Jason Miller is back in the Falcon nest.
After graduating from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) with a bachelor’s degree, the Mansfield, Ohio native enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration program in June 2020.
“I had always considered doing a master’s degree at some point,” he said. “This opportunity fell into my lap at the right time and at the right place. With COVID-19, staying home, doing online classes and not having to worry about taking days off to go to classes in person, it fits in with my work schedule.”
Miller has been the human resources manager for the Wood County Committee for Aging in Bowling Green for two years. The nonprofit organization has a nutrition program similar to Meals on Wheels, and it provides services to help seniors live at home as long as possible.
“I have a passion for training and development and helping people with goal-setting,” he said. “I started my undergrad in education. I decided I wanted to do something a little different, so I switched to the business program.
“It has been fantastic working with older adults. I have a passion for helping people in the community and applying business concepts. It is a great fit. I like what I do now.”
The flexibility of the online format helps Miller have enough time for work and school by enabling him to set his own schedule.
“It’s absolutely been manageable,” he said. “One of the things that I was most concerned about was if I would be able to commit the time needed to do well in the coursework. Being able to do it at my own pace is great.
“The professor in my first session, Dr. Bill Sawaya, laid out everything. He said, ‘Here’s the week and everything that you need to accomplish. You have until Sunday to get it done.’ Then, you work it into the schedule, which has been the best part of the program, so far.”
After taking a break from the Bachelor of Business Administration program at BGSU down the stretch, Miller did the final six courses online to complete the degree.
He is enjoying the Bowling Green online Master of Business Administration experience.
“The MBA program is great,” he said. “The adviser, Connie Disbro, is phenomenal at making sure we’re up to date on things. She is always available to answer any questions.”
Miller considered earning a master’s degree in gerontology to have his educational pursuit line up with his current job, but he opted for the MBA to solidify his business acumen.
“Having it 100% online was really important with working 40 hours a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” he said. “I couldn’t get away three or four times a week to go to class.”
He wasn’t expecting much practical use for the course on Supply Chain Management (MBA 6040), but he picked up insights he could use at work.
“I thought, ‘This is never going to relate to anything that I do,'” he said. “But Dr. Sawaya was able to drive home where the information could be applied and what I could do with it.
“Even during office hours when questions were posed, he’d say, ‘If you’re running a senior center, this is how it could be applied.’ He was able to do that for several students and the jobs that they have.”
Miller said that BGSU faculty are as accessible in the online format as they were on campus.
“Dr. Sawaya had office hours via Zoom,” he said. “If you had questions, you could get in. You could work out some of the math problems with him by sharing a screen. It was almost like a real-time class because you still had that interaction with the professor and other students, as well.”
Miller is happy to be back in familiar territory with BGSU. Already the first person in his immediate family to earn a college degree, he plans to graduate from the online MBA program in December 2021.
“I love the town and the college,” he said. “My family and friends are excited about me being back. At first, they said, ‘Are you sure you want to do more school?’ But the fact that it’s online and at my own pace sealed it.
“If I decide I don’t want to take a class next session, I don’t have to. It would put me behind on graduating, but that flexibility is important. I might look into doing two classes at a time next year, depending on the material in the courses.”
Although Miller loves his work at the Wood County Committee for Aging and has no intention of leaving his current position, he knows that having several career options never hurts.
“Having an MBA is a good resume builder to show that you’re more well-rounded,” he said. “It is a great accolade to have in your wheelhouse.”
Miller, who enjoys cooking and volunteering in his free time, is already a big believer in the online MBA program after completing one course.
“The first thing I would tell anyone considering this program is to go for it,” he said. “I wavered on it about having the time, but the staff, the professors and the advisers are so helpful and willing to do whatever they can to help you. It’s that support that makes the MBA program doable.”
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA program.