HOW THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA’S MOORE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS HELPED A BOEING EXECUTIVE EXPAND HIS HORIZONS
[ By William Atkinson ]
When Michael Wood’s career as Boeing’s program manager of 787 Business Operations hit a ceiling, he decided to search for an MBA program that could expand his horizons. “I am at a point in my career where an MBA was only going to open more doors and create more opportunities for me going forward,” he says. After spending most of his early professional life in Detroit’s automotive industry, Wood had moved into aerospace in 2008. Now, says Wood, “I needed to learn how to look at the business from a global perspective.” He found that many traditional MBA programs required full-time commitments, were too inflexible for his schedule or a poor fit for his needs.
Then he found the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business offers a professional MBA (PMBA)—in addition to its traditional MBA program—that runs on a Friday-Saturday schedule for active executives. “It is a large and very successful program,” says Kathleen Dolan, MBA director. “Both MBA programs are very focused on international business and cover advanced operations, finance and other areas,” she says. Students of the PMBA program have options to take two-week trips abroad and meet daily with CEOs. “The program is really aimed at executives who want to push themselves beyond their comfort zones,” Dolan says.
Wood looked at several universities in the area before selecting the PMBA program at USC-Moore. “My interest is in international business,” he says. “The Moore School is nationally ranked in this specialized area, offers the most flexibility, and I did not want an online program. I wanted a program that offers access to world-class education and an opportunity to collaborate with business leaders and interact with peers who had diverse experiences and backgrounds. The Moore School offered all of this in their PMBA program.”
Wood hoped the program would help him gain a better understanding of business analysis and integration to further develop his business planning and strategy role at Boeing. “There are a lot of data available and enough metrics to make your head spin,” he says. However, this raises questions such as: Is the data reliable? And is it the right data to help assist the leadership team with prioritizing projects and decision-making? “I also wanted to gain the ability to further understand and analyze the external effects of the global business environment, culture and trends that could influence the commercial airplane market,” he says.
The international business classes provided Wood, who graduated in May, with a better understanding of the cultural impacts of organizational behavior. “They have also provided me with the skills to adopt to the challenges that arise in cross-cultural communication and improved interaction with my commercial airline customers,” he says.