Two countries, two continents.
That’s where Chris Kenyon progressed through the online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting program at Bowling Green State University, completing it in March 2021.
Kenyon, who is starting his 15th year enlisted in the Air National Guard, was serving his country in the Middle East for most of his time in the program.
“I had just finished my undergraduate degree when I got my orders,” he said. “I didn’t want my life to be on hold, so I thought I would try to stick it out and follow through with the master’s degree while I was deployed.
“I did 70% of the degree while I was overseas. When I got home to Ohio, I finished the last term of the program. I knew that I could concentrate on the MBA program and get it done while deployed.”
The online format was a necessity for Kenyon, but it also helped him make the most of his free time while away from his family — his wife, Mindy, and three children, Collin (7), Brayden (4) and Hazel (2).
“I worked about 60 hours a week and devoted two hours a day to school,” he said. “Fortunately, my location had good, quality internet.
“I was able to get it accomplished. I did my undergraduate degree online, too, so I knew how much time it was going to take and what to expect.”
Kenyon grew up in Zanesville, Ohio, where he graduated from West Muskingum High School. The accounting field has always a big part of his life.
“We have our own family business, McLain, Hill Rugg & Associates, Inc., founded by my grandpa,” he said. “My uncle and cousin took it over. I’m trying to get some real-world experience and see what the next step is for me.”
After Kenyon graduated with an associate degree in electrical and mechanical technology from the Community College of the Air Force in 2018, he enrolled at Bowling Green.
The following year, he graduated from the online Bachelor of Science in Technology program.
“Because I didn’t have a job going into my undergrad, I was wondering if the MBA was going to pay off,” he said. “Two weeks after I got my degree, I received a job offer to be an accountant in a public accounting firm. That never would have happened without taking that initiative.”
Kenyon started his position at Lion Rex ATA, Inc. in Centerville, Ohio, before the ink on his degree had dried. He also worked as an operations supervisor for ABF Freight System before landing his current job.
“The gentleman who hired me at Lion Rex ATA, Inc. is also a Bowling Green graduate,” he said. “I look forward to collaborating with his team as I learn the trade. My new short-term goal is to earn my CPA, which I feel would make me a valuable asset to the company.”
Kenyon opted to remain at BGSU because he was familiar with the school and the online format. Plus, COVID-19 hit at the same time he started the online MBA in Accounting program. He believes the degree prepared him to take on his first full-time accounting gig.
“The most challenging course for me in the program was Managerial Accounting. All of the courses were all right in line with what I was expecting when I enrolled.”
Now that Kenyon is back in his home state with a master’s degree under his belt, he looks forward to growing as a businessman and father, and never forgetting to give back to the community.
“My wife is pretty excited about me graduating from the MBA program,” he said. “She was hesitant at first because I didn’t have a job. It worked out well.”
Kenyon is also excited about spending more time with his family and doing some hunting and fishing now that he has completed his third degree in three years.
He is happy with the decision to remain at BGSU to complete the MBA in 12 months, starting in the Middle East and culminating in the Midwest.
“You have to make time for school when you are in the program,” he said. “You can make all of the excuses you want, but you are going to have to get things accomplished. I got good value out of the program and would recommend it to any individual looking to further their career.”
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA in Accounting program.