tackling these timely topics. Make sure and check out our website lenzonbusiness.com, that’s L-E-N-Zonbusiness.com. And the whole shebang is brought to you by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. You can learn more at makeyournextmove.org. Well, folks, we’ll see you next time, right here on WSB for more Lenz on Business.

Richard Lenz: 33:15
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business, again that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Mark Morris, graduate of Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business’ WebMBA program

Georgia College connects us with business school graduates who have interesting back stories. One of the most unique stories belongs to Morris. He’s spent nearly 30 years in the military, and he currently serves in the Army National Guard as an aviation safety manager for the state and a helicopter instructor pilot. He was actually deployed in Afghanistan when he decided to enroll in Georgia College’s WebMBA program. A true testament that it’s never too late to get your master’s degree, Mark was in his early 50s when he enrolled. And today he uses his knowledge on the job with the U.S. Army. He talks with producer Jon Waterhouse about these topics and a whole lot more.

Transcript of Show

Jon Waterhouse: 00:25
It’s business time on 95.5, WSB Atlanta’s news and talk. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse warming the seat this week and I think no matter one’s personal business philosophy, many agree, a business-related master’s degree will give you an edge. And periodically we have guests in the studio who have done just that by snagging a degree through one of Georgia College’s online graduate business programs. And Georgia College is our sponsor, so they help connect us with graduates who have interesting backstories and certainly one of the most interesting and unique stories belongs to this week’s guest. Please welcome Mark Morris. Mark, welcome to the show.

Mark Morris: 01:10
Good morning, Jon.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:11
It’s great to see you. And a little bit about Mark, he spent nearly 30 years in the military. He currently serves in the Army National Guard. Mark is an Aviation Safety Manager for the state and a helicopter instructor pilot. He was actually deployed in Afghanistan when he decided to enroll in Georgia College’s WebMBA Program. A true testament that it’s never too late to get your master’s degree, Mark was in his early fifties when he enrolled and today, he uses that knowledge on the job with the U.S. Army. You can learn more about Georgia College’s WebMBA Program at makeyournextmove.org. So Mark, let’s start off and talk a little bit about your background in the military.

Mark Morris: 01:59
Okay. In 1990, 1991 I pursued getting accepted in the helicopter flight training and attended the Army helicopter flight school in 1992, finished in 1993 and then I transition back to a part time reserve service working full time in IT. So in 2005 I had the opportunity to transition to full time service in the Georgia National Guard and I’ve been working in that role since then.

Jon Waterhouse: 02:33
So you had a combination of business experience and military experience converging and coming together.

Mark Morris: 02:39
Yes. I’m proud of my military service. After graduating from UGA in 1984, I worked for a family business for two years and then started an IT consulting business. I ran that for about six years and then after my flight training, I began working for defense contractors in an IT role, or had the chance to work in a couple of different states and eventually wound up on a job that allowed me to deploy worldwide.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:05
Okay. Wow. So as I said in the introduction, you’re currently serving in the Army National Guard as an Aviation Safety Manager for the state and a helicopter instructor pilot. Describe a typical day in the life for you.

Mark Morris: 03:18
Okay. Typically, we publish a weekly flight schedule, so if you’re on the flight schedule for that day, you’ll have prepped for that schedule flight. Maybe the day prior you’ll show up, you’ll meet the flight crew and finish up your planning depending on the type of flying you’re going to do, whether it’s instrument training, flying in the clouds or a tactical training, flying around a military reservation. You’ll go through the planning process, go out to the aircraft and surely aircraft’s ready, just get in and go flying. And then either I’m conducting training, either we have pilots who are receiving some training on a certain part of the flying that we’re doing or maybe I’m giving an evaluation or maybe I’m receiving an evaluation, getting a check ride, if you will. When I’m not flying, my main job is working as an Aviation Safety Officer of foreign aviation troop command here in Georgia. It’s kind of like a brigade.

Jon Waterhouse: 04:13
Okay.

Mark Morris: 04:13
We have three aviation support facilities in Georgia, one in Savannah, one in Marietta, at Claremont National Guard Center, and one in Winder. So I help facilitate the safety programs for those locations. They each have their own safety managers and I work with them really ultimately to prevent accidents. And then if we have any accidents, to analyze what happened and how to prevent future accidents. And then with that, help facilitate safety training and safety inspections.

Jon Waterhouse: 04:44
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. And don’t forget you can get your MBA, masters in Logistics or master of management information systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse and this week we’re chatting with Mark Morris, a graduate of Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business WebMBA program. And as I said earlier, Mark has a very interesting story. He has a military background, but he wanted to go and receive his MBA and he chose Georgia College’s WebMBA program. So Mark, what made you want to go back to school?

Mark Morris: 05:29
Well, I’ve been wanting to go back to school since I received my undergrad and in fact one of the first questions my oldest brother asked me the week after graduation is, when you’re going to grad school? Well, 30 years later I finally went to grad school. With raising a family or getting married for 30 years and raising four children as you guys probably know it, sometimes it can be difficult to find the time or make the time to go to grad school. But during my third deployment to Afghanistan I realized that if I was going to do this, I need to really push for it. Fortunately, the year prior while attending my daughter Kirsten’s Freshman Convocation, I met Dale Young, Georgia College, I think the Dean of the business school at that time.

Jon Waterhouse: 06:16
Right, yes.

Mark Morris: 06:17
He pitched the WebMBA program to me. While we were talking … And was a great salesman because I thought about it during the deployment and then started the process of applying to the program while I was deployed.

Jon Waterhouse: 06:28
I thought that was incredibly fascinating. There you were in Afghanistan, thinking about going back to school and Georgia College was on your mind and as you said, you are part of the Georgia College family. Not only yourself, a Georgia College graduate, but two other children and two children currently enrolled in Georgia College.

Mark Morris: 06:46
Yeah, go bobcats. Absolutely. We were first attracted to Georgia College with our oldest son when he was doing his college search. We visited a lot of schools and we found Georgia College to be just the right size with the right programs and as experience has shown us just great professors and a great learning environment. And so, I thought that might be a great way to pursue my master’s in business, was with Georgia College and it’s worked out.

Jon Waterhouse: 07:13
And let’s talk about that selling point that Dean Young had. What really attracted you to this? I mean, some of the other reasons that really made you pull the plug on this.

Mark Morris: 07:23
Well, initially I was skeptical because I was, as I said, in my early fifties and I’m thinking, how can a 50 year old go back to school? How can I find time to write these assignments and take the test? Test taking would be a challenge. And then he quickly explained how the online delivery system works and obviously he knew what he was talking about because he helped set it up. But the biggest selling point was the ability to enroll and take classes wherever I was, not have to sit in a classroom, and then work with professors long distance. And using that process was what I was looking for.

Jon Waterhouse: 08:01
So here you are in your early fifties, you’re going back to school and you’re in the midst of a challenging work schedule. Was it intimidating for you? Was this something that you had to really mull over?

Mark Morris: 08:11
It was, especially after being accepted to the program. You read all the bios of the other students and the first thing I thought was, wow, okay, we’ve got attorneys, we’ve got business leaders, we have physicians, we had people from all walks of life. And I thought, well, I need to step up and kind of bring the A game to this program. So that was intimidating. But I enjoyed the experience overall.

Jon Waterhouse: 08:35
And let’s talk about how you made it work and made it very full life. I mean, how did you fit it into your studies in the midst of a military career?

Mark Morris: 08:44
Well, like anything that you’re going to do that’s online or in the midst of having a family and a busy business career, it was challenging. I just returned from a deployment, so I was adjusting back to being in the States and working with my children’s education, support my wife and then doing the online work in the evenings. I found that generally between 9:00 PM and 12 midnight were my times and then Saturday and Sunday afternoons were my times to really focus on the program or perhaps I can do it early in the morning. Fortunately, the team that I worked with, we had a team of six guys on our cohort. We worked well together and we were able to carve out the time to have our online meetings or text meetings or however we need to do it. And we just made it happen over 18 months.

Jon Waterhouse: 09:43
But not only were you, as you said, had this military career, but you are also helping manage your children’s education. You and your wife are homeschooling some of your children at the time, right?

Mark Morris: 09:57
Yeah. We still had two children in school. One was finishing middle school, one was in high school and the other two were in college, so the college children were doing the online thing. But the other two I would write papers for class, but I’d also grade papers for my children’s class or help grade exams and my wife did most of that. Really what I did was serve as an administrator role, help do some editing and some correction, but she did most of that work. But the writing that I had to grade helped me improve some my writing I had to do for the classes.

Jon Waterhouse: 10:36
So you had all this going on and when people say they’re waiting for the right time to make a big life change, like going back to school, I truly believe that there’s never the right time, right?

Mark Morris: 10:47
You have to make the right time. If you wait for the right time, the right time will pass you by. So you have to really work and create that opportunity.

Jon Waterhouse: 10:56
Folks. You’re listening to Lenz on Business right here on Atlanta’s news and talk 95.5 WBS. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse and you know what? Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, master of logistics and supply chain management and master of management information systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business and we’re going to be learning more about this program from Mark Morris, a graduate of Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business WebMBA program. We’ll be back in just a few moments.

Richard Lenz:
11:43
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business, again that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 12:13
Welcome back with more Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s. J. Whitney Bunting College of Business right here on WSB. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse and this week I’m chatting with Mark Morris. He spent nearly 30 years in the military and he currently serves in the Army National Guard. He’s an Aviation Safety Manager for the state and a helicopter instructor pilot. Mark was actually deployed in Afghanistan when he decided to enroll in Georgia College’s WebMBA program. A true testament that it’s never too late to get your master’s degree. Mark was in his early fifties when he enrolled and today he uses his knowledge on the job with the U.S. Army. You can learn more about Georgia College’s WebMBA program at makeyournextmove.org. Now Mark, some Georgia College online business students experience online learning for the first time in the program, but you are familiar with this type of education. Can you explain?

Mark Morris: 13:12
Absolutely. The U.S. Army uses an online learning model for other professional military education. Most of your Resident Courses, if not all, have a distance learning precursor or prerequisite to complete before you go resident. So some of those technologies were similar to what I used when I attended the WebMBA program.

Jon Waterhouse: 13:35
So let’s talk about some of the differences and similarities between those two types of learning.

Mark Morris: 13:39
For example, the most recent military education I completed was a senior staff course and all of their distance learning modules were delivered via something called Blackboard. There was a very similar system, also called Blackboard, just a variation that I use for the WebMBA. So, writing assignments, tests, all those things were very familiar with doing the senior staff course and with the completing of the WebMBA.

Jon Waterhouse: 14:08
So when you’re in this online environment, is it difficult to create that camaraderie amongst some of the fellow students and the professors?

Mark Morris: 14:16
At first you think so, but with our group, we had weekly video conferences so we saw each other every week. We called each other a lot. And I also find that in business and in my job, I carry out my job kind of the same fashion. I don’t get to see all my safety counterparts all the time, face to face. I may see them a couple times a month. So I depend on an online presence to make our jobs work. And so the online learning for the WebMBA was the same way.

Jon Waterhouse: 14:47
And you were talking about all these other members of the cohort coming from different backgrounds. How did you all complement each other?

Mark Morris: 14:55
Oh, pretty entertainingly. We had a physician, two engineers, a logistics guy and actually a biomedical researcher, so all those different backgrounds. We had everything from type A+ to B-, and the one thing we learned quickly it was we had to hold our meetings by an agenda. We had to have, here’s what we’re going to talk about, and that kept us on track.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:26
We’re staying on track right here on WSB Lenz on Business, talking with Mark Morris, a graduate of Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business WebMBA program. And don’t forget you can get your MBA, master of logistics or master of management information systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete that form to get started. And we’re going to be back for more Lenz on Business and Mark Morris after news, weather and traffic right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz:
16:06
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s. J Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 16:34
Welcome Back to Lenz on Business, I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, master of logistics and supply chain management and master of management information systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business and if you just tuned in the Lenz on Business, we’re talking with Mark Morris this week. Now, Mark has spent nearly 30 years in the military and he currently serves in the Army National Guard. He’s an Aviation Safety Manager for the State and a helicopter instructor pilot. He was actually deployed in Afghanistan when decided to enroll in Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And you know what? It’s never too late to get your master’s degree. Mark is living proof of that. He went back to school in his early fifties and today he uses his knowledge on the job with the U.S. Army.

Jon Waterhouse: 17:32
You can learn more about Georgia College’s WebMBA program at makeyournextmove.org. Now Mark, earlier on in the show we were talking about life balance amongst going back to school and holding down a full-time job. And some of the Georgia College online business students who’ve been on the show, they have talked to me about things happening while they’re in school and they all agree upon the fact that life indeed does happen. It doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t let up along the way. And while you were enrolled in the program, your wife faced a lifesaving surgery. Can you talk about how that impacted your world around you?

Mark Morris: 18:14
Absolutely. One of the things we talk about in the military is kind of a triangle of how you live your life. You have your career, you have your family and the National Guard and also the military service. So at different times you’re going to have different tensions in those areas. Now, adding to that, an online education, doing that at night, things are going along pretty well. My wife needed a surgery. She’d previously had a procedure done and six months after that she had to have another procedure done. So preparing for that, obviously my focus needs to be on her and getting her ready, but I also needed to satisfy the requirements for the MBA program. So my mother-in-law and I were sitting in the waiting room during her surgery. I’m sitting there with my laptop that I have with me here today, researching and typing up an MIS assignment. So I figured we’re going to be here for four hours, let’s use the time. So you have to find ways to create and use the time you have to get the job done.

Jon Waterhouse: 19:15
And let’s talk about some other creative ways that you made at work throughout the week.

Mark Morris: 19:20
Well, with the Blackboard system and with using Skyping and Google Hangouts often while traveling, either me or one of the other team members would call in to our video conferences. That was one hard fast rule. You had to have a great excuse not to be on that conference call because we had a lot of team projects that needed to get accomplished. And one of my friends on my team members was literally on a subway in L.A. calling into the conference. And so we got the meeting done and I was impressed that he had that level of diligence and desire to be a part of the team.

Jon Waterhouse: 20:02
So what was the most odd or interesting place that you noticed either yourself or one of the other participants called in from? One of those crazy locales.

Mark Morris: 20:13
That time in L.A. another time I was transporting a helicopter from Maryland back to Savannah and we had to divert to another airport due to weather. So, I had a sudden stop at a chance to call in and catch up with what the team was doing. And fortunately, with this program you can leverage technology and you don’t have to be physically present, but you can virtually be there. Occasionally, you might have to just leave a recording, make a quick video recording for your component. One of our classes required us to do a 20 minute video presentation so each team member had to record their portion of that entire video, wherever you were. So you would occasionally try to stage your background to make it kind of seamless together. But a better way to do that is to put something wacky in your background and see if you can make your teammates crack up while they’re recording their part.

Jon Waterhouse: 21:14
Did you ever do it inside a helicopter?

Mark Morris: 21:17
We did. A couple stills. I never could do into the helicopter it’s just too loud.

Jon Waterhouse: 21:23
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and don’t forget you can get your MBA, master of logistics or master of management information systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form to get started. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse and this week we’re chatting with Mark Morris, a graduate of Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business WebMBA program. Now Mark, let’s talk about how you’ve applied the knowledge that you gained from the program in your position in the military. That seems from the outside, like a bit of … An orthodox application. Can you talk about how the two correlate?

Mark Morris: 22:10
Absolutely. Well, if you think about the military as a huge non-profit, our business is not to make a profit from a revenue standpoint, but we do have a huge organization that’s composed of a lot of smaller organizations, especially in the National Guard because we have 54 states and territories. They have National Guard Organizations and you’ll often work with people from different backgrounds, different geographies in different skillsets. So you have to realize how to work with those or how to learn how to work with those.

Mark Morris: 22:40
Probably, the first thing I learned was in my organizational behavior class was the importance of recognizing the usefulness of friction within an organization. No organization is ever going to just run seamlessly. You’re going to have friction points at various times. And it’s usually when you’re trying to develop a new product, complete a project, or get some new idea, introduce it to an organization or some big rollout. Well, people have different ideas and instead of being friction or crisis averse, maybe you just need to engage and recognize and allow those things to play out and then look for what you can gain from it. So I got that. And then in the accounting class, the biggest thing I learned there was you have to ask questions. The professor was ready with a lot of resources to give you, but you’re all adults and he’s not going to spoon-feed you just like any other business. So you have to ask questions and you keep asking questions until you find the right questions and then you’ll start getting better answers.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:40
So how did this help enhance your communication skills in your job?

Mark Morris: 23:45
Well, again, back to the organizational behavior, it was part management and part writing class. This professor was all about written communications, even email communications. You had to take little short seminars on how to do proper business communications over the email or in written format. And some of that was really different than what I was used to. We’re used to just texting equipment, quick message notice. But in business or in an organization, you have to be sure that you communicate the message correctly and you want to make sure that you get the details correct and that class helped with that.

Jon Waterhouse: 24:20
So Mark, I understand that after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, you put together a task force for solutions including repairing dams in Puerto Rico and a whole lot more. So how did your degree help you approach this in a new way?

Mark Morris: 24:36
Well, we used some of our marketing skills because we had to market what we could do. Oftentimes when you show up to do disaster relief such as Hurricane Maria or Katrina or Ike or some of those others, you’ll show up with a team. But the customer and this case in Puerto Rico, FEMA needed to know exactly what we could and couldn’t do. So we had to market ourselves correctly and we had to have a come up plan and place and a quick demonstration or talking through what we could do to bring value to that situation. So when we arrived in Puerto Rico, the first task was to help prepare dam, the Guajataca dam in Northwest Puerto Rico. So we had to continually work with the Army Corps Engineers, with the Civil Engineer to improve on that project and you just don’t show up and say, hey, we have helicopters, figure out how to use us. We want to help inform you and educate you on how you can use us and how we can provide more value to you.

Mark Morris: 25:34
So we finished that project fairly quickly, much quicker than we thought. And then FEMA had another project to help repair the power line infrastructure. So we were literally plucking a 70 foot tall power line towers off the mountains, moving them to another spot for them to be rebuilt and reintegrate into the power line. So along with that, we’re working with civilian contractors, military personnel and government agencies. And so communications, there was really key and finding way to solve those problems. And the MBA, using their kind of a team concept, no one’s going to solve every problem by themselves you just simply can’t. You don’t have the skill sets. Maybe you don’t have the communication skills, whatever. So you have to figure out how to engage everyone on the team to bring the total solution to that situation or crisis or opportunity, if you will.

Mark Morris: 26:29
And so the WebMBA working through the program with the team, especially with a team that were in different locations, because while we’re in Puerto Rico, we occasionally had to reach back to the U.S. to Georgia to D.C. to get information. You had to continue to learn how to just engage everyone all the time.

Jon Waterhouse: 26:48
So when you were in the midst of this situation and things were popping in your head like, okay, let’s do this and I’m going to use these skills, were you cognizant of like, hey, this is something that I picked up in my WebMBA.

Mark Morris: 27:03
In some ways it was absolutely, especially a couple of times when we had a language barrier because not everyone in Puerto Rico speaks fluent English and so occasionally … And I don’t speak Spanish that well, so we would work with … We would find an expert that could help us. And so in that case that program helped me learn how to leverage local experts.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:27
Well, folks, we’re talking with Mark Morris this week. He is a graduate of Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Businesses WebMBA program. He’s also a 30 year veteran in the military and he has put what he learned at Georgia College through the WebMBA Program to work in his day job. And folks, as you know, Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Businesses sponsors the show. But we also want to remind you that marketing matters and Lenz knows marketing from brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing, to public relations. Think smart, think creative, think Lenz. Learn more at lenzmarketing.com. We’ll be back for more right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz:
28:22
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business, again that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 28:50
You’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse and today we’ve been chatting with Mark Morris. He spent nearly 30 years in the military. He’s currently serving in the Army National Guard as an Aviation Safety Manager for the state and a helicopter instructor pilot and he was actually deployed in Afghanistan when he decided to enroll in Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And today he uses his knowledge on the job with the U.S. Army. You can learn more about Georgia College’s WebMBA program at makeyournextmove.org. Now Mark, in the previous segment we were talking about ways that you’ve applied your knowledge learned during Georgia College’s WebMBA program, there at your job. Can you give some more example?

Mark Morris: 29:44
Sure. Anytime we do an aviation operation we’re putting together some task force or at least the way I work or where we work. So the entrepreneurship class really helps you work on and improve your skill sets for being innovative, either bringing novel ideas to approach a problem or solve a crisis or seek out those ideas. So that class really gave me some background on what I needed to look for and what our team needed to look for with the other leadership. And then the operations management class talk really teaches you how to evaluate your resources that you have and choose the best solution based on the scarce or find out resources that are at your disposal. So down when you’re in an environment like a disaster or a combat deployment, you always find out resources. So that program really helped me improve my skill set in that area.

Jon Waterhouse: 30:37
Can you give us a specific example?

Mark Morris: 30:39
As we said before we did some long line sling loading of the power line towers. So we had to-

Jon Waterhouse: 30:47
This is in Puerto Rico after the hurricane?

Mark Morris: 30:50
Yeah. So one thing we hadn’t done much before was work with civilian contractors directly. So we had to work with those guys and get on the same page for communications. When their line man is on top of a tower, his hands are both engaged hanging onto the tower, hooking up the long line hook to the tower. So we had to really learn and work with him on safe ways to communicate with him. We couldn’t talk to him on our radio. And so, the ops management program, well, that segment really helped us analyze what resources we have and find some ways… We went up using this helmet. They have stripes painted on their helmet depending on how they shake their head, either they climb, descend, move left, move right forward and back while he’s hanging on the tower and you’re about 150 feet above him.

Jon Waterhouse: 31:43
My goodness. Well Mark, I understand that you often come out to the WebMBA student orientations at Georgia College to meet with new students. What advice do you give new students who are stepping into this program?

Mark Morris: 31:55
Persistence, patiently persistent, be patiently persistent with the program.

Jon Waterhouse: 32:00
There you go. Words of wisdom from Mark Morris, a graduate of Georgia College’s Web MBA program. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business or you have been listening to Lenz on Business. Thank you so much Mark for joining us this week and make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lenzonbusiness.com that’s L-E-N-Z on business.com. And the whole shebang is brought to you by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. You can get your MBA, master of logistics or master of management information systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form to get started. I’m producer Jon Waterhouse. We’ll see you next time right here on Atlanta’s news and talk 95.5 WSB for more Lenz on Business.

Lynn Hanson, Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business

A veteran of graduate education for more than 25 years, Hanson currently oversees the online graduate business programs at Georgia College. This includes MBA, Master of Logistics and Master of Management Information Systems. She joins guest host Jon Waterhouse to talk about the evolution of graduate education, how online studies have been transformative for Georgia College, student success stories, and more.

Transcript of Show

Jon Waterhouse: 00:26
For many business professionals, a master’s degree can make all the difference in the world, and graduate schools are of course businesses themselves, and these days an online master’s program can give schools an edge above the competition, and this week’s guest knows both sides of that coin.

Jon Waterhouse: 00:46
Welcome to Lenz on Business, business talk on WSB. However, I’m not Richard Lenz, I’m guest host and producer Jon Waterhouse, and joining me today is Lynn Hanson.

Jon Waterhouse: 00:59
Lynn is Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Lynn has been working in graduate education at Georgia College for more than 25 years, and part of her job includes overseeing the online graduate business programs at Georgia College. If you are a Lenz on Business listener here on WSB, you’ve heard all about Georgia College and what they have to offer. They are our sponsor here on this show, and among those online graduate business programs, they include MBA, Master of Logistics, and Master of Management Information Systems, and you can learn more about the program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:45
Lynn, welcome to the show.

Lynn Hanson: 01:46
Thank you, Jon. It’s great to be with you today.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:48
It’s great to see you in person, because we’ve talked a lot on the phone.

Lynn Hanson: 01:52
I know. I feel like I know you.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:54
Same here, because you help me wrangle the guests. We feature a lot of guests from Georgia College, a lot of the students who have participated in the program, we’ve had professors on the show, et cetera. And now I finally have Lynn Hanson here on the show. As I said, she’s helped me get all those guests on throughout the season, and it’s great to have you here in the flesh on Lenz on Business.

Jon Waterhouse: 02:19
So Lynn, let’s talk a little bit about your career, and as I mentioned in your introduction, you’ve been working in graduate education at Georgia College for more than 25 years. Tell us how you got there, how you got to where you are today.

Lynn Hanson: 02:34
Wow. Well, I am a first generation college graduate, and I worked as an undergraduate student in the College of Business at Georgia College and State University all those years ago, and I had an opportunity to go to graduate school and to pursue an MBA. I finished that and had an opportunity to work in graduate admissions, so I served as the graduate coordinator for admissions for the university for six years. And the Dean of the Business School called me up one day, I’d worked for her as a graduate assistant, and she said, “Lynn, I am creating a new position in the College of Business, and I want you to apply for this position.” And the rest is history. So that’s the Director of the Graduate Programs in the College of Business. So I’ll celebrate 20 years in that job in October. It’s been a great ride, I enjoy working with graduate students. So the years just get by, they pass, and here we are. So that’s really how I got there, and I stay because I love working with the students. We meet so many great people along the way.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:33
So you were an undergraduate at Georgia College.

Lynn Hanson: 03:36
I was.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:36
Then you went to graduate school.

Lynn Hanson: 03:37
Went to graduate school at Georgia College.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:39
And it’s your career, Georgia College is your career. What do you love about Georgia College? I mean, it’s got to be in your blood by now.

Lynn Hanson: 03:46
It is. It’s a great institution. Georgia College has grown a lot over the years and you have a really cohesive group there, and the university really cares about students, and it’s a small school. If you look at Georgia College compared to some of the other schools in the state, we’re a hidden gem, down in Milledgeville. So it’s great to get out to get to Atlanta today, because we’re there and we have a sense of community at Georgia College and State University, and we’re able to extend that to our students, and the students know that. That’s where I find myself talking to students about the university to get them to consider Georgia College and State University, because I have a passion for the university and I think the students get that when I talk to them.

Jon Waterhouse: 04:34
Are there any other selling points that you have, in addition to what you just mentioned about Georgia College? Any other things that you think differentiate Georgia College from the competition as a whole?

Lynn Hanson: 04:45
Absolutely. Georgia College is consistently recognized by US News and World Report as an outstanding institution. Just recently, the college was named as one of the best institutions in the Southeast and that’s the university overall. The College of Business continues to rank in the top of the US News and World Reports. If you go out, anyone can take a look at that. So you see the reputation of Georgia College is stellar. And again, I’ll go back to a lot of people call us a hidden gem, because we’re not a huge school. You’ve got a lot of big name schools in the state of Georgia and we’re there, but when students find us they stay with us, because they realize what a great institution we are.

Jon Waterhouse: 05:26
Which you have done. You’ve stayed with the college.

Lynn Hanson: 05:28
I’ve stayed, yes I have. Yeah.

Jon Waterhouse: 05:31
And now of course graduate education is your job has continued to be your job for more than 25 years at Georgia College. Let’s talk a little bit about that and what you like most about working with graduate students. I see your eyes twinkle when you talk about that, obviously that is a passion of yours as well.

Lynn Hanson: 05:54
It is, yeah and I like people. It comes across from and when I’m talking to students, so that’s why I liked the opportunity to talk to prospective students. We get a lot of phone calls and I’ll spend 35 minutes sometimes on a phone call with a prospective student. Students in our graduate programs are working professionals. These students are non-traditional students. They’re coming in at a different time in their life. A lot of these students have children, they’re raising children. We get to see a lot of new babies born. So we love seeing pictures of babies when those come along. We found a lot of students dealing with aging parents, and that’s something I can identify with as well. So, you find that with working with non-traditional students, you have to be very patient, but you have to let them know you understand, and you have to have flexibility.

Lynn Hanson: 06:40
Our students are not just a number that we’re trying to get into build enrollment. We build relationships with our students, and that’s something I do. I have students who come back, year after year, to keep in touch with me. We get cards in the mail, some will come back up after a year and, “Here’s a picture of my first baby.” So we hear a lot of those stories and we get a lot of students who come in again, they enroll in one of our programs and unfortunately life happens. Students who have dealt with cancer, as I said, sick parents, and we get in and work with those students and let them know it’s okay, we’re here to support them in any way. And I think that’s really what sets us apart from all of our competition, is really having compassion and those relationships that we build with our students.

Jon Waterhouse: 07:27
I mean, obviously you do. You do this on a daily basis, because when I’m talking with you about booking guests here on Lenz on Business, some interesting graduates of the Graduate Business Programs at Georgia College, you had these fantastic stories. You know of these people who have dealt with challenges that as you said, life happens, right? It drops upon us and all of a sudden we have to kind of pivot, and do things to accommodate as we live life on life’s terms. So in order for you to know these stories, you’re obviously working with these people directly, and that’s fantastic. That’s wonderful to hear that, not only are they able to participate in a program that offers flexibility, but they’re able to turn to someone like yourself who can empathize, who has been there at Georgia College for the duration of not only your education, but also for your own career.

Jon Waterhouse: 08:30
So, that’s awesome, that’s great stuff. Lynn Hanson is who we’re talking with. She’s Director of Graduate Business Programs for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I just said Lynn has been working there in graduate education for more than 25 years, and part of her job includes overseeing the Online Graduate Business Programs at Georgia College. This includes MBA, Master of Logistics and Master of Management Information Systems. And you can learn more about the program at makeyournextmove.org. And don’t forget that GMAT waivers are available. So that’s another great aspect of the Online Graduate Business Programs at Georgia College.

Jon Waterhouse: 09:16
So Lynn, let’s talk a little bit about the online program. And when did Georgia college begin offering the Graduate Online Programs in Business?

Lynn Hanson: 09:28
Georgia College actually offered the first online business program in 2001, so that’s our MBA program and we offered that in consortium program with a few other schools in the State of Georgia, and that’s the Georgia WebMBA. So 19 years and counting that we’ve been offering this online MBA. So I tell prospective students when they call in or email, you want an established program. That’s an established program. That was back in the beginning of offering online programs. So we’ve been doing that for a long time.

Lynn Hanson: 09:57
We also offer our Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program. Georgia College has that, or has offered that program for over 45 years, but we took it online in 2014 in April, in order to offer that program to students beyond Middle Georgia. That was a program offered at Robins Air Force Base for many years, and so it was limited to students who lived in that area who had to commute to class one or two nights a week. Now that it’s online, we offer the program to people all over the country. The Master of Management Information Systems is a program we took online in 2016. Same principle, we’re able to expand the offering of that program to people all over the country now. It’s not just people who you have the ability to commute to a classroom, once or twice a week.

Jon Waterhouse: 10:47
So Lynn, let’s say I’d like to apply to one of these programs. What are the admission requirements? Are they different for each of the individual focuses?

Lynn Hanson: 10:55
They can vary a little bit, but the basic information we have to have, is a student has to have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. We have to have test scores, unless a student qualifies for a waiver, and we can talk more about a waiver in just a moment if you want to, so that I can elaborate on that, and official transcripts from all institutions attended.

Jon Waterhouse: 11:18
Well then I’d like to learn more about some of the other requirements a little later on in the show, but we’re about to pay some bills with a commercial break. You’re listening to Lenz on Business. I’m guest host John Waterhouse and Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems. You can learn more at gcsu.edu/business, and you can learn more from Lynn Hanson, who’s the Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College, and we’ll be back in just a few moments with Lynn, on Lenz on Business.

Jon Waterhouse: 11:57
(singing)
Richard Lenz:
12:02
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 12:28
We are back at you with more business talk here on Lenz on Business on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse and our special guest this week is Lynn Hanson. She’s Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Lynn has been working in graduate education for more than 25 years and part of her job includes overseeing the Online Graduate Business Programs at Georgia College. This includes MBA, Master of Logistics and Master of Management Information Systems. You can learn more about the program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse: 13:11
Now just before the break Lynn, we were talking about the admission requirements to hop into some of the online graduate business programs that you offer at Georgia college. Can you talk about some of the additional admission requirements that are required?

Lynn Hanson: 13:28
Yes. For the Online MBA Program, students have to have at least two years of work experience to be eligible to apply for the MBA Program. Students don’t have to have an undergraduate degree in any particular area. In fact, that’s a question we get a lot from students is, “Do I have to have a business degree to apply for an MBA Program?” No, you don’t.

Lynn Hanson: 13:48
For the Logistics Program, you don’t have to have a certain undergraduate degree. For all three of our online programs, we also require that students send us an up-to-date resume, because we like to take a look at work experience for students. Then also we talked about the GMAT-GRE, it’s now a good time to touch on the waivers because one of our most frequently asked questions is whether or not we offer a waiver for the test. As I said earlier, a lot of our students are nontraditional. They’ve been out of school for a while, and don’t have a lot of time to spend prepping for a test, and students get a little intimidated by going back to take standardized tests.

Lynn Hanson: 14:23
So several years ago we started offering GMAT-GRE waivers to students who meet certain criteria. Students who have significant work experience could qualify for a waiver. If someone has a business degree from an AACSB accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.15, those students could receive a waiver. And then anyone who has an advanced degree already, we get a lot of physicians who come into the program, or students who already have a master’s degree, and we can look at a waiver. Students who would like to apply for a waiver can go to makeyournextmove.org, to get a copy of the waiver request form. We’ve got that online, students can fill that out and it comes directly to me so that we can take a look at that.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:08
And folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. And just like Lynn said, you can go online at makeyournextmove.org and you can download the waiver. The GMAT waiver is right there, it’s available and you can complete the form to get started, if you’re interested in going back to school and getting one of their degrees, there at the business school, the MBA, the Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems. You can do it online from the comfort of your own home.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:43
Well, I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse and we’re going to be back with more, featuring Lynn Hanson, the Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Come check us out after news, weather and traffic right here on WSB.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:59
(singing)
Richard Lenz:
16:06
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.
Richard Lenz:
16:29
(singing)

Jon Waterhouse: 16:33
Welcome back to Lenz on Business, right here on WSB. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 16:59
And if you just tuned in, we’re talking with Lynn Hanson. She actually is the Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Lynn has been working in graduate education for more than 25 years, and part of her job includes overseeing the Online Graduate Business Programs at Georgia College that we talk quite a bit about here on Lenz on Business. This includes, as I said, MBA, Master of Logistics and Master of Management Information Systems. You can learn more about the program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse: 17:37
Now, Lynn, obviously the online component has been a big game changer in higher education. In what ways has it been transformative for Georgia College an institution?

Lynn Hanson: 17:50
Well Jon, as you know, Georgia College has offered graduate programs in the College of Business for many years. In fact, we’ve had an MBA program for 50 years, as I said, logistics 45 plus years, and going online has allowed us to reach so many more students and bring them an education from one of the best schools in the State of Georgia, one of the best schools in the Southeast. We, in the past were only able to offer our graduate programs to students who are located in the Central Georgia area, because classes were offered in a face to face classroom setting. Now that we’ve taken our programs online, we reach students all over the country and even some international students as well. So it’s been a big game changer for us, because the outreach has been outstanding and you know, we meet some of the greatest students from all over the place so they’re not just limited to living close to us. Which brings up a question we get from a lot of students is, “Do I have to live nearby in order to pursue your degree program?”

Lynn Hanson: 18:52
I know there are a lot of universities, we have a lot of competition to choose from, but students do not have to be near Milledgeville to enroll in one of our online programs. We tell students, we’ll give you everything you need and take care of you. There’s never a reason for you to set foot on our campus unless you want to, because we have a beautiful campus and we encourage students to come back for graduation, and a lot of them do, but I think it’s kind of a misconception out there that you have to live near the school.

Lynn Hanson: 19:24
We found a lot of online programs show us studies, that students tend to choose some of those schools because they think it’s convenient, but it’s really not, because you get everything you need working with us because we’re going to make sure our students have everything they need from the admissions process, through enrollment, registration, every semester, a payment of tuition. We walk students through those steps and give them just excellent customer service.

Lynn Hanson: 19:51
And you’ll find, if you talk to our students and you’ve talked to several of our students, they’ll tell you they got that great experience living, up here in the Atlanta area is what we get a lot of our students, as a matter of fact.

Jon Waterhouse: 20:02
And I’ve also heard from many of your graduates that they have a great communication type relationship with their professors, their respective professors. Can you talk a little bit more about that and how that works in the online graduate business programs?

Lynn Hanson: 20:19
This is a very good question because I think some students are … Yeah, maybe some people tend to thank, if you’re in an online environment, then you’re just isolated from the rest of the world, if you’re not in a classroom, and that’s not the case at all. The professors, they make themselves available to all of our students. And students in the online environment tend to really bond more than students that were in our face to face classes, because you have to be on top of things in an online environment. You’re not lost in cyberspace somewhere is what we like to tell our students, and the faculty who teach in our online programs are top faculty. They are very accessible to the students. They set up guidelines for when they’re going to respond to our students, so students never fell or never have to feel like they’re left alone.

Lynn Hanson: 21:08
You see a lot of these for-profit institutions that come online every day, and we like to call those pay-for-degree type programs and it’s definitely not that. At Georgia College and State University, when you pursue an online graduate degree, you are going to work hard for that degree, but it’s going to be worth it and you’re going to get top rate experience from the faculty as well as the university as a whole.

Jon Waterhouse: 21:34
And Lynn, one thing that I’ve also heard from a lot of your graduates, kind of a common thread that, even after graduation, they feel comfortable enough and are encouraged to reach out to those professors and to also create relationships or continue relationships with some of their fellow classmates, digital classmates in the real world. As they continue to further their careers, they can reach out to their fellow classmates and also the professors. Can you kind of elaborate on that?

Lynn Hanson: 22:07
Absolutely. We see that all the time and we have students who meet. As I said, we draw in students, now that we have online programs, from all across the country. Students meet, and when, let’s say, they travel for business to another city, we’ve got students who made up with each other and continue to keep up with everyone. I’ve got some students who tell me they’ve actually traveled together with former classmates. So they really do a lot of networking and communicating with former students and with the faculty. Faculty reach out to students all the time to check to see how they’re doing. We’ve had some students go on to pursue a PhD in some cases, and the faculty work with them and guide them through that process. They’re there to give advice.

Lynn Hanson: 22:50
I had a student who came back to visit me a few weeks ago. He received an MBA, gosh, probably 10 years ago. He has his own business now and he came back to work with the faculty, to help him with some research he was doing to take him to that next step. So faculty were more than happy to work with him on that. So, once you graduate and receive your degree, we don’t tell you goodbye. We want you to keep in touch with us and keep coming back. So that goes back to, I think one of the great things about Georgia College.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:19
Fantastic. Well folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting college of Business, Georgia’s public Liberal Arts University. And don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and as Lynn told us earlier, GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form, to get started.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:44
I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse and we are talking with Lynn Hanson, Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting college of Business. Now Lynn, I know there are quite a few success stories that you have there. We shared some of these success stories on Lenz on Business, featuring some of the graduates of your programs there. What success stories come to mind? What are some of the ones that you file away and are always going to and remembering?

Lynn Hanson: 24:13
Gosh, we have lots of those I guess, and being here for 25 plus years, I have a lot of those that stand out, but one recently. We had a student who graduated back in may. She received a promotion and she told me that promotion she received for that first year, paid for the cost of her online MBA program. So I thought that was fantastic. We have students who have dream jobs that are going for, and once they have the degree in hand they’re able to land the dream job. We see a lot of students who come into one of our online programs to advance their career, sometimes even with the same company, so we see a lot of promotions that come about.

Lynn Hanson: 24:54
We have students who are presidents of companies here in the State of Georgia. There’s a young man that came through our MBA program who is with a big company. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to name names of companies, but anyway-

Jon Waterhouse: 25:05
It’s okay.

Lynn Hanson: 25:05
It’s okay? It’s with the Home Depot, and he has worked his way up there. I can’t even keep up with him on LinkedIn. Every time I turn around he’s getting another promotion there. So a lot of great stores. We have physicians, a lot of physicians who come through our program, who come back and tell me, “I’ve been able to use the tools from my degree to help me with my business, because we need a business practice with answer that are able to get a handle on that.

Lynn Hanson: 25:31
So just lots of great stories. I have students who have come in changing the career without a business degree. They come into one of our graduate business programs and they’re able to land an excellent job. I have a young man who finished the Master of Management Information Systems couple of years ago. He had a rhetoric undergraduate degree and wasn’t able to find work. He is now with the CDC and has been promoted several times there. So lot of great stories, I could probably talk to you all day about some of these students that we’ve had come in through the programs.

Jon Waterhouse: 26:00
And that’s got to make you feel good.

Lynn Hanson: 26:01
Yeah, absolutely.

Jon Waterhouse: 26:03
Especially from your position where you are talking with these students, from start to finish, right? Let’s talk a little bit about your day to day and what you do.

Lynn Hanson: 26:14
Day to day? Gosh, we are always busy in our office. Our office, the way we work is we often refer to it as cradle to grave in graduate enrollment, meaning you work with these students as a prospect coming into a program. We talk to students about the programs we offer. We get them through the admission process and I work with these students throughout the program until they graduate. And then afterwards we go out recruiting, we have recruitment sessions. We get out on the road and attend industry events to recruit for the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program as an example. So it’s everything that has to do with graduate programs in the College of Business is what we do on a daily basis, but it’s great.

Lynn Hanson: 27:00
You talk with a lot of fascinating people on a day to day basis. Had a lady call me up well a couple months ago. She’s background singer for Michael McDonald. It’s just interesting, who wants to change your career after she gets out of touring on the road. So as I said, lots of good stories I could tell if I had all day to do that.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:18
Wow. So also international students, right?

Lynn Hanson: 27:22
Yes, we do have international students. A lot of international students enjoy coming in, if they can stay on campus for a program. So we don’t get quite as many international students that are online, but that is available students. We had a student who just graduated, who lives in South America from the Logistics Program a couple of months ago, as a matter of fact.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:42
My goodness.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:43
Folks, we’re talking with Lynn Hanson, she’s Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, and you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org, and simply complete the form to get started.

Jon Waterhouse: 28:04
We’ve got more Lenz on Business in just a few moments right after the break.

Jon Waterhouse: 28:12
(singing)
Richard Lenz:
28:14
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.
Richard Lenz:
28:30
(singing)

Jon Waterhouse: 28:41
You’re locked in the Lens on Business, presented by the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse, and today we’ve been chatting with Lynn Hanson. She’s Director of Graduate Programs in Business for Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. She’s been working in graduate education there for more than 20 years, actually 26 years I believe. And part of her job includes overseeing the online graduate business programs at Georgia college. This includes MBA, Master of Logistics and Master of Management Information Systems. And you can learn more about the programs at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon Waterhouse: 29:24
So Lynn, let’s talk a little bit more about the programs themselves and some of the most frequently asked questions that you receive from potential students.

Lynn Hanson: 29:34
Those frequently asked questions we receive are, “Are you accredited?” And we are. We have AACSB accreditation, which is the highest accreditation a College of Business can have. In fact, only about 5% of business schools in the world have AACSB accreditation. They ask us how much it costs, and we are able to give them the price and let them know we’re one of the most affordable graduate programs. Also, they ask us how long it takes to complete the program. You can get any of our graduate programs in less than two years, so that’s pretty quick for an online program, so that’s what they like to know. And students also want to know, “How long am I going to have to spend each week working on classes?” Students have to prioritize time, but just a good sense of time would be about 10 to 12 hours per week per class. I know a lot of students who are looking at graduate programs, get anxious and want to know about that, and that’s something that we get asked all the time.

Jon Waterhouse: 30:31
And the online programs of course offer that flexibility with time.

Lynn Hanson: 30:36
Yes, and we get students who come into the programs, and with online education, students are able to adapt the classes to their own schedule, which is the big benefit to an online program.

Jon Waterhouse: 30:50
Right. I mean we’ve talked, as I’ve said earlier, we’ve talked to several graduates of your programs and you know, they were doing it at various times of the day and fitting it in between work and running the kids to ball practice, et cetera. They were doing what they needed to do to get the job done. And some of these people that we’ve spoken with throughout our time here, this season on Lenz on Business have had all kinds of interesting schedules and juggling all sorts of life happenings, things like illnesses and pregnancies and large households, and they get it done thanks to the flexibility of Georgia College’s program.

Lynn Hanson: 31:31
That’s right. Another question we get at that ties into that is, “Do I have to log in online at any certain time for the MBA and Logistics?” No, you don’t. You build that into your schedule. You know what’s out there available to you and what’s due during any given week. For the Master of Management Information Systems, that’s a blended program, so students have to log in every couple of weeks or so, to a class session, but you can log in from anywhere your computer happens to be, to sit in on those sessions.

Jon Waterhouse: 32:01
Fantastic stuff. Very interesting to hear about how all this works from Lynn Hanson. Thank you so much Lynn, for coming in the studio and getting to see you in the flesh, getting to meet you and talk with you. We’ve talked on the phone quite a bit, as I said earlier, but it’s great to hang out with you and talk about the school and the online program.

Lynn Hanson: 32:18
Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate the opportunity to sing the praises of Georgia College. You can tell, I love Georgia College and State University.

Jon Waterhouse: 32:25
Absolutely. Well, Lenz on Business is brought to you also by Chris Burns and Dynamic Money Financial Planning. Let Chris and his team help build your financial future. Visit dynamicmoney.com. And don’t forget that the whole shebang is brought to you by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University. You can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online and GMAT waivers are available. All you have to do is visit makeyournextmove.org, and download the form to get started.

Jon Waterhouse: 33:00
I’m Jon Waterhouse. Thanks for joining us on this week’s edition of Lenz on Business. We’ll see you next time.

Jon Waterhouse: 33:13
(singing).
Richard Lenz:
33:13
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, graduate of the WebMBA program at Georgia College

How do you juggle your own medical practice while attempting to further your business career by getting an MBA? Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, an acclaimed oral surgeon, did just that. This week he talks with guest host Jon Waterhouse about why it’s important for physicians who run their own practice to have an MBA, the pros and cons of getting an online MBA, and much more.

Transcript of Show

Announcer: 00:02
It’s time for Lenz on Business with Richard Lenz, on News 95.5, and AM 750. WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Exploring Atlanta’s business leaders, inspiring stories, lessons learned and tips for growth and success.

Jon Waterhouse: 00:26
Yes, it’s time to settle in for an hour of business talk here on WSB.

Welcome to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business.

I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, filling in for Richard Lenz.

Now, as you know, many business professionals contemplate going back to school and acquiring an MBA, taking things to the next level.

Well, our special guest this week is an acclaimed oral surgeon who operates his own practice, and he decided to do just that. Here to tell us about how he juggled his profession with graduate school, the pros and cons of getting an online MBA, and much more, is Dr. Joseph Ducksworth.

He’s a private practice oral and maxillofacial surgeon at The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center in South Forsyth.

Dr. Ducksworth’s specialties include dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, bone grafting, oral pathology, facial trauma, and more. And in 2018, he graduated from the Georgia College WebMBA program. Dr. Ducksworth, welcome to the show.

Dr. Ducksworth: 01:41
Thank you, Jon for that, a warm introduction. I certainly appreciate you inviting me out today, and I look forward to this interview.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:49
Absolutely. So, tell us a little bit about your day-to-day as an oral surgeon. What goes into your everyday lifestyle in your profession?

Dr. Ducksworth: 01:58
Being an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, our daily lifestyle, or daily routine, involves a wisdom teeth extractions. Most people know an oral surgeon is the person that performs wisdom teeth extractions under sedation, or by the patient going to sleep.

But we also do additional things, such as dental implants. As you mentioned, we do bone grafting. We’re also the doctors that are responsible for diagnosing and treating different types of cysts, tumors, cancer, and a multitude of other things that are involved in the oral cavity, as well as the maxillofacial region.

Jon Waterhouse: 02:37
So, in addition to doing all of this, all this surgery, all these different aspects of your job, you run the practice.

Dr. Ducksworth: 02:43
Yes, I do run to practice. It is a private practice, oral and maxillofacial surgery practice, as you mentioned. I do run the practice. I have a practice manager there, that assists in running the practice, but yes, I am primarily responsible for running the practice.

Jon Waterhouse: 02:57
What made you want to go back and get MBA?

Dr. Ducksworth: 02:59
Well, I’ve always been interested in having my own business, hence having an oral and maxillofacial surgery practice.

I also have an interest in some different entrepreneurship ventures that I plan to do in the future. And I look forward to the MBA helping me with those future endeavors, but also helping me have a different outlook on the current practice that I run, and the business activities that go on from day to day.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:28
So let’s talk about that outlook, and how it’s changed since you received your WebMBA from Georgia College.

Dr. Ducksworth: 03:34
Since obtaining the WebMBA from Georgia College, I’ve been able to have a different conversation with my accountant, a different conversation with my IT person, my marketing coordinator, on a daily basis, as well as the office manager and the staff at The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center.

Jon Waterhouse: 03:54
So let’s talk about the program itself, and your experiences there. What are some of the biggest business lessons you’ve learned since getting your MBA?

Dr. Ducksworth: 04:03
So I would have to say the biggest business lesson that I learned is the ability to be able to evaluate and analyze situations differently. Coming from a math and science background, as most healthcare professionals do, we’re taught to look at situations pretty much as in black and white, as either right or wrong.

But after obtaining the MBA, it allows me to explore some of those gray areas that are necessary to run a successful business, and to also explore different business ventures in the future.

Jon Waterhouse: 04:38
Folks, if you’re just tuning into Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, we’re talking with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, who is a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program. So, Dr. Ducksworth, why did you choose Georgia College’s WebMBA?

Dr. Ducksworth: 04:58
I chose the Georgia College WebMBA program due to the flexibility that the program offered. The program is fully accredited. It has a great review. It is constantly ranked amongst the top programs, not only in Georgia, but also in the US, year after year.

For example, the program is one of the best online programs, and counting five years in a row. This is one of the 12 best business schools ranked by CEO Magazine. And also, it’s one of the 10 online programs in the South, as well as the top 25 public online MBA programs, nationally.

Jon Waterhouse: 05:37
And from what I’ve heard, Georgia College’s WebMBA is also known for its affordability. Did that play a part in your decision?

Dr. Ducksworth: 05:44
Why, certainly, yes. The Georgia College WebMBA program, the affordability … to be able to obtain an MBA program for approximately $20,000 is certainly favorable, as far as looking at any program, especially as an accredited program that it is.

Jon Waterhouse: 06:01
And also, GRE waivers are offered for Georgia College’s WebMBA. Did you opt for one?

Dr. Ducksworth: 06:06
Ah, yes. Having an advanced degree, they do give you the option to waiver the GRE, or the GMAT. In my particular case, having an advanced degree already, was an option that I did take.

Jon Waterhouse: 06:20
Folks, if you’re just tuning in, you’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business.

I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program.

He’s talking about what it was like to go back to school in the midst of his career. Now, Dr. Ducksworth, what are the pros and cons of an online degree?

Dr. Ducksworth: 06:48
So, the pros and cons. First I’ll start with the pros. The pros of obtaining an online degree is the flexibility that the program offers. The tuition, that we discussed previously, was definitely one of the pros of obtaining an online degree through Georgia College and the WebMBA program.

The cons, that I will say, are are minimal, but I will say that it requires self-discipline. If you’re not an individual that has self-discipline and time management, that will become a con for you. It can be an isolating experience if you’re not willing to be actively involved in your team, as well as the projects that are presented throughout the course.

Jon Waterhouse: 07:35
You were talking about the discipline of studying and participating in a WebMBA, and here you are running a practice. Not only running a practice, but also a professional surgeon, an oral surgeon. You’re out there working day to day. How did you juggle that time? How did you make time for the WebMBA?

Dr. Ducksworth: 07:54
For me, what I did, I looked at things that I could adjust, things that I could not necessarily cut out of my daily routine. And what I mean by things that, it just means social activities.

For example, I knew I couldn’t cut out my work schedule, my after-work schedule, my lifestyle with my family. I know certain things could not be cut out, but there are certain social things that could be modified.

For example, if you’re a person that likes to play golf on Sunday afternoons, you might have to modify your golf schedule for the program. That’s how I was able to adjust. I would say to anyone who’s looking to explore the opportunity of doing a WebMBA program, you look at your life, you make a calendar of your work schedule, you make a calendar of your after-work schedule, your lifestyle, and then you look at things that you can adjust accordingly. And that’s going to help out a lot with your time management strategy as far as the obtaining a WebMBA.

Jon Waterhouse: 08:52
And what was your study strategy like, Dr. Ducksworth? After a long day at work, did you come home and study? Did you get up early in the morning and do your coursework?

Dr. Ducksworth: 09:01
Very good. So, it varied. It varied according to what was going on at the time, not only at work but after work.

For me, what worked best for me was to study after work, approximately one to two hours per day. I averaged probably 10 to 12 hours per week, I would say. Some weeks that would vary. It might be five hours this week, maybe 20 hours next week. But what worked best for me was to stay ahead, to help me stay ahead, was to study daily, a little bit after work, after the kids and everybody’s gone to bed, things like that. So, that’s what helped me best.

And also, studying on Saturday mornings before it was time for the kids’ activities, and things of that nature.

Jon Waterhouse: 09:45
And I would imagine the consistency of studying every day helped keep you on your toes as you were continuing your classwork.

Dr. Ducksworth: 09:53
Certainly. Certainly, the consistency of studying everyday helps you stay ahead in your studies, and it also keeps you abreast of the things that you’re going to be reviewing with your group when you meet with the group. It’s also going to help you be prepared for the exams better. And also, the end of the year capstone that many of us are aware of.

Jon Waterhouse: 10:15
Folks. You’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, filling in for Richard Lenz. And this week we’re chatting with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program.

He’s telling us all about that experience, and what it was like, in the midst of his career, going back to school to attain that WebMBA.

And we’re going to learn more about it just after the break. Don’t go anyplace.

Richard Lenz: 10:45
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 11:17
We’re back some more on this week’s Lenz on Business, I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse.

Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top-ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

And this week on Lenz on Business, we’re talking with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth. He’s a private practice oral and maxillofacial surgeon at The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center in South Forsyth. And Dr. Ducksworth’s specialties include dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, bone grafting, oral pathology, facial trauma, and more.

But in addition to all of that, he runs his own practice. In 2018, he graduated from the Georgia College WebMBA program to add to his business savvy. And Dr. Ducksworth, we were talking earlier about the whole WebMBA experience at Georgia College. Did you have a specific favorite class that really spoke to you?

Dr. Ducksworth: 12:28
Yeah, the class that really spoke to me was the entrepreneurship class, as well as the marketing class, because those things really hit home for me about what goes on in my daily practice, and some of the future business ventures that I plan to pursue.

So those two classes, for me, were the favorite classes, if you were to pick favorites. But the program entirely as a whole, putting everything together, certainly was instrumental in changing my way of thinking and analyzing situations.

Jon Waterhouse: 12:58
Absolutely. And you were talking earlier, before the break, that in addition to day-to-day as an oral surgeon running your own practice, you also have that entrepreneurial spirit. You have a few other business ideas that you have on the table. Anything that you can talk about today?

Dr. Ducksworth: 13:15
Well, for example, the entrepreneurship class that I just talked about, what we were able to do was to write a business plan for my second practice, and additional practices moving forward. So that is one arm of the entrepreneurship thing that I’m exploring.

As a matter of fact, the business plan that we wrote, my team wrote, is going to be used this year to open the second practice, under The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center umbrella.

So that was a huge thing for me, because now, the things that I would typically have paid for in the past, we were able to do those things in the program. Through this class, we were able to write the business plan, formulate it, have it evaluated by the instructor, have different eyes on it. So that was the huge thing right there for me.

Jon Waterhouse: 14:03
That’s incredible. I mean, practicality right there.

Dr. Ducksworth: 14:05
Right, exactly. And that is one of the great things I will say about the program, is that having a diverse group of team members, each one of us, at some point throughout this program, were able to say, “Hey, that applies to me. We just had that situation at work,” or, “This situation is coming up at work.” That’s the great thing about the program. You can take the … the program takes real-life situations, and you’re able to implement what you learned into that.

Jon Waterhouse: 14:34
And I want to talk a little bit later about the group involvement, and that collaboration at Georgia College’s WebMBA program, which we’ll save that for for just a few moments.

But folks, if you’re just tuning into the program, we’re chatting with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, who’s a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program.

Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse.

Stick around, we have more to explore in this week’s episode, all about going back to school and grabbing an MBA, more specifically, Georgia College’s WebMBA Lenz on Business, WSB. We’ll see you in just a few moments.

Richard Lenz: 15:22
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 15:50
Welcome back to Lenz on Business here on WSB. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top-ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

And this week we’re talking with someone who knows all about the Georgia College WebMBA. This is Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, here in the studio with us. He’s a private practice oral surgeon at The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center in South Forsyth.

And in 2018, he graduated from the Georgia College WebMBA program. Now, Dr. Ducksworth, we were talking earlier about the collaboration that you had with other students during the Georgia College WebMBA program.

Now, on the outside, some people might think that you might be on an island when you’re participating in an online program. Can you tell us a little bit more about the cohort and group-based aspects of the program?

Dr. Ducksworth: 16:59
Yes. So, the Georgia WebMBA program is designed to be a all-online program. It’s interactive with your group or your team members throughout the five-term course of the program.

So, what happens is, you interact with your team members on a weekly basis. It is entirely up to the team how often you meet, or how often you interact. Like some semester, we may meet once a week, and some semesters, just depending on the coursework or what’s required, we might meet twice a week. It just all depends.

But the collaboration that you will form with your team members is instrumental in moving you and yourself forward. There is one face-to-face meeting that you will have, and that is at the orientation. That’s when you meet your team members. That is the only required face-to-face meeting that you will have.

But at that meeting, you will be able to meet the team members, find out each other’s backgrounds, find out what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are, which will be helpful as you move forward through the program.

The collaboration that you have, it can be a face-to-face, online, face-to-face meeting. It can be a conference call, however you and your team decide to set it up.

I will say that the collaboration is very instrumental, and knowing who is strong in which areas, who likes certain activities, or who likes certain tasks, because as you move forward through the program, that will be instrumental for you as well as the team in moving forward.

Jon Waterhouse: 18:36
Now, Dr. Ducksworth, you were talking earlier about one of the projects that you were working on as you were undergoing your WebMBA through Georgia College, and that was an entrepreneurial class and you were putting together a business plan, and you were collaborating with your fellow students. Did you see the diversity of backgrounds? Did that benefit that particular project?

Dr. Ducksworth: 19:02
Of course. The diverse backgrounds, because as I mentioned earlier, as one that’s coming from a math and science background, you have a tendency to look at things in black and white, and we know how we’ve honed our craft over the years. When we go to medical school, dental school, we’re taught how to hone in on your craft, but the business side is all the things that we don’t get.

So having a cohort, or a cohort as well as a team of students that had diverse backgrounds, they were able to implement and have questions about things that maybe I would not have thought about in writing the business plan on my own, initially.

Jon Waterhouse: 19:39
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program.

Now, in addition to collaborating with other students, you also had the opportunity to receive support from the Georgia College WebMBA staff. Can you talk about the support they provided along the way? And what sort of access you had to folks in that capacity?

Dr. Ducksworth: 20:11
So the staff at Georgia College is excellent, in my opinion. From the beginning, from my initial inquiry about obtaining the WebMBA, Ms. Hansen and Ms. Moseley were great. Throughout the program, they were always accessible. As far as if I had an inquiry or about any situation that came up, they were always on top of it.

Most responses are instant. If not instant, certainly with within a 24-hour time period they’re going to get solutions to your inquiry, if there is any.

But as far as the staff goes, the staff was excellent, in my opinion.

Jon Waterhouse: 20:48
And so you participated in the classes in your own time? How does that work?

Dr. Ducksworth: 20:53
Great. So, yes. You will participate in the classes on your own, but you will also participate in the classes as part of your group. There will be individual projects that you will pursue and have to complete, and there will be group projects that you will have to pursue and complete as well.

Jon Waterhouse: 21:09
You’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week on the program, we’ve been talking with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth. He’s a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program, and managed to obtain that degree while working full-time as an oral surgeon, and managing his own practice in South Forsyth.

His practice is The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center.

Now, Dr. Ducksworth, let’s talk a little bit about physicians who run their own practices. Would you suggest that all physicians who run their own practices go back and get an MBA to help enhance their business?

Dr. Ducksworth: 21:50
I certainly would suggest it to all physicians who have their own practice. Being that, when we’re in medical school, we’re in dental school, or professional school, we do not get the business side of running a practice. We get the input of how to hone in on your craft, how to perform your procedures at the top level.

But the business side, we do not get that. We probably get probably one business class, on average, amongst different schools, about running your own business, but nothing like what is offered through the WebMBA.

So, in that regards I would certainly suggest it. You cannot go wrong with it. It certainly changes your way of analyzing and evaluating situations on a daily basis as far as running your business.

Jon Waterhouse: 22:39
And, as far as that day-to-day of running your business, since graduation, can you give us some other ways, some of the practical ways that you’ve used your WebMBA training since graduation?

Dr. Ducksworth: 22:51
Some other practical ways that I’ve used my WebMBA in my daily practice. As I mentioned earlier, my marketing, for example. I have a different outlook as far as my marketing goals, and I can have a different conversation with my marketing coordinator about different things that I maybe would not have thought about if I would not have obtained a MBA.

As far as my accounting goes, the accounting, I … things that I understood before, I just have a further understanding, and a more in-depth knowledge about those things right now, as well.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:25
And I’m sure you have a greater appreciation for folks who do those jobs on a daily basis.

Dr. Ducksworth: 23:30
Of course, of course. Definitely. Even thinking about my IT person, thing is, before, I would just say, “I just want it to work.” Now I understand a little bit more about what I want to work, instead of just, “I want it to work.”

So, yes, I do have a further appreciation and understanding for those people that do it on a daily basis.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:49
And I imagine, having a better understanding of what other people are doing within your practice also would help you manage the practice better, logistically. Just understanding the timeframes, and how long it would take someone to undertake a specific project.

Dr. Ducksworth: 24:04
Yes, definitely. The WebMBA provides you the opportunity to learn and become more aware of things that are essential in running a business, things that are essential, and the logistics, as you mentioned of a daily … No matter if it’s a small practice, or a small business such as mine, or a corporation, being that the lifelike examples that we are exposed to in the program, we are exposed to examples of small businesses as well as running a large Corporation. That is a great thing about the WebMBA.

Jon Waterhouse: 24:37
Now you were talking about approaching things from the viewpoint of a physician. Do you feel like being a physician lends itself to adapting to the business mindset? Or is that something that you had to really work hard towards?

Dr. Ducksworth: 24:52
I think it depends on your mindset. I think that most physicians, when we first come out of our training, it probably is a little bit harder for us to adapt because we’ve been trained to think black or white. It’s either right or wrong. Either the procedure’s completed, or it’s not. You’re doing right or wrong.

And so I think, as you become a little more seasoned in your business, the mindset does open up, and you start to look at, hey, is there a different way that I maybe should be looking at business, versus the surgical procedures or the medical procedures that I’m performing on a daily basis? So, certainly, I think that an instrumental.

Jon Waterhouse: 25:31
You’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s. J Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse.

This week, we’re talking with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA program.

Now, Dr. Ducksworth, since obtaining your WebMBA, has this changed the way that you approach your day-to-day?

Dr. Ducksworth: 25:53
I would say so. From, for example, running the practice on a daily, day-to-day basis, I think differently in the aspect of it’s a business and surgery versus previously, I just thought surgery, and let everyone else deal with business. You have your office manager, have you marketing person.

But now I see it as a business and surgical practice versus a surgical practice, that’s what I always would say, “It’s a surgical practice.” So now I see it as being a business-minded practice as well.

Jon Waterhouse: 26:25
You’re listening to Lenz on Business, and this week we’re chatting with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth, that’s talking all about his experience graduating from Georgia College’s WebMBA program. And don’t forget, folks, marketing matters, and Lenz knows marketing.

From brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing, public relations. Think smart. Think creative. Think Lenz.

Learn more at lenzmarketing.com. This is Jon Waterhouse here on Lenz on Business, WSB. Stick around for more.

Richard Lenz: 27:02
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:33
You’re locked into Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse.

And this week, we’ve been talking with Dr. Joseph Ducksworth. He’s a private practice oral surgeon at The Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center in South Forsyth, and in 2018, he graduated from the Georgia College WebMBA program, something he’s using to enhance his business.

Now Dr. Ducksworth, let’s talk a little bit about any advice you might give to someone who is interested in going back to school, specifically obtaining the Georgia College WebMBA. You talked a little bit about it earlier. If you can expand on that, that would be great.

Dr. Ducksworth: 28:19
For someone that’s considering going back to school, and have a busy lifestyle, a busy work schedule, I would say, look at your schedule and determine a time management system that’s going to work for you.

For example, you would have to look at just, make out a schedule, look at the things that you could and could not rearrange in your daily lifestyle, or in your daily schedule. There are things that will come up throughout the course of the program that you will not be able to adjust, but you will find yourself adjusting. I don’t know if that makes sense, but what I’m saying is, you will have to … things will come up throughout the program that you will say, “I have to … I can’t adjust work, but I need to adjust something else in my daily routine, or my daily schedule, daily life that’s going on.”

Jon Waterhouse: 29:15
Right. Life happens.

Dr. Ducksworth: 29:16
Life happens. There we go. Yeah, life happens.

For example, someone in your group might be a pregnant, they might be going to having the baby. Those things, those type of life things happen. When that person has to go out for maternity leave, those kinds of things are part of that life happenings.

So you have to … reason why I’m saying that time management becomes so important, because you need to have something where you can stay ahead. So, when that life event happens, you will be already ahead. The instructors are usually pretty understanding with those things, and if you’re already ahead, they’re okay with opening up exams. They’re okay with opening up coursework and things like that, if you are ahead. So that’s why that time management becomes so important for you.

If you’re a person that’s isolated and staying alone, and then life happens, it becomes more of a difficult situation to adjust accordingly.

Jon Waterhouse: 30:10
Now, I understand you’re married, you’re a parent, and life certainly happens in fatherhood. Can you talk a little bit about how you juggled the parental lifestyle with your Georgia College WebMBA Studies?

Dr. Ducksworth: 30:22
Right. Well, so, what I think is the best thing for someone who is married and has kids, is to get everyone onboard, or get everyone involved with what you’re doing.

For example, I have a 16-year-old son who plays travel basketball. I have a 13-year-old boy and girl twins. One of them plays travel soccer, the other one does competitive gymnastics. What I’m saying is, we all supported each other, and they knew that I was doing my WebMBA program, and so they were just as much a part of it as I was.

They were looking forward to my graduation, they were looking forward to seeing me complete the program. I would say, just get everyone involved and on the same page.

Jon Waterhouse: 31:02
Well, Dr. Ducksworth, thank you so much for joining us today and talking all about the Georgia College WebMBA program.

Lenz on Business is brought to you by Chris Burns and Dynamic Money Financial Planning. Let Chris and his team help build your financial future. Visit dynamicmoney.com.

And Bentley Media, North Georgia’s fastest-growing film and video production company. Learn more at weonlyfilmeverything.com.

And make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lenzonbusiness.com. That’s lenzonbusiness.com.

Lenz on Businesses is presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, filling in for Richard Lenz. Come see us next week.

Richard Lenz: 31:56
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Sarah Rose Harrill, graduate of the WebMBA program at Georgia College

This week’s special guest saw value in getting an MBA and decided go back to school in the midst of her career. However, as we all know, life happens. While juggling a job and Georgia College’s WebMBA program, Sarah learned her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the challenges, she made it work. Sarah Rose shares her personal and WebMBA experiences with guest host Jon Waterhouse.

Transcript of Show

Speaker 1: 00:02
It’s time for Lenz on Business with Richard Lenz on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Exploring Atlanta’s business leaders’ inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success. (singing)

Jon Waterhouse: 00:26
It’s time for Business Talk on WSB. Welcome to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, filling in for Richard Lenz. Our special guest this week saw great value in getting an MBA and decided to go back to school in the midst of her career, but as we all know life happens and while juggling a job and an online degree, her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the challenges, she made it work. Please welcome, Sarah Rose, to Lenz on Business this week. Hey, Sarah, how are you doing?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 01:05
I’m doing great, Jon. Thank you so much for having me today.

Jon Waterhouse: 01:08
Well, thanks so much for coming in. In 2018, she completed her master’s degree in Business Administration through the WebMBA Program at Georgia College. Sarah Rose has used this degree to advance her career as a healthcare administrator at Emory Healthcare. Also, in 2018, Sarah Rose began Emory’s management development program. This three to five-year program shapes future leaders of Emory Healthcare by providing mentorship, exposure, hands-on project experience, management, and leadership opportunities, and a strong professional network.

Well, Sarah Rose, great to see you today. Thank you again for coming into the WSB studios. First, tell us a little bit about what made you want to go back to school and what impact did you see in getting an MBA would have on your career?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 02:02
Yeah. Absolutely. I finished my bachelor’s degree in 2014. I actually studied exercise science and kinesiology. I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare space, but I wasn’t sure in exactly what capacity as most 22-year-olds are still figuring it out at that point in time. I started working at Emory and I determined that I really had a passion and a drive for the healthcare administration side of the business as opposed to the clinical side so was looking at what I could do to bolster my bachelor’s degree, which was obviously much more leaning in the clinical direction than the administration direction.

I determined that I wanted to look for a master’s program, either an MHA or an MBA, ended up deciding that the MBA was the better fit for me personally. I’m married to an entrepreneur, so it was kind of a, “Hey, this can work for my career but also work for my family.” I was looking at different MBA programs, found the Georgia WebMBA Program, which is accelerated, something you can do while you’re working full time. Academically rigorous because that was important to me.

Then, what to eyes did appear, but Georgia College was one of the universities that participated in this program, and after getting my bachelor’s degree there, I felt a connection to that university, in particular, and it just felt like the natural next step for me. The Georgia College team has … I just can’t say enough good things about the support they provide to the students and to the families.

I called Lynn Hanson one afternoon, I think at 5:30 and fully expected to get a call back maybe the next week, but she called me back 10 minutes later and already knew, “Hey, I saw you went here for undergrad. Let’s talk about that. How can I help you? What can we do to make this an easy experience?” It all fell together perfectly.

Jon Waterhouse: 04:11
Georgia College has great national rankings. In fact, collegechoice.net ranks it as the number two best online college in Georgia. Was that one of the reasons that you chose-

Sarah Rose Harrill: 04:24
Absolutely. Yes.

Jon Waterhouse: 04:24
… Georgia College for your WebMBA?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 04:26
Of course. When I looked at the WebMBA Program, I looked at the six different schools that participate and what their rankings were, but then also what their requirements were for … what GPA you would have to maintain, what type of scores you needed to get in, etcetera, and Georgia College was really at the top of the list as far as needing a higher GPA to graduate, having a higher standard for the students that they would be admitting.

It was an obvious choice to me. One of the other things that I really like about the WebMBA Program that I’ll just touch on shortly is that it’s team-based. I worked on a team with … there were six of us total. Five other individuals who actually were doing the same WebMBA Program with me, but were going to different universities. I worked with students that were going to Valdosta State. I worked with students that were going to Kennesaw State. It was interesting to see their perspective on a lot of the things that we were doing, but then also it highlighted that Georgia College gave me access to a lot of resources that other universities didn’t provide that were going through the same system.

Jon Waterhouse: 05:39
Got you. Well, you’re listening to Lenz on Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top-ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, master of logistics and supply chain management, and master of management information systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

This week we’re talking with Sarah Rose, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA Program. Now, Sarah, let’s talk a little bit about the affordability of Georgia College’s WebMBA Program. I know they’ve received some rankings as one of the most affordable programs out there. Did that play into your choosing?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 06:27
Absolutely. My husband and I are in our mid-20s and we’re both relatively new in our career paths. When I started talking about going back for a graduate degree, the tuition cost was obviously a big factor in that decision. The Georgia WebMBA Program was extremely affordable, and it was a realistic thing to fit into our budget. So realistic, in fact, that my husband also decided to go back for his graduate degree at the same time.

Jon Waterhouse: 07:06
Really?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 07:07
Yes. He did. When I was about halfway through my WebMBA Program, he started his graduate degree in design. It goes to show that we were able to balance both of those degrees while still being really very young in our careers.

Jon Waterhouse: 07:26
As you mentioned earlier, you went to Georgia College as an undergrad and lived on campus. Can you compare and contrast the campus experience versus working remote and online?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 07:37
Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you asked that. When I went to Georgia College for my undergraduate degree, I actually transferred in from Appalachian State University. I was coming in my sophomore year, new kid on the block, kind of missed out on a lot of that orientation stuff that you get your freshman year. But I looked at it as an opportunity to just jump in both feet and immerse myself in the college and the student life.

I was extremely involved on campus and did things like student government and the leadership programs and sorority and all of that. I loved being that busy. I really lived by the motto of “the more you do the more you can do.” I was extremely involved on campus and just loved everything about it. My husband and my friends will tease me and say I actually got my bachelor’s degree in Georgia College, not kinesiology.

That was one thing that I was a little anxious about going into the online master’s program. I had taken some online courses as an undergrad, but just maybe two or three and didn’t have a negative experience with them, but was just worried that I wouldn’t have that same connection to this school and wouldn’t really feel like a student being so far away. I will give all the credit to the administrative support at Georgia College, but then also to the professors in the program.

They have done everything they can to make sure that you’re so engaged no matter where you are. The classes that I took, I was taught by instructors from these six different university system schools. One semester I could have a professor from Valdosta State and another professor from Georgia College. The next semester it would shuffle. All of the professors in the program did a fantastic job and there are so many resources available now that with online classes, you can have live video streaming, you can have a more interactive experience with your professor than you could in the past.

Jon Waterhouse: 09:54
I definitely want to talk more about the support later on in the show, but I know when it comes to going back to school, folks who have been out of the university system, out of college for some time often become intimidated by the fact that they have to take any sort of placement exams such as the GRE and I understand that Georgia College’s WebMBA offers a GRE waiver. Did you opt for one?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 10:21
I actually did not need to opt for one because I had taken the GRE within … I think it’s within the last three years they will take it.

Jon Waterhouse: 10:21
Got you. Okay.

Sarah Rose Harrill: 10:29
I took it when I was still working on my bachelor’s degree, knew that I was interested in maybe doing a graduate program, wasn’t sure exactly what so I just wanted to take the GRE once to see what I was getting myself into more than anything else and thankfully, did well enough on that and it was recent enough that they would still take it. The one thing that I did take advantage of is they actually have short courses that you can take if you didn’t already have the prerequisite courses.

For example, I got my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. I didn’t take a whole lot of finance courses in my undergrad, and as a result, I was a little bit anxious going into this program with the finance and the accounting classes and I was able to take … I think it was an eight-week like quick course before I started the WebMBA Program through Georgia College that allowed me to be up to speed and ready to go.

Jon Waterhouse: 11:27
Sounds fantastic. Well you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. This week we’re talking with Sarah Rose, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA Program. We’re going to be learning more about Sarah Rose’s experiences through her participation in the Georgia College WebMBA Program in just a few moments. We’ll be back after the break. (singing)

Richard Lenz: 11:56
Hi. This is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business. (singing)

Jon Waterhouse: 12:27
Welcome back. We’ve got more for you on this week’s episode of Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re talking with Sarah Rose. In 2018, she completed her master’s degree in Business Administration through the WebMBA Program at Georgia College. Sarah Rose has used this degree to advance her career as a healthcare administrator at Emory Healthcare.

Also, in 2018, Sarah Rose began Emory’s management development program. This three to five-year program shapes future leaders of Emory Healthcare by providing mentorship, exposure, hands-on project experience, management and leadership opportunities, and a strong professional network. Now, Sarah Rose, let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of participating in an online degree. I know there are some skepticism out there. Well, let’s share your own experience and your own thoughts.

Sarah Rose Harrill: 13:29
Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big pro and con list girl.

Jon Waterhouse: 13:33
Yeah?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 13:35
It’s part of a lot of my decision making.

Jon Waterhouse: 13:38
You’ve got the spreadsheet going.

Sarah Rose Harrill: 13:39
I’ve got spreadsheets. It’s color-coded. It’s beautiful. I definitely made a pro and a con list when looking for master’s programs. I would encourage everyone to take a step back and think about what’s realistic for your lifestyle. I looked at mine and I work in healthcare and taking care of patients does not work on an 8:00 to 5:00 schedule necessarily. Life happens and I need to be available when those things happen.

For me, the time was a big component of this decision. One of the big pros of an online program is that you do have a little bit more time built-in naturally because you’re doing this at your convenience for the most part, in your home, at work, listening to lectures while you’re driving and sitting in Atlanta traffic, all of that. The fact that I could do it on my own time, for the most part, was very important to me.

Another aspect of the WebMBA Program, in particular, is that a lot of it was asynchronous. I worked on a team of six people, but I could do my piece when it fit into my schedule, and then my teammates would do the same thing. We didn’t necessarily have to all call in at the same time for this class every single week. It was more you get the schedule at the start of the semester and you plan accordingly.

One of the other things that could be a pro or a con, depending on who you are, is it requires a lot of self-discipline. I’m a scheduler by nature, so I built time into my schedule to be able to do everything that I needed to do, and I was always happy when we were able to turn things in early. That isn’t necessarily the same for all folks so depending on who you are that could be a pro or a con.

One of the other things that I was really anxious about before starting this program was whether or not I would still have that same support with Georgia College, the administration, the WebMBA staff. Thankfully, I really had a wonderful experience and felt they were with me every step of the way, so that turned out to not be a con for me either.

Jon Waterhouse: 16:02
After the break, we’re going to learn more about that support provided by Georgia College’s WebMBA staff. You’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. This week we’re talking with Sarah Rose, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA Program. Stick around for more. (singing)

Richard Lenz: 16:29
Hi. This is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business. (singing)

Jon Waterhouse: 16:54
Welcome back to Lenz on Business. We’ve got more business talk for you here on WSB. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top-ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, master of logistics and supply chain management, and master of management information systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

This week we’re talking with Sarah Rose, and in 2018, she completed her master’s degree in Business Administration through the WebMBA Program at Georgia College. Sarah Rose has used this degree to advance her career as a healthcare administrator at Emory Healthcare here in Atlanta. Sarah Rose, let’s talk a little bit about the support that you received at Georgia College through the WebMBA Program. I can imagine that that would be a concern for some people.

Sarah Rose Harrill: 17:55
Absolutely.

Jon Waterhouse: 17:55
Working remotely, working online, are you going to have that interaction with the support staff, with the professors? Can you kind of give your personal experience and thoughts regarding that?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 18:06
Of course. Now, when we talk about support, we really need to give credit to a lot of different folks, at least, in my personal journey. The Georgia College staff was spectacular. I reached out on more than one occasion over the 18 months with questions or concerns or needing clarification and I always got a response extremely fast and thorough responses at that. I truly can’t say enough about how wonderful the team at Georgia College is.

Next, moving onto the WebMBA staff, that support staff is equally fantastic. But I really want to focus on the professors because I don’t think they get enough of the glory. The professors in the WebMBA Program are extremely responsive. These are busy people that are often teaching in-person classes, doing their own research, all of these other things going on, much like the students working full time, doing other things at … family, all of that.

All of the professors that I had through this program were responsive, receptive. We had a unique situation wherein halfway through my degree, my husband was actually diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and kicked us in the gut as it would anybody. I looked at him and said, “Do you want me to put this on hold? Should we … what’s going to be the right decision for our family?”

We talked about it and based off the support that I had from Georgia College and from the professors, and also from my teammates, I was able to complete my degree, continuing to go full time, continue to work full time and also being a caregiver for my husband. I can’t thank those people enough for everything they did for my family to support us during that time. My teammates, in particular, are fantastic.

One of the great things about this WebMBA Program is that with it being team-based, you’re going through a lot of these experiences together. One of the things that I really loved about my team is that of the six of us, we were all in very different phases of our lives. We were in different industries, we were across the country in different geographic places, and they were fantastic. I was able to bring my own unique skill set to the table and I was able to learn from their skill sets.

The support of having different people going through the program with you at the same time and taking the same classes with the same professors, and dealing with the same life events, just can’t emphasize how important that is.

Jon Waterhouse: 20:54
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Sarah Rose, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA Program.

Now, Sarah Rose, let’s talk a little bit about the stresses that you faced, not only balancing a career, but as you said your husband’s cancer diagnosis while working on your master’s degree, and let’s talk a little bit about how that all works and how that came to play with Georgia College’s WebMBA Program?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 21:33
Yeah, absolutely. We got the diagnosis when I was in the middle of my fourth of the five semesters. I was about halfway through the program and I was very honest with the team at Georgia College and they were not one of the first calls, but they definitely got a call the week that we got our diagnosis. I just wanted them to know, “Hey, this is something that’s going on. We have zero control over it so it may impact my ability to do what I needed to do for classes. It may not, it may be totally fine, but I just want to make sure that you all are aware of this.”

The support that they provided was amazing. I was also very straightforward with my professors because I wanted them to know I’m going to do my best to work ahead and stay ahead of all of this, but we could be going along our day and get a call and we have to be at the hospital. There’s so much that you have no control over and being a bit of a control freak myself, that was a valuable lesson to learn.

The timing maybe could have been better but … Life happens and that’s one of the things that we talked about when we went to orientation for the WebMBA is there are going to be life events over these next 18 months. You hope they’re really good ones. You hope people have babies and exciting promotions happen. We had those too within our group. But there are also some not so great ones that happen, and it just shows the resilience and it’s … I look at it as a character-building opportunity.

It was more about how can I prioritize my time and the things in my life so that I’m able to exert the appropriate amount of energy as a wife, as a professional, as a student, and working down that line every day. Some days worked really well, some days did not go according to plan at all. Having the ability to give yourself grace and give everyone in your environment grace was also key to get through that experience.

Jon Waterhouse: 23:48
What sort of advice would you give a 30 something aged professional who’s considering a graduate degree?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 23:55
I would definitely encourage people to look at what their priorities are in their life, what their lifestyle is like, what types of things are deal breakers for them when looking at programs. For me, weekend classes or night classes was a deal-breaker. I just didn’t have that type of ability to walk away from work and truly be done and not know that I would have to get … not get a call and have to come back in.

I knew that weekend classes weren’t something that I was able to do, and also I didn’t really want to do. I wanted to do my schoolwork in my pajamas, on my couch on the weekends instead of going into class. I would also encourage folks to understand that this is a commitment to yourself and to your teammates and your professors and your family. Understanding and building in the time into your schedule each week. Ideally, building that time in at the start of the week so that when everything goes not according to plan, you have more days in the week to finish whatever you need to do.

Then, finally, to use your resources. Look at the different schools, look at the different programs, determine which schools are going to provide the support that you need for your life and jump in. Just go for it.

Jon Waterhouse: 25:29
You’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Sarah Rose, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA Program. Now, Sarah Rose, can you tell us a little bit about how your WebMBA has had an impact on your job?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 25:52
Absolutely. No. I would love to talk about that because I’ve been very blessed. I’ve been with Emory Healthcare for four and a half years now and decided that I wanted to get a master’s degree. One of the influencing factors on that decision was the desire to do Emory’s management development program. The three to five-year program, the requirement being that you get exposure to a lot of different things about the healthcare industry and ideally shaping you to be one of the next leaders of the organization.

I actually did this degree partially in order to do that program. Thankfully, I was able to work within our Employer Health Solutions Department. Emory has relationships with over 150 different companies and we have everything from onsite clinics at those organizations to managing the healthcare of their employees.

Also, our executive health program, which was established in 1995. It’s different from normal primary care. It’s more efficient care, coordinated, holistic and comprehensive than traditional medicine. We really pride ourselves on the work that we do and we’re ranked in the top 1% of patient satisfaction according to Press Ganey scores.

All of the work that I did in my MBA program, I am able to apply to my work now, which is great. You learn it in the classroom, you do projects where you apply it, but then getting to actually apply those skills in your real life is so much cooler. Being able to take skills that I learned from different professors and apply them to the healthcare industry, healthcare is a business so we do have to keep that in mind in everything we do and the clientele that I get to work with, in particular, gives me a lot more opportunity to do that.

Jon Waterhouse: 27:52
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB and marketing matters, Lenz knows marketing. From brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing, to public relations. Think smart. Think creative. Think Lenz. Learn more at lenzmarketing.com. This is guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re talking with Sarah Rose, a graduate of the Georgia College WebMBA Program. Stick around. We’ve got more of Sarah Rose after the break. (singing)

Richard Lenz: 28:30
Hi. This is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business. (singing)

Jon Waterhouse: 28:59
Welcome back to Lenz on Business here on WSB. We’ve got some business talk for you presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’ve been talking with Sarah Rose. In 2018, she completed her master’s degree in Business Administration through the WebMBA Program at Georgia College. She’s used this degree to advance her career as a healthcare administrator at Emory healthcare.

Now, Sarah Rose, we were talking earlier about time management when you’re completing your WebMBA. Let’s talk about competing priorities. You’ve mentioned competing priorities, how do you handle that in the midst of an MBA program like this?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 29:45
Hopefully with tact. I think one thing that really … when you’re looking at graduate programs, you think, “Okay, I’m going to do this. It’s going to exist in this bubble. It’s going to be great. I’m going to steady 15 hours a week and get a 4.0. It’s going to be awesome.” Then, life happens and, hopefully, you’re still able to make the time, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I think that having your priorities in check and understanding what’s important in your life and what you are and are not willing to make sacrifices on going into the program is extremely important.

If Sunday night dinners are something that are a thing in your family and you’re not willing to sacrifice having to do classwork, that’s totally fine. Keep your Sunday night dinners, but then plan other pieces of your week that you are willing to sacrifice in order to do the work that you need to do. The other thing I would say is be as candid as you can with your professors, with the support team and also with your team members.

My team had six individuals from very different walks of lives and doing different things and different industries. My priorities looked very different from some of my peers and having an understanding of where they fell on that spectrum and what they were and weren’t willing to give on is … was really vital for us. The other thing that’s somewhat related, especially with the teamwork is, knowing the personalities of the folks on your team and everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and being honest about that.

Going into this, I knew what my priorities were. I thought I had a pretty good grip on what my strengths and weaknesses were, but being open and able to learn things from other folks outside of just the professors and to absorb as much as I could and give it back as much as I could as well on that team.

Jon Waterhouse: 32:05
Did you have any personal time management techniques of prioritizing time that really worked for you?

Sarah Rose Harrill: 32:11
Yeah. For me, lists are important. I start most days trying to make a list of what I need to do that day. Then, I had a boss at one point tell me to use the rock, pebble, sand method. The rocks are like the really big things that have to happen, the pebbles fall somewhere in the middle, and the sand is something you can do in the future. If it becomes a next week thing that is totally fine. I think just making your list, prioritizing things and doing the best you can.

Jon Waterhouse: 32:45
Obviously, something that we can apply to everyday business life. Well, thanks so much to Georgia College WebMBA graduate, Sarah Rose, for joining us today. Lenz on Business is brought to you by Chris Burns and Dynamic Money Financial Planning. Let Chris and his team help build your financial future. Visit dynamicmoney.com. Also, Bentley Media, North Georgia’s fastest-growing film and video production company. Learn more at weonlyfilmeverything.com and make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lenzonbusiness.com. That’s L-E-N-Z onbusiness.com. This is Jon Waterhouse for Lenz on Business. We’ll see you next week. (singing)

Richard Lenz: 33:39
Hi. This is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Dr. Karl Manrodt, Professor of LSCM, Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business

As consumers in today’s world, we want our products yesterday. We often forget it takes logistics to store and deliver goods and services for the public. And there’s so much more to it than that. Dr. Manrodt, an expert in the field, sheds light on this specialty and what the future holds for logistics as we trek further into the 21st century.

Transcript of Show

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It’s time for Lenz on Business with Richard Lenz, on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, exploring Atlanta’s business leaders, inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success.

Jon Waterhouse: (00:27)
As consumers in today’s world. We want our products yesterday. Amazon Prime, UPS, FedEx, and others continue to spoil us, and businesses are feeling that pressure. Goods and services require storage space and need to be delivered efficiently and steadily to customers. That’s the concept of logistics in a nutshell, but there’s much more to it than that.

Jon Waterhouse: (00:51)
Welcome to Lenz on Business, business talk here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’ll be learning about logistics and why Georgia is a logistics and transportation state. Here to share his logistics savvy is Dr. Karl Manrodt. He’s a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, an online master’s program for working professionals.

Jon Waterhouse: (01:31)
Dr. Manrodt has more than 25 years in logistics, transportation and supply chain research. Some of these projects have been funded by the likes of Oracle, FedEx, Ernst & Young, and the U.S. Department of State. He is the co-author of seven books and has given more than 150 presentations across the globe. Learn more about Georgia Colleges online Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program at makeyournextmove.org. Dr. Manrodt, welcome to the show.

Karl Manrodt: (02:03)
Thank you very much, Jon. I need to congratulate you. You pronounced my name correctly.

Jon Waterhouse: (02:10)
Thanks to your voicemail message. I had it all wrong, and at the last minute I listened to the voicemail message. Boom, I got it.

Karl Manrodt: (02:17)
Very good.

Jon Waterhouse: (02:19)
I gave a brief description of logistics earlier, but what exactly is logistics? Can you give us your expert definition but in layman’s terms?

Karl Manrodt: (02:28)
Well, I’ll do what I do to the students. How’s that?

Jon Waterhouse: (02:30)
Okay, yeah.

Karl Manrodt: (02:30)
So that will be the intro version of what logistics is all about.

Jon Waterhouse: (02:34)
Great.

Karl Manrodt: (02:35)
If you think about logistics, it’s everything involved with moving and storing of goods. That’s kind of like the older definition, but it really is around planning, implementing, and controlling all of those processes. So if you think about getting bottled water into the station, how do we actually do that is really a logistical issue. So I need to think about moving from an origin all the way through to a destination to get that product in. So that’s logistics in the broader term. Within an organization, that’s what they focus in on. How do I do my part of it?

Karl Manrodt: (03:06)
Now there’s another term that you kind of talked about a little bit, it was this idea about supply chains, right?

Jon Waterhouse: (03:12)
Right.

Karl Manrodt: (03:12)
Supply chains are a lot broader than just logistics. So logistics would be what one or two companies are working on together to manage those processes. A supply chain would be everybody involved in it, right? So if I bring in a product in from Asia as an example, right? I’m going to have multiple parties involved with it. The ocean, transportation companies, trucking, ocean, air, I’ve got customs, right? It lands in the Port of Savannah, how do we get it out of the port, and then moving all the way through that process to get it in. So all that process would really be involved with the supply chain.

Jon Waterhouse: (03:49)
And it’s huge. What a chain.

Karl Manrodt: (03:51)
It is very large and it’s getting more complicated as we go along. So when you even talked about getting things yesterday, that’s really where the movement is, not just getting it as soon as possible, but even made as soon as possible and then deliver it to my home. But we’ll talk about that in a little bit.

Jon Waterhouse: (04:09)
I’m looking forward to that because that involves me. That’s a very selfish reason.

Karl Manrodt: (04:14)
We’ll talk about you all day long. That’s fine.

Jon Waterhouse: (04:17)
So Karl, you have a PhD in Logistics and Transportation from the University of Tennessee. What drew you to this concentration? Obviously, a lot of interesting layers in the whole topic of logistics.

Karl Manrodt: (04:30)
That’s an interesting question. I think only by the grace of God, I actually listened to my wife for the first time. We had been married about five years and she goes, “You really ought to think about getting a degree,” and move up in what I was doing. I ended up with a master’s degree in logistics at Wright State University. But then I interned with a company in Corby, England. Now you got to go back to 1987. The Internet wasn’t really that big a deal.

Jon Waterhouse: (04:57)
I had a mullet.

Karl Manrodt: (05:00)
I don’t know if I can get that out of my head right now.

Karl Manrodt: (05:03)
That’s a scary thought, you know? I had a beard.

Jon Waterhouse: (05:07)
All right.

Karl Manrodt: (05:07)
So that’s also a scary thought. But I got a call back in ’87 and at five o’clock in the morning it said, “Hey, do you want to come to Corby and intern?” I interned with this great company, got a great experience, wrote an article about that with another faculty member, and she encouraged me to get a PhD. So long story short, it’s really a series of listening to people in your life to say, “Well, this is a really cool area. You ought to get into it,” and haven’t looked back since.

Jon Waterhouse: (05:32)
Logistics of course looking forward, logistics can make or break a business. So explain why logistics really matters.

Karl Manrodt: (05:41)
Well, I think it goes back to your opening comment. We want everything yesterday, right? So as that desire from a consumer increases and that demand to get things today within two hours, logistics will become much more critical to the organization to deliver that as quickly and effectively as possible. So firms that can do that are going to go ahead and win. Firms that cannot do that and get stuck in their path in saying, “This is how we deliver products, services as well,” are going to go ahead and fail. It’s just a matter of time.

Jon Waterhouse: (06:14)
You’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Don’t forget, you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems, online. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Dr Karl Manrodt, a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business.

Jon Waterhouse: (06:51)
Now let’s talk about logistics right here in the great state of Georgia, Karl. What’s the climate like these days?

Karl Manrodt: (06:57)
The climate is really good and we have a lot of structure to be thankful for, but also leadership. So if you were to take, for instance, the Port of Savannah, it’s the fourth largest container port in the United States. It’s the largest on the East Coast, and we’ve been blessed by two things. One is very good and consistent leadership at the port. I arrived back into Georgia in 2000 and Doug Marchand was the director at that point. Curtis took over after that, and now Lynch is in charge. All three have really followed a very strong, sustainable path for growth. And so they’ve had that vision and they’ve managed that vision very well.

Karl Manrodt: (07:40)
Let me give you a number behind that. When I got here the first year in 2000, they have a State of the Port Address in Savannah and we hit around 900,000 TEUs. Now a TEU is a box. So when you’re on the highway and you see the boxes on a semi, that’s a container. And a TEU is a 20-foot equivalent unit, all right? So we moved in the state of Georgia back in 2000 about 930,000 of those.

Karl Manrodt: (08:09)
Now let’s fast forward to this last September. We did 4.6 million TEUs.

Jon Waterhouse: (08:16)
Wow.

Karl Manrodt: (08:16)
In just that amount of time. So, great leadership on the side of the port for bringing in those shippers that we need, but also great infrastructure as well. If you think about it, there’s a lot of people that live in the Southeast. I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but people are leaving Detroit and New York and they’re coming farther South. Well, when they come South, they need to go ahead and shop. That means all the goods that they used to buy in those high tax states, I didn’t really say that did I, but they all left. They’re coming down here. They need those goods and services. By default, all those goods are going to go ahead and follow as well. So great infrastructure, great location, great leadership has really led to really superior growth, and that growth is just going to continue in the years to come.

Jon Waterhouse: (09:03)
It really gives businesses a competitive advantage due to the logistics climate here in Georgia. Can you kind of explain and piggyback on that a little bit?

Karl Manrodt: (09:11)
Sure, exactly. Well, to go along with that, one that goes along with the climate side is that the port is very instrumental in getting something that has not been done in a lot of other ports. We have two what are referred to as class one railroads, Norfolk Southern and CSX, operating out of the port. We’re the only port that has literally the lines on the port property, and they’re building a longer track, which enables them to build bigger trains to go to farther cities. So where we have a train that may come up to Atlanta once a day, we’re now able to compete and serve as far away as Kansas.

Karl Manrodt: (09:50)
If you think about that freight coming in, our ability to impact a wider range of the U.S. now becomes much more feasible and much more practical and much more cost effective for merchandisers. So they can build their facilities in there, get great turnaround times at the port, great service out of the port, and then get their products obviously faster to you and I, because like you said, it’s all about you.

Jon Waterhouse: (10:18)
Let’s talk about roads and highways in Georgia. Let’s move from railroads to roads and highways. Of course, they’re also essential to business logistics, but I was checking out one of your presentations and it cites a 2013 report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers. They gave Georgia’s bridges and roads a C minus, right? And I’ve hit a couple of potholes so I know what they’re talking about, not too impressive. How are Georgia’s roads impacting logistics?

Karl Manrodt: (10:47)
Well, it’s kind of like everything else. The minute that you hit a a barrier or any construction, you’re going to go ahead and slow down, and that congestion is definitely going to go and slow down product significantly. So now I have to worry about, or if I’m on the logistic side to think through, what’s the best route to take the product? The good news is that we’re actually starting to construct and work on our roads to get them a little bit more effective and improve them. But you’re right, when you start looking at the overall, I need to frame that, you need to understand even though we’re doing really bad, so is the rest of the country. So we just can’t point to Georgia and say, “You really are terrible at it.” Overall, as a nation, we’re really bad when it comes to our transportation infrastructure right now and it really needs to be improved pretty significantly.

Jon Waterhouse: (11:34)
Got you. Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs, including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: (11:59)
Stick around for more on Lenz on Business here on WSB. This week we’re talking with Dr. Karl Manrodt, a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. We got more for you after the break.

Richard Lenz: (12:17)
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: (12:45)
This week’s Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business is on the move, literally. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse, and we’re talking about the business of logistics with quite an expert. That’s Dr. Karl Manrodt. He’s a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, an online masters program for working professionals. You can visit makeyournextmove.org to learn more. Dr. Manrodt has done an exhaustive amount of logistics research, co-authored seven books, and has given more than 150 presentations across the globe.

Jon Waterhouse: (13:35)
Now, Karl, I noticed that four of your books are about procurement. Let’s talk about that.

Karl Manrodt: (13:41)
Well, Jon, you just opened up a can of worms.

Jon Waterhouse: (13:42)
Uh-oh.

Karl Manrodt: (13:43)
Because when you start thinking about how much transportation or logistics has changed over the last 30 years since I’ve been in the industry, you could mirror that over in procurement as well. Here’s what’s really happening. So let’s go back and level-set maybe 30, 40 years ago. Do you remember being on an airplane, and since we’re in Atlanta we have to talk about Delta, right?

Jon Waterhouse: (14:04)
Yes.

Karl Manrodt: (14:04)
So you open it up and there will be an ad about how to negotiate, right? And it’s all about when you look at that in the underlying process, it’s really about power. How do I use my power to get the best deal possible? How do I leverage that to make it work? Well, let’s think about that for a little bit. If I go into a store or anything like that and I try to use my power, and I’ll put that in quotes, to get the best deal, that supplier, that store really doesn’t like me a whole lot because I’m not really friendly about it. I just want to go ahead and beat him up and get the best price possible. Longterm, that really doesn’t develop a strong relationship that makes things work well. Millennials and a lot of us just don’t like the way that works anyway.

Karl Manrodt: (14:50)
So firms are really rethinking how they actually procure goods and services. So one of them, we got involved with this back in the Air Force about 15 years ago, looking at how Air Force and industry in the private sector actually does procurement well, how do they manage relationships? What we’re finding is that there’s different models that firms can use or employ to actually get the best benefits.

Karl Manrodt: (15:17)
So, let’s go back to our own lives because we like to talk about ourselves, so I can start thinking about a transactional relationship, right? I go to Starbucks, it’s kind of a transaction. I put in my app what I want. I don’t even have to talk to anybody, right? And they just give me the product that I want and I can walk out. But we also have places where we buy things that are much more relational in focus. If you think about our doctors, right? I kid with my students that I’ve got like six of them keeping me alive today, you know? And that all changed after I hit 50. So my relationship with them is very different. It’s a give and take. Companies are doing the same thing because they’re looking at their suppliers to say, “How can you give me the best benefit possible? How can you bring me innovation into the organization?”

Karl Manrodt: (16:04)
You know, McDonald’s is a great leader in this whole side. Do you know how many pages their contracts are with their key suppliers?

Jon Waterhouse: (16:11)
I have no idea.

Karl Manrodt: (16:12)
I’m sorry, they don’t have one. It’s zero. So think about a multi-billion dollar organization not having a contract, but a handshake and a relationship that manages that process. That’s kind of cool, and we really studied a lot of those relationships and see how those work.

Jon Waterhouse: (16:31)
We’re going to hear from more from Dr. Karl Manrodt in just a few moments. You’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Don’t forget, you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online. Visit makeyournextmove.org and just complete the form to get started. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. Don’t go anyplace. We’ll be back just right after the break.

Richard Lenz: (17:04)
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: (17:29)
Welcome back to Lenz on Business here on WSB. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: (17:54)
Now, I don’t know about you, but on this week’s Lenz on Business, I’m getting a crash course in logistics because the logistics doctor is in the house. I’m talking about Dr. Karl Manrodt. He’s a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He’s also the director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, an online master’s program for working professionals. You can visit makeyournextmove.org to learn more. Dr. Manrodt has done an exhaustive amount of logistics research, co-authored seven books, and has given more than 150 presentations across the globe.

Jon Waterhouse: (18:38)
Dr. Manrodt, interesting stuff here today. I’m learning all kinds of new things about logistics. Actually, I knew very little, but I do know something that is kind of freaking me out, and that has to do with automated transportation and how that might be changing and affecting logistics. There’s a super creepy FedEx commercial where a robot comes to the door, replacing the FedEx delivery person. My daughter, she freaked when she saw it. She said, “That is weird.” So let’s talk about that, Karl. What do you think about our future as far as robots and automation and logistics?

Karl Manrodt: (19:14)
You’re going to get really freaked out.

Jon Waterhouse: (19:16)
Okay, let’s hear it.

Karl Manrodt: (19:18)
If you start looking at the reasons for automation, a lot of them deal with safety, but also one of the structural problems we have is that there’s not a lot of drivers. We have a driver shortage that we’ve experienced for probably 30 years now. Not enough people want to become a truck driver. I get it. With all the stereotypes and everything that goes with it, people don’t appreciate the professionalism that it takes to actually move our goods along the interstates safely. They always get kind of the bad apple in the bunch, and that’s what they focus in on. It’s very unfair, but that’s life.

Karl Manrodt: (19:52)
So automation can really help me reduce our costs fairly significantly. There’s technology today that all allow trucks to platoon together. So basically truck one and truck two are going to be synced, kind of like by Bluetooth, and the driver in the first truck will automatically drive the second truck as well.

Jon Waterhouse: (20:12)
My goodness.

Karl Manrodt: (20:13)
And the third or the fourth and the fifth. I’ll still have drivers in there, but I can get greater fuel efficiency by allowing them to be a little bit closer together going down the highway. So what’s driving it? It’s going to be cost. That’s going to be the number one driver.

Karl Manrodt: (20:28)
Number two driver is this whole idea about convenience. You said you want everything yesterday. How do I go ahead and do that? Let me give you a really good example about what I think is going to happen in the future. Companies like, well, let’s talk about Kroger. They have Clicklist. I don’t know if you use it. My wife uses it all the time.

Jon Waterhouse: (20:45)
We do.

Karl Manrodt: (20:45)
Matter of fact, I picked up the order yesterday and I’m standing there, and our person is putting it in the truck and I said, “My wife sure bought a lot of stuff today.” She goes, “Yeah, this is a big order for her.” They knew who she was, you know?

Karl Manrodt: (20:59)
But now if I’m Kroger, that isn’t the end point. The end point is really how do I deliver goods to your home? Why do you have to come to Kroger to pick that up? Or why don’t I have an autonomous vehicle that will pull up to your home, unload your groceries, you come out, you can go ahead and swipe a card, and a basket will open up with all your goods in it, freezer and refrigerated and dry goods. You pull your things out and then you go, “You know what? I really forgot bananas.” So you can go ahead and log in, and they can go ahead and sell you bananas as well.

Karl Manrodt: (21:34)
Why isn’t that going to happen? It will happen, right? It’s just a matter of time. Autonomous vehicles are going to hit the roads. Now it’s a big debate on how quickly it will hit the road, but it’s going to go ahead and happen. Companies that you just mentioned are exploring and finding new ways to do things.

Karl Manrodt: (21:51)
Another example, Amazon, Audi, and DHL formed a partnership in Europe. Now any ideas why they would form a partnership?

Jon Waterhouse: (22:03)
No idea.

Karl Manrodt: (22:04)
Well, you ordered something on Amazon and your big fear is, you know what, it could get stolen. So I don’t want it delivered to my house. So, buy an Audi, because then when you place your order, DHL will see that you got the order, they’ll pick it up. Instead of delivering it to your home, they’ll ping your car, find out where you’re located, drive up to your car, have a onetime code, open up your trunk, and then put the goods in your trunk and then drive away. You’ll get notified the goods are in your car, okay? So another way to use autonomy, right, and automation to be a lot more effective and efficient.

Karl Manrodt: (22:43)
Now when I shared this story to a bunch of friends who were sitting around at dinner, and they’re all kind of in our age group, and I said, “Well, what do you think?” They said, “That’s great. That’s a wonderful idea. I really love that.” Because you can see through how much time that’s going to save. What do you think the reaction was from my students?

Jon Waterhouse: (23:01)
I don’t know. What do you think?

Karl Manrodt: (23:02)
They hated it. They were like, “I don’t want to let anybody into my trunk of my car.” And I’m like, “Well, what do you have in your trunk?” That kind of scared me a little bit. So I don’t know.

Jon Waterhouse: (23:11)
Just get rid of the bodies first and everything will be okay.

Karl Manrodt: (23:15)
But look at Amazon. Now they’re going to the automated process where they can actually get into your house and then deliver the goods, not on your porch, but in inside in your hallway, right? So autonomy is moving in a direction where we haven’t figured it all out, but it’s coming.

Karl Manrodt: (23:33)
Two more examples. You talked about getting everything yesterday. How about on Amazon, there’s a great opportunity for a company that can actually design and knit a dress for our spouse in 26 minutes, okay? Now think about that. If I’m Amazon, and Amazon actually has a patent on this idea, what they’re going to do is, your wife orders a dress. She goes, “This is what I want with the type of fabric or the knit that I want.” Amazon’s going to have that on a truck and it will start driving to your home. It will knit the dress as it drives and when it gets there, it’ll be done. The driver puts it into a box or puts it into a bag and delivers it to your home. 26 minutes.

Karl Manrodt: (24:23)
So, they’re talking about not just on knitting dresses, that’s a different company in New York, but I can do that with 3D printing, right? So I’ll print your product and then have it delivered to your home. I’ll put 3D printers on my trucks and then deliver that out, okay?

Karl Manrodt: (24:39)
Again, is it that far away? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s quite as far as we think it is. I think technology is really advancing pretty rapidly that will enable those types of things to occur.

Jon Waterhouse: (24:53)
That’s George Jetson stuff, for real. I’m still waiting for the flying cars, by the way.

Karl Manrodt: (24:58)
I hope they don’t come. I’ve seen some people drive in Georgia and Tennessee and some other places, and it’s not a pretty sight.

Jon Waterhouse: (25:05)
Folks, you’re locked into Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse, and this week we’re chatting with Dr Karl Manrodt, a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business.

Jon Waterhouse: (25:39)
Dr. Manrodt, you’re an original researcher in the concept of Vested, which is also known as Vested outsourcing. That’s a specific type of hybrid business model. Can you give me an example that might be familiar to me and our listeners?

Karl Manrodt: (25:54)
Sure. We talked a little bit about McDonald’s just a minute ago, and that was probably one of the most fascinating set of case study interviews that we really did. Think about a process where a buyer and supplier work together to determine the best way to deliver a service or product to their customers and where you allow the customer or the supplier to bring innovation into your organization. Most people really don’t like that because they think, “I’ve got to invent it or I have to own everything.” So they close themselves in and not open to a lot of different things.

Karl Manrodt: (26:29)
When H.A. Lafley took over at Proctor and Gamble, he changed the culture. He said, “50% of our innovation really needs to come from external suppliers.” So how do I do that? Well, I’ve got to go ahead and create a process where a system that allows that to occur. Vested is all about that system. How do I make it effective and efficient to develop a relationship between people? So I focus on outcomes. I don’t focus in on individual tasks. What’s our outcome? We want market share, we want to introduce new products, whatever that outcome is. I want to focus on what I want to get accomplished, not how to do it.

Karl Manrodt: (27:10)
If you were to have somebody come over and say, “You know what? I want to have my house cleaned,” I don’t tell them how to clean the house, I don’t say they have to use these types of cleaners to clean the house. I just say I want the house cleaned, right? And I’m going to allow them to do the best job possible, right? So I have to focus in on the things that are really critical. The measurements that I use and put in place have to be directly aligned to those outcomes.

Karl Manrodt: (27:35)
Then the final part where two pieces is that instead of just a single price, I’m going to have a pricing model. So I’m going to go ahead and look at pricing very differently that could be variable based on our success. Then I really have to manage the relationship, and most companies don’t manage relationship. They just sign the contract and they expect it to get done. The reality is relationships just don’t work that way.

Karl Manrodt: (28:00)
It’s kind of like the joke about the old farmer. He goes home after they get married and his wife says, “You don’t tell me you love me anymore.” And he says, “Well, I still do, and when I change my mind, I’ll let you know.” Right? You can’t do that, right? So you have to manage relationships. Vested really is about developing trusting relationships that allow both firms to achieve the desired outcomes that they’re trying to get. It’s been going barnstorms as far as across Canada and especially in Europe as far as on the adoption of those techniques.

Jon Waterhouse: (28:35)
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Don’t forget marketing matters, and Lenz knows marketing, from brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing to public relations. Thanks smart, thank creative, think Lenz. Learn more at lenzmarketing.com.

Jon Waterhouse: (29:00)
We’ve got more for you just after the break with Dr. Karl Manrodt. He’s a logistics guru from Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, sharing his logistics savvy here on Lenz on Business. We got more. Stick around. Don’t go no place.

Richard Lenz: (29:22)
Hi, this is Richard Lenz, and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon Waterhouse: (29:49)
Yes, you’re tuned into Lenz on Business here on WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse, warming that chair for Richard Lenz, and this week we’ve been talking with logistics expert, Dr. Karl Manrodt. He’s a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics at Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. He is also the director of the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, an online masters program for working professionals. Visit makeyournextmove.org to learn more.

Jon Waterhouse: (30:30)
Now Karl, how is higher education changing these days? What are some of the current trends and issues at the forefront facing you?

Karl Manrodt: (30:39)
Well, how much time do we have? There’s a lot of issues. Probably the biggest one that we start looking at, a couple, is going to be on resources, right, having the appropriate level of resources to do the job. I think no matter what university professor you’re ever going to talk to, they’re going to say we need more, right?

Jon Waterhouse: (30:58)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karl Manrodt: (30:59)
We need to be a good steward of what we use as well to make sure that it’s effective for the students. So resources are always going to be a big issue. But how we deliver education is also under hundred radical change. You even talked about in the introduction. We do an online master’s program, and so now you’re starting to see more education moving towards online environments, right? I can just sit at home and get my groceries. I can sit at home and get my education, right? That’s an interesting trend and maybe not necessarily a very good one. If you think about it, if you’re 18, 19 years old, I know this is going to be hard for them to hear or listen to, they really don’t know that much. And to cater to that group is kind of scary, right? Because we’re going to say we’re going to go ahead and build our environment, our society, around an 18-year-old. I’m not disagreeing that we shouldn’t cater to them somewhat, but we also have to think about what’s best for them longterm, right?

Karl Manrodt: (32:00)
So how do I deliver content is easy. I can do that online. I can do that in person. But is that really what higher education ought to be about? Is it about content or is it about character? Am I trying to go ahead and instill in them how to live, think, and really be a productive member of society? If I think about why I got into this or why I stay in education, it’s really about developing those relationships with my students.

Karl Manrodt: (32:28)
We talked just a moment ago about sourcing and how Vested is changing how we think about relational management and how that’s changing relationships between buyers and suppliers. Kind of in the same way, I think higher ed, or at least faculty, ought to rethink why they got into this business. There’s a lot of stuff that you could do to make money. That’s not a problem. But what are you doing to change society in a positive manner? How are you investing your life back into those students that are in front of you every day? I can do that in person. I can do that by taking students out to lunch. So every single student in my class had to sit through a lunch with me. Yeah, I feel sorry for them, you know, because that’s a bad thing.

Jon Waterhouse: (33:10)
Unless you bought it.

Karl Manrodt: (33:10)
I did buy.

Jon Waterhouse: (33:11)
Good.

Karl Manrodt: (33:12)
So they probably liked it, you know? But the goal is to go ahead and you share your life with them, to get them to be better and to think not just about logistics but about their life to be more effective in what they do.

Jon Waterhouse: (33:23)
Thanks so much to Dr. Karl Manrodt of Georgia College for joining us this week. Lenz on Business is brought to you by Chris Burns and Dynamic Money Financial Planning. Let Chris and his team help build your financial future. Visit dynamicmoney.com. And make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lenzonbusiness.com. That’s L-E-N-Z onbusiness.com.

Jon Waterhouse: (33:49)
The whole shebang was presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. You can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online. Visit makeyournextmove.org and just complete the form to get started. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse. We’ll see you next time on Lenz on Business right here on WSB.

Richard Lenz: (34:20)
Hi, this is Richard Lenz here. You’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Georgiana Simmons, Avanos Medical, graduate of Georgia College’s online Master of LSCM

When it comes to going back to school and getting that business-related masters degree, fear can be a deterrent. Finding time amidst a busy life can be a daunting proposition. And this week’s guest did it despite being a single mother and working two jobs at the time. Georgiana Simmons, a project manager in supply chain operations at Avanos Medical, explains how she did it and the ways she applies her degree in her career.

Transcript of Show

Speaker 1: 00:02
It’s time for Lenz on Business, with Richard Lenz, on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB, presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business, exploring Atlanta’s business leader’s inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success.

Jon W: 00:23
When it comes to going back to school to get that business related master’s degree, fear can be a deterrent. Finding the time amidst a busy life in the real world can be a daunting proposition, but this week’s guest did it despite being a single mother and working two jobs at the same time. Welcome to Lenz on Business Business Talk on WSB presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse and please welcome to the WSB studio Georgiana Simmons. She’s a project manager in supply chain operations at Avanos Medical. Now Avanos Medical Inc is a medical technology company focusing on delivering clinical medical device solutions. Georgiana received her Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management via Georgia College’s online program and you can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org. Georgiana welcome to the show.

Georgiana: 01:26
Thank you for having me, Jon.

Jon W: 01:28
Thank you so much for coming. It’s great to see you. What do you think about Atlanta traffic? I know you had quite a distance to come.

Georgiana: 01:35
Well I did, but thank God it’s summer. School’s out. So it was a little easier today, but yes, it still took me an hour.

Jon W: 01:44
Oh my goodness. Atlanta traffic. Well speaking of your undergraduate degree, we were talking about your graduate degree, but let’s talk about your undergraduate degree. You got that in 2007 and almost a decade later you decided to go back to school. And many students opt for a master’s just a handful of years after their undergraduate experience. Any reason for the wait?

Georgiana: 02:10
Yes. So being the sole income breadwinner for a household of four, finances actually was in the back of my brain. How was I going to be able to afford to go back to school while also paying off the education loans that I inquired for my bachelor’s degrees? So yes, and also life happened where I was working two jobs and I was raising two teenagers in the household. So they needed me. But it was always my desire to go back to school and get my master’s degree. And in 2007 when I got my bachelor’s degree, I was working in the mortgage industry and we all know what happened in 2007 in the mortgage industry. And I was determined not to go back. So I started in a new industry. I got the opportunity to work for a molecular biology lab in Buford, Georgia. And my sole role was to source materials for product that was in development. And so that’s what introduced me to supply chain management at that time. And that became my passion.

Georgiana: 03:32
So I started looking for other supply chain management roles, and I was very fortunate to begin a career with Kimberly Clark Corporation, which is off of Roswell Road, which is, Avanos is also formerly known as Kimberly Clark Health Care, and started in distribution for Kimberly Clark. So I went from sourcing to distribution and I was like, wow, there’s so many more elements and facets to supply chain management and I just want to learn more. So I worked my way up in Kimberly Clark into Kimberly Clark Health Care and pursued certification in supply chain management and was introduced to APICS, it’s the leader or organization in certification and supply chain management and they referred me to Georgia College to get my master’s degree.

Georgiana: 04:35
I think I was just ready. I was paying for certification online through organizations like APICS and was doing a search. APICS offers publications and they offer information that’s recent to the industry and there happened to be an advertisement on the top 10 schools in the country for supply chain management and of course the worry about how I was going to finance that of course was the overall concern for me. But as I was looking at the top 10 schools, the one that stood out was Georgia College. It wasn’t just that it was the oldest supply chain management school in Georgia, but it was also a liberal arts school that was affordable. And I did more research, I actually reached out to Georgia College and asked them how much the program was and I was very shocked by the low price or inexpensive cost of the program, and that it was considered one of the top 10 schools even though. So that is what drove me to get my degree.

Jon W: 05:59
Folks you’re listening to Lenz on Business here on WSB presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online, and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and simply complete the form to get started.

Jon W: 06:26
I am guest host Jon Waterhouse and this week we’re talking with Georgiana Simmons. She is a graduate of Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. She received her Masters in Supply Chain Management, actually Logistics and Supply Chain Management. She currently works at Avanos Medical in supply chain operations.

Jon W: 06:50
Now Georgiana you were talking about choosing Georgia College for your master’s degree and its online program. Now, did you have any preconceived notions of online learning?

Georgiana: 07:05
I did. I did things a little backwards in life. I’ve also been blessed with many opportunities. I had my first child at the age of 19 and I was still insisting on getting an education. So I got accepted to the University of Georgia and I was taking classes the traditional way, but I was also taking care of an infant and it became apparent that it was going to be harder than I thought it was.

Georgiana: 07:45
Life happened, so I had to drop school at that time and pursue being a mother and also I needed to work. I needed to bring an income to the family. So I turned 30 years old and realized I still had not received my bachelor’s degree, but realized that online learning had become very popular. It was gaining more, like I said, it was becoming more popular. So I pursued an online learning degree at that time and three years later I had a bachelor’s degree in business and learned very quickly what it was going to take to be in an online environment. It’s not easy, but it affords you the flexibility to be able to work, care for your children, and pursue your dream of a degree.

Jon W: 08:52
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of online learning and what you took away from that at your Georgia College experience.

Georgiana: 09:02
I’m going to speak more to the pros than the cons. Their pros was that I was able to work it into my schedule. We still had deadlines, we still had assignments to do, we still had quizzes, we still had tests, but I was able to go to work, my nine to five job, still be able to take care of my kids, and set aside that time every day to study. And also I learned how to use my resources at the college as well as my professors, I was able to communicate with them either by phone or through a Skype meeting. So those were definitely the pros.

Georgiana: 09:55
Do I feel like I got the same value of education? Absolutely. I know what the in-class environment is like, and I know what the online environment is like. And I’m going to say that it’s not different at all.

Jon W: 10:11
And let’s talk about some of the technology that they have in place that you’re able to utilize during your studies.

Georgiana: 10:18
So each school is different. They each have their own technology as far as classroom time online. So some use Skype or some use their own technology or software that they built so that you can actually interact face-to-face with your professors and also with your classmates. So they would set aside some time or you could schedule time with your professor. The technology also included their library that was virtual. There was resources that each class would provide to you to make you successful in your learning and in your courses.

Jon W: 11:03
Folks, if you’re just tuning in to Lenz on Business, we’re chatting with Georgiana Simmons, she’s a graduate of Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business.

Jon W: 11:13
Now Georgiana we have less than a minute left in this segment, but I want to talk about how you applied your degree, how you apply your degree currently at Avanos Medical. Can you kind of start that and then we’ll finish it up in the next segment?

Georgiana: 11:27
Absolutely. Supply chain management, there are a lot of pieces to supply chain management that I have learned and I am still learning today. And what interests me about supply chain management, when I was in sourcing, I was sourcing raw materials. My interest is how do we now transform those raw materials into finished goods that customers actually want.

Jon W: 11:56
Well, we’re going to learn more about how you apply your knowledge that you learned at Georgia College in your current position at Avanos Medical.

Jon W: 12:03
Folks, you’re listening to Lenz on Business. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse. Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs, including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. Learn more at gcsu.edu/business. We’ll be back with more Lenz on Business in just a few moments.
Richard L:
12:31
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon W: 13:09
We’re back at you with more business talk here on WSB with Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse and our special guest this week is Georgiana Simmons. She’s a project manager in supply chain operations at Avanos Medical. Georgiana received her Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management via Georgia College’s online program. And you can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon W: 13:32
Now Georgiana could you give us the lay person’s definition of supply chain operations, supply chain management?

Georgiana: 13:41
Okay, so supply chain management, the actual definition is the flow of goods and services to the consumer. What supply chain management means to me and my role is getting the right product to the right place at the right time to the right person. That is what supply chain management is.

Jon W: 14:07
And as I mentioned earlier, you received your Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management via Georgia College’s online program. And we were talking just before the break, how do you apply what you learned at the program, through the program, in your current job?

Georgiana: 14:25
Absolutely. So first let’s talk about the courses of supply chain management at Georgia College. It divides each section or the logistics of supply chain management and gives you a very in-depth look of strategies as well as principles of each section of supply chain management. So from project management to procurement with Dr. Monroe, who is the president of the program, to distribution strategies as well as warehousing and location strategies.

Georgiana: 15:16
So how I apply all of that learning to my position is I try to find those bottlenecks or I try to assist with increasing our ability to flow goods faster, and bring to customers what they want quicker. So that’s how I apply my learnings to supply chain management in my role.

Jon W: 15:47
Any particular course that really stood out to you that you feel like you draw upon the most?

Georgiana: 15:54
There’s actually two that come to mind. The first one is the procurement or raw material section that we had with Carl Monroe, and it was how to work with your suppliers, with raw materials, and your relationships with your suppliers, how to make it a win-win situation for you as the consumer and the supplier, as well as a distribution course that gave us an understanding of inventory and the strategies of inventory.

Jon W: 16:36
Interesting stuff here on Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. Don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete that form to get started.

Jon W: 16:58
I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse and this week we’re chatting with Georgiana Simmons. She’s a graduate of Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business online program. We’re going to be hearing more from Georgiana and more Lenz on Business after news, weather and traffic right here on WSB.
Richard L:
17:20
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon W: 17:45
Welcome back to Lenz on Business. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse with more business talk for you. Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business offers top ranked online graduate business programs including MBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. You can learn more at gcsu.edu/business.

Jon W: 18:11
And if you’re just tuning in to the program this week we’re chatting with Georgiana Simmons. She’s a project manager in supply chain operations at Avanos Medical. The company Avanos Medical is a medical technology business focusing on delivering clinical medical device solutions. Georgiana received her master of logistics and supply chain management via Georgia College’s online program and you can learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon W: 18:41
Now Georgiana earlier in the program we were talking about the reason that you went back to school, the reason you went after your master’s degree and partial reason, it had to do with finances. You were a single parent and at the time in which you were attaining your master’s via Georgia College, you were working two jobs, experiencing a 70-hour work week, you told me this off the air, and you were able to fit in a graduate programs somehow.

Georgiana: 19:17
And that is the flexibility of online learning. That’s what it was able to afford me, was the ability to work it in. I definitely got less sleep during the 24-month program. However, it was that drive, it was wanting that master’s degree that drove me to successfully getting a 4.0 in my master’s program.

Jon W: 19:48
Congratulations.

Georgiana: 19:49
Yeah, thank you. Even with a 70-hour work week. I was fortunate, however, that my weekend job was a role where I was able to have my computer on the side and work on school while I was working. So I was working while I was working basically. But I do have to say that you have to discipline yourself. A robust discipline. You have to put yourself on a schedule. The way that the classes are structured is, you have reading that you have to do each week and there’s a lot of reading, there’s a lot of writing that you have to do for each week, there are quizzes and there are tests scheduled throughout, and there is also discussion posts. So that is the time that you go online and you discuss with other students the topics or that week’s readings, and there is a minimum set of requirements that you are to go on on there and not just post any discussion but something that is worthy of a grade.

Georgiana: 21:09
And so I had to set aside a schedule for myself at the beginning of each semester and say, okay, at this hour, at 5:00 in the morning I was going to get up and I was going to spend 30 minutes on discussion boards, and then I was gonna get ready and go to work, and then after work I was going to spend another hour on the reading. There were times where I would bring my lunch to work and so I could eat lunch at my desk as well as go online and again add more content to the discussion posts as well as study for quizzes.

Georgiana: 21:50
So I would say that Monday through Friday I was spending anywhere from two to two and a half hours of online work and then about-

Jon W: 22:03
Per day?

Georgiana: 22:04
Per day. And then on Saturday probably another four to five hours, and then Sunday I would take off.

Jon W: 22:10
Okay.

Georgiana: 22:11
Yep.

Jon W: 22:11
So you did have that day off, which is important to have our rest.

Georgiana: 22:13
I did have that day off, yeah.

Georgiana: 22:16
Absolutely. I was still working my second job on Sundays, but at least I was not looking at schoolwork on Sunday cause I did have to have some reprieve from that. But yes, I had to create a schedule for myself and stick to it or it was not going to work.

Jon W: 22:33
Wow. That’s impressive Georgiana.

Georgiana: 22:35
Thank you.

Jon W: 22:36
Folks you are listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. And don’t forget you can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online and GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org and complete the form to get started.

Jon W: 22:58
I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse. This week we’re chatting with Georgiana Simmons. She’s a graduate of Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business online program.

Jon W: 23:09
Now Georgiana, you were talking about the flexibility of online learning, and that helped you a lot in attaining this degree, but you had a 70-hour work week, which is really intense, and I can’t see how you did it. You explained how you did it. I don’t see how you did it. But on top of that, you’re a parent, a parent of four, and as a parent, I can’t imagine being a single parent, which you were at the time and doing all of this, working 70 hours a week, going back to school. Being a parent is a full time job, so basically you had three full time jobs.

Georgiana: 23:50
Yes.

Jon W: 23:51
So let’s talk about how you balanced parenting amidst this.

Georgiana: 23:56
Okay. So just I want to clarify. I actually have three children [crosstalk 00:24:02] in the household, four people in the house.

Jon W: 24:04
Oh four people in the household?

Georgiana: 24:06
Yes.

Jon W: 24:07
Okay, Gotcha, Gotcha.

Georgiana: 24:07
So I was fortunate that at the time that I decided to go back to school, my kids were teenagers and they were self sufficient. They were in high school and they were entering into college themselves. So it became a competition between my son and myself, who was going to graduate first. And fortunately he made it to the finish line before me. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, and then I graduated a year later. So it made it very easy for me to pursue my master’s degree at that time cause it was just the right timing.

Jon W: 24:48
Oh, that’s nice.

Georgiana: 24:48
Yeah, absolutely. But yes, still trying to hold down a job and help him pay for college and help myself pay for college as well as maintain a household of four people, keep the bills paid. And also my role requires about 40% travel and most of that being out of the country. Yes, it was definitely hard, but like I said, I disciplined myself, put myself on a schedule to make sure that I obtained the dream of getting a master’s degree.

Georgiana: 25:24
And I think the most important thing I’ve not revealed here is I wanted to be relevant in my industry. I found a passion for an industry that I wanted to stay in. I want to retire in supply chain management regardless of what portion, whether it was in raw material purchasing, manufacturing, or if it’s in distribution, I wanted to stay relevant in that industry, and so getting an APICS certification wasn’t enough for me, pursuing a master’s degree was more important. So that is the drive regardless of the 70 hours a week, and raising children in the home, that was the drive.

Jon W: 26:05
Where does that passion come from, supply chain management?

Georgiana: 26:10
I think it was being given the opportunity to source raw materials for a very important device that was being developed in a molecular biology lab that I was working in. I found out I loved the industry, but I also found out that I loved the work. Pursuing my dream to help in the healthcare industry one way or another, whether it was supply chain management, it was satisfaction for me. And now at Avanos Medical, I’m doing the same thing. I am assisting Avanos Medical to develop and to manufacture medical devices for patients that need closed-suction catheters in respiratory care, or they need MIC, which is a household name in digestive care, it’s a feeding tube, or for pain management, acute and chronic care, our household names are ON-Q Cue, I’m sorry, and COOLIEF. So that’s what keeps me in this industry and also keeps me in supply chain management, is bringing to patients the products that they need on time.

Jon W: 27:28
That’s a noble cause.

Georgiana: 27:29
Yep.

Jon W: 27:30
Folks, if you’re just tuning in to Lenz on Business, we’re chatting with Georgiana Simmons. She’s a graduate of Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business online program, and she currently works for Avanos Medical. She’s a project manager in supply chain operations.

Jon W: 27:47
And we were talking earlier about balancing parenting amidst working, amidst going back to school, et cetera, and you said one of your children was actually in college at the time?

Georgiana: 28:00
Yes.

Jon W: 28:00
Or started college, kind of started simultaneously almost?

Georgiana: 28:04
Yes.

Jon W: 28:04
And that had to bring some camaraderie between the two of you. I know you said there were some friendly competition, but I imagine that you said this all kind of happened at the right time. This was the right time for you to go back to school. I think a byproduct of that, it may have brought you two closer together, did it?

Georgiana: 28:21
Oh yeah, absolutely. Financially it may not have been the right time, but yeah, as far as my ability to now have a little more time for myself, this was the right time. And my son going to school, I was going through some of the same pains that he was going through. That first two years of your bachelor’s degree, you just don’t understand why you’re there and what the path is going to be. But yes, it was a blessing.

Jon W: 28:51
That’s great stuff. We are talking with Georgiana Simmons, a graduate of Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business, and we’re going to be learning more from her just after the break. Don’t forget folks marketing matters and Lenz knows marketing, from brand strategy to advertising, digital marketing to public relations. Think smart. Think creative. Think Lenz. Learn more at lenzmarketing.com. And you’re listening to the Lenz on Business here on WSB. I’m guest host Jon Waterhouse. We’ll be back in just a few moments.
Richard L:
29:30
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.

Jon W: 29:58
We’re back with more business talk here on WSB. You’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by the J Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College. Georgia’s public liberal arts university. I’m guest host, Jon Waterhouse and today we’ve been chatting with Georgiana Simmons. She’s a project manager in supply chain operations at Avanos Medical, and the company Avanos Medical is a medical technology company focusing on delivering clinical medical device solutions. Georgiana received her Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management via Georgia College’s online program. Learn more about that program at makeyournextmove.org.

Jon W: 30:39
Now Georgiana, let’s talk about the experience at Georgia College. You were talking about some of the courses earlier. Are there any stand out instructors or mentors that you met along the way?

Georgiana: 30:54
Professor Monroe, definitely, I think I’m saying his name wrong, Monroe, he is definitely memorable in the fact that he’s very passionate about supply chain management, and in particular he’s passionate about your relationships with your suppliers and how that does affect your ability to meet your customer’s expectations while putting strategies in place to make money.

Georgiana: 31:24
But if there was one supportive professor at Georgia College, it would have to be Peter Moore. Peter Moore had a couple of courses that he actually taught in supply chain management, but it was the project management course that I use today in my role. But he was a mentor and he’s been a champion since I have graduated. And I still look to him for advice. He offered the tools, he offered the knowledge and the principles behind project management in supply chain management, that is, I believe, will make me very successful.

Jon W: 32:10
So you have the ability to reach out to him when you have questions?

Georgiana: 32:14
Absolutely. All of them, they are all available. I can’t think of one that I wouldn’t be able to reach out to, to maybe run a question by or get their thoughts.

Jon W: 32:26
And the fellow students, the fellow graduates that you experienced this program with in your cohort, any relationships there that have continued post-graduation?

Georgiana: 32:36
Yup. So thank God for social media, because we’re all connected on LinkedIn. I think each cohort stays very close. They reach out whenever something new is happening in life, whether somebody’s got a new job or there’s a new job opening, they’re going to offer it to their comrades first, which is very nice. But yes, I do speak to a few of the students on a regular basis cause I just want to know how they’re doing in the industry and if I can ever offer any help or assistance in finding a role that they really want to be in.

Jon W: 33:16
Well Georgiana thank you so much for coming on the show this week. As I mentioned earlier, she is a project manager in supply chain operations at Avanos Medical. Thank you Georgiana again.

Georgiana: 33:28
Thank you Jon.

Jon W: 33:30
Lenz on Business is brought to you by Chris Burns and Dynamic Money Financial Planning. Let Chris and his team help build your financial future. Visit dynamicmoney.com. And make sure and check out our website for our library of past shows at lenzonbusiness.com. That’s lenzonbusiness.com. And the whole shebang is sponsored by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. You can get your MBA, Master of Logistics or Master of Management Information Systems online. GMAT waivers are available. Visit makeyournextmove.org. I’m Jon Waterhouse, we’ll catch you next time on Lenz on Business.

Richard L:
34:18
Hi, this is Richard Lenz and you’re listening to Lenz on Business, presented by Georgia College’s J Whitney Bunting College of Business. Visit them at gcsu.edu/business. Again, that’s gcsu.edu/business.