December of 2020 was a month of milestones for Corey Selhorst. While recently celebrating his wedding anniversary and his daughter’s first birthday, he also was one of the first to graduate from a newly offered online program from Bowling Green State University (BGSU).
Selhorst completed the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a Concentration in Finance in a year and a half. He started his studies in the fall of 2019 with in-person classes but switched to the online format as soon as it became available the following semester.
“I do a lot of work during tax season preparing tax returns for my own private practice and for TurboTax,” he said. “It gets so busy that I don’t really have time to drive 20 minutes to BGSU and sit in an in-person class for two hours, three nights a week. It was much better to be flexible, especially during the January to April time.”
But that is just his side job. He works full time as a financial accountant in capital projects for BGSU.
His work at the university managing assets includes evaluating new projects involving capital expenditures and taking annual inventories of assets across BGSU and preparing financial statements for entities such as the WBGU-TV station and the Centennial Falcon properties.
Selhorst completed his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in business administration with concentrations in accounting, finance and economics from BGSU in 2016 as well as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in philosophy. He earned his CPA license shortly after.
He knew he wanted to find a position in public accounting for the job security it guaranteed. He also knew a few years of professional experience would open doors for a career pivot.
And pivot he did.
Back to the Books
Returning to BGSU for his MBA, Selhorst had several goals in mind.
“I think it was about expanding the options I have again. Most of my work has been in accounting and tax, so I wanted to do the MBA to gain a broader experience,” he said.
Even though the employee tuition discount was enticing, Selhorst still researched different options for the best MBA program for himself. He stayed at BGSU for several reasons including the professors, whom he credits with being responsive anytime he emailed them.
One of Selhorst’s favorite courses, MBA 6020: Information Technology for Managers, taught him information he could immediately apply to his own circumstances.
“I could definitely see how it would be useful to pretty much any work I was doing to figure out a decision-making problem that involved numbers or dollars, even in my tax preparation work.
“If there’s a variance in some report I’m looking at, I will find what’s wrong much faster with some of the techniques I learned,” he said.
Growing Family, Growing Career
In addition to enjoying the flexibility of the online program, Selhorst liked how it helped him balance work, school and family life. He could focus on the topics that were new to him and choose his own pace.
“My daughter is only one year old, so if she got up, I could go help out. And then when she finally went back to sleep, I could jump back in and do classwork,” he said.
Friends had worried about Selhorst starting an MBA program with his first child on the way and a busy job, but he was able to manage it all due to the organization of the online courses.
“If I had stayed enrolled in the in-person program, I would still be taking classes now,” he said. “I would have only been able to take one course per semester as opposed to the multiple that I was able to do online.”
He says time management helped him balance his other responsibilities with coursework.
“It’s easy to not log in and then get behind on coursework when you’re not forced to attend a physical session. Checking in every day and seeing what to do is crucial.”
Selhorst has had a lasting interest in numbers, especially from a money management perspective.
“I’ve always been a math person, and I’m not theoretical enough to just go into pure mathematics, so accounting and finance seemed like a good compromise,” he said. “I like managing dollar signs and figuring out efficient ways to do things. I also like technology and, surprisingly, the accounting and finance fields are moving significantly in that direction.”
His ultimate career goal is to move into a computer science role, possibly software design for some type of finance or accounting application. He may even consider completing a doctoral program down the line.
“For future positions, it helps tremendously to have a wider breadth degree, like an MBA, because it shows that you’re not just experienced in one field and that you could venture out and do other things,” Selhorst said.
“I’ve looked at BGSU’s doctoral program in philosophy. I’ve always loved philosophy, and I think it would be great when I’m older and retired to be able to teach it.”
Selhorst was not the only one in his family to add a BGSU degree in December 2020. His brother completed the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in business administration with a concentration in business analytics and intelligence. While the two are following somewhat similar paths, his brother is leaning more toward becoming an actuary. Their dad holds a computer science degree, also from BGSU.
Ultimately, the Bowling Green State University online MBA program allowed Selhorst to accomplish what he was looking to do.
“I’ve learned to think about problems in a broader manner now,” he said. “In accounting, things have a very narrow focus, and there is a right answer to each question for each transaction. But in the finance field and more managerial-type roles, you need different tools and angles to look at problems and make decisions.”
Selhorst’s future is looking bright, and he hopes opportunities will continue to emerge. Still, he makes time for his family and hobbies like mining cryptocurrency from his basement, running outdoors and taking walks in the park.
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA program with a Concentration in Finance.