Brent Koesters plans to give himself a colossal birthday present wrapped in orange and brown.
The St. Henry, Ohio, native is on track to graduate from the Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting online program at Bowling Green State University in May 2021.
“I look at this as a major accomplishment,” he said. “If I can get there, I would definitely like to attend commencement. It would be a neat experience. The goal is to have my MBA finished by the time I turn 40 next June. I am on that path.”
Koesters enrolled in an on-campus MBA program at another university in 2006, but he left after one course. He jumped at the opportunity to resume that journey.
“I looked into Bowling Green’s online program, and it made more sense for me with my work schedule,” he said. “It was a better fit.
“I have always had an appreciation for Bowling Green. Several of my friends have gone there, and I have spent a good amount of time there, too.”
So far, so good. Koesters is earning the degree while working full time as the facilities manager and injection mold production manager at Reynolds and Reynolds in Celina, Ohio.
“It can be challenging at times because of the other commitments that I have,” he said. “The biggest thing is finding the right amount of time. But it’s also on me, which is nice. It’s been a fast-paced 2020.
“I know I have to put in the work and put in the time. The class format has been pretty manageable. It has worked well with my schedule as a busy professional.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ohio Northern University in 2004, Koesters spent most of his career in the field before transitioning to the plant management team a year-and-a-half ago.
“I have always been a numbers guy and loved math,” he said. “I am also a sports fan – I like statistics. It made sense. The nice thing with transitioning into the management world from accounting is, I am still viewed as an accountant. I still rely on those numbers.
“I have that strong accounting background, but now I combine it with the people element of management and production management. It helps me to be more well-rounded altogether.”
So far, MBA 6030: Managerial Accounting is Koesters’ favorite course in the online MBA with a Concentration in Accounting curriculum.
“It’s part of my background,” he said. “In my undergrad, I was so green. Now that I have been through the accounting world and understand a little bit about that, it’s interesting to see how it all relates and look at it from a totally different perspective.
“This is the first semester where I have taken two classes at a time. I’m taking Auditing [ACCT 5510] and Financial Management in a Global Environment [MBA 6060]. It’s a challenge, but you know what you have to do going in. You have to do the work.”
Koesters has been able to apply most of what he has learned in the program to his career on a regular basis. He has worked for Reynolds and Reynolds for almost a decade.
“It’s a different view, which is the cool thing about it,” he said. “I am 15 years into my career, and I have seen a number of things here in the business world. It’s relating that back to real-word experiences from a whole different perspective.
On the Horizon
Koesters has had a lot of support from his family and friends in his quest to complete the MBA program while still in his 30s.
“They are excited for me,” he said. “Sometimes I have to crack down and work on school for an entire weekend. The hardest part is finding the time and making the time to spend with my family and friends.
“I go to watch my nieces’ and nephews’ ball games as much as I can. I also work a number of hours, so it’s a matter of finding the time for it all.”
He believes having an MBA will help further his career and give him additional opportunities in different areas once he graduates and celebrates his 40th birthday.
“The reason I went to the management team was to open more doors in my career and to work toward becoming a vice president,” he said. “Part of the reason for getting my MBA is to potentially be able to teach someday. I have no idea if I will make it that far, but that’s an option.”
Because the coronavirus pandemic took hold not long after Koesters enrolled, he was able to focus more on the program and realize the amount of time he needed for schoolwork.
“It is a commitment, but it’s also what you make of it,” he said. “The work you put in is what you’ll get out of it. It’s carving out time to get things done. Some classes are harder than others, but it’s something you need to commit to fully. You need to be ready to go. It’s no different than the business world. ”
Koesters, who enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and watching sports, is excited to be a student again at a university that’s close to his heart.
“The MBA helps me immensely from a confidence perspective,” he said. “This is a step I would have already taken, but it didn’t fit into my life earlier. Now, I am excited with the way the last seven months of school have gone. I am proud to say I am part of the Bowling Green program.”
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Accounting program.