I try to be a modest person, but today I want to share with you something for which I am tremendously proud and required months of hard work.
For the last 2 years, I’ve been very quiet about my accomplishment, but with a career transition imminent, now is the time to share my story.
I am a proud graduate of Xavier University’s Williams College of Business. From January 2016 through early July 2017, I began and completed a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Intelligence.
In the fall of 2015, I looked at my career options for the future. My choices were: 1) stay where I am at and hope to advance, 2) stay in broadcasting and look for advancement opportunities elsewhere, including in other cities, or 3) choose a new career path. Someone I knew suggested I consider pursuing a master’s degree – specifically an MBA – in late 2015. It took less than an hour of research to realize that I would need to take about 15 courses to complete an MBA, and if I wanted to get an MBA and both start and complete a job search in 2 years, I would have to get moving. I immediately applied to two MBA programs, and ultimately chose Xavier. I’m glad I did.
I took 2 to 4 classes (usually 3) per semester from the spring semester 2016 through the first summer session of 2017. For a year and a half, I essentially had one night each week away from classes and coursework. Most of my vacation days in 2016 were spent studying, writing papers, or in a library. Some classes – like marketing and managerial strategy – were manageable; others – like operations management, managerial accounting, and data mining/statistical analysis – were quite difficult, mathematically intensive, and time consuming.
Balancing a full time job and school was challenging, and it was even more difficult to mix in the other facets of life. After a while, I ran out of “100 percents” to give. Some people fell away as I pursued a degree that I knew would make me stronger and increase my likelihood of career options. I have a new level of respect for how difficult business decisions can be and how much impact they can have.
I didn’t have a concentration when I first started at Xavier, but a professor of mine – who I now consider a friend – saw my love for data and gathering insights from it. He encouraged me to pursue a Business Intelligence track, where I could learn everything I could about data, the systems that handle it, and the techniques used to understand it.
In the summer of 2017, I finished my last two classes and began a job search. At the end of that search, I found a job that was a perfect fit and allowed me to merge my business intelligence acumen with my work experience in communication and forecasting. This job will also enhance my quality of life and work-life balance; working regular business hours is a sharp contrast to waking up at 1am for work, working holidays, and working weekends. Lastly, there will be many opportunities to grow, advance, and learn in my new job; growing and advancing in a sustainable company and industry is important to me.
My job search confirmed the things I believed to be important to me two years ago; most importantly, I wanted to stay in Cincinnati where my friends and family are. I worked hard to come back home to Cincinnati in 2011 after years working elsewhere and at college. I’m thankful that I will be living in Cincinnati – my hometown – for the foreseeable future.
I think it is best that I not share specifically where I’ll be working. This is not for lack of pride, but – instead – in an effort to make elements of my life more anonymous. I’m not one that needs to be in the limelight to be happy. I have never been interested in being an on-air “talent” or “personality” (the terms make me cringe); I chose to be a broadcast meteorologist so I could forecast and communicate the weather. After all, it was the Blue Ash/Montgomery/Symmes Township tornado of April 9, 1999 that caused be to revisit my career path.
I make this career transition with my head held high and with a lot more self-confidence and self-worth that I had years ago. I am working in my hometown with more than 10 years of experience and as an American Meteorological Society Certified Broadcast Meteorologist. I have the honor of being recognized, interning with, and being hired directly by Cincinnati’s greatest meteorologist. I’ve worked alongside some talented people who genuinely want to make the people around them better. I’ve worked some severe weather events I will remember for the rest of my life – most notably the deadly tornado outbreak of March 2, 2012. As an MBA graduate, I see businesses differently. I appreciate the impacts of business strategy. I see the difficulty and value in creating a sustainable competitive advantage. Perhaps most importantly: I see the ethical side of decisions and know when to spot poor ethics, unfair practices, and caustic behavior.
The weather will always be a part of life. I assure you I am still very connected to meteorology and will not be abandoning it. I still love the weather, and I always will.
I am thankful for the relationships I now have as a Xavier MBA graduate and for the friends I have made in the program. I am thankful to my friends and family for being patient and supportive of me in my career transition. Having the people I love, trust, and respect standing with me means a lot. I hope my late father is proud of me.
This is not a goodbye. This is simply a fresh start, and I hope you’ll celebrate with me.