A dynamic program suited for enterprising students, Mason’s online EMBA is supported by an ambitious faculty and an established network of business connections. But the program’s influence often extends beyond the realm of today’s business executive. At Mason, an online EMBA reaches overseas.

With rigorous and relevant coursework and opportunities for valuable real-world experience, the program offers a convenient online platform for military students to earn a superior education and gain invaluable business perspective, even while deployed.

From program managers to pilots, these students have a broad range of amazing backgrounds in leadership and service around the world. Their careers take have taken them beyond borders, so their EMBA program must be able to do the same.

Mixing Business with Service: Mason Military Students Pursue Online EMBA

Photo courtesy of Col. Peter Reddy.

Applying Good Business Practices While Adapting to an Online Format

As a program manager at Marine Corps Systems Command, Colonel Peter Reddy leads an office of government civilians, active duty Marines, and various outside contractor and agency workers.

With a demanding job and frequent travel, Reddy sought flexibility. “While the online format took some getting used to, I adapted to it quickly and it worked well,” he says. Despite the online structure, Reddy was even able to form valuable connections with local cohort members.

In planning and managing the acquisition and sustainment of command and control, communications, and force protection system resources, Reddy now feels better equipped to understand business practices and motivations of defense contractor businesses as well as apply many of the principles of good business practice within his own office.

Gaining Global Perspective through a Supportive and Flexible Program

Shane O’Donnell has been in the military since 1988 and the National Guard since 2001. Currently a financial manager, his background includes managing pay and travel for the National Guard in Indianapolis, serving as Controller for the Washington State Guard, and training as an Army engineer.

O’Donnell sought a distance learning program in anticipation of future travel. Some aspects and tools, such as the collaborative nature of Blackboard and the exposure to group dynamics, surpassed his expectations. “It was a much more team-based approach to learning than I would have imagined,” states O’Donnell. “Probably the best testament to the school and the program is the support of the faculty and the flexibility that everyone allowed.”

While in the program, O’Donnell was able to visit companies in China, take classes from Oxford Said Business School professors, and engage with European Union representatives.

Accessing a Quality Education from Around the World

Mixing Business with Service: Mason Military Students Pursue Online EMBA

Photo courtesy of Felicia Blair.

Following her graduation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and commission as 2nd Lieutenant, Felicia Blair has been an air battle manager and pilot for the Air Force. With experience flying C-130 cargo planes and C-21 passenger planes, she is currently a C-21 Instructor Pilot.

Blair pursued a quality program that would augment both her military and post-military careers. She shares, “I knew that with a good MBA, not just a check-the-box degree, I would have more opportunities when I get out of the military.”

Because of her deployment schedule, Blair was restricted to online courses. But even while flying missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, she participated in the program and credits Mason with providing continuous support. “Mason is very military friendly and willing to work with everyone’s schedule,” says Blair. “I felt that Mason really cared about me as a student.”

Engaging in a Collaborative Structure While Abroad

Following his position as Deputy Director of Intelligence, Operations, and Logistics for the Navy’s US Sixth Fleet, David Mayo is currently an associate professor at National Defense University’s National War College. Intrigued by the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and skills that would benefit him upon retirement, Mayo pursued a flexible online MBA program.

Mayo found his professors to be very accessible, and video conferencing allowed for easy group coordination. But the online structure and group dynamics were more challenging than anticipated. “You can’t just grab someone to clarify a question,” explains Mayo. “You miss verbal cues, and there is discipline required for understanding how to work in a virtual team.”

Through the challenge of online collaboration, Mayo found that he connected with his classmates in a way he never expected, even while abroad. He admits, “I could not have done this if I had to go to the classroom. I have done coursework from Europe, the Middle East, and throughout the United States.”

More About the Program

George Mason University’s online Executive MBA program is noted as highly flexible and ideal for business leaders wanting to excel in their careers. Students engage in a challenging yet rewarding curriculum rich with cultural perspectives, innovative technology, and hands-on experience.

U.S. News & World Report ranks George Mason University #75 on the 2014 list of “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.” SuperScholar’s Smart Choice Award for the Best Online MBA Programs recognized Mason’s EMBA again in 2014, having listed it in the award’s inaugural year of 2012.

For more information, visit http://onlineemba.gmu.edu/.

Mason’s Office of Military Services provides various resources for military students, including Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) and the Battle Buddies mentorship program.