Februrary 2015 Student of the Month
February 2015 Student of the Month
Interview with Brian Misuraca:
Tell me a bit about yourself, including your career and academic background.
Through eight years of service in the US Air Force, I have forged a passion for the public sector and government. However, I much prefer the efficiency of business over bureaucracy. I am currently stationed in Guam, with my wife and three kids. I manage operations that support deployed B-52’s and all stages of planning and execution for military exercises and regional training events in the Pacific. I received my BS in Leadership from Penn State and am currently finishing my first year in the KD MBA program. I’m an active member of the Consulting Association and the President of the Veterans’ Association. My goals are to leverage my MBA to earn higher leadership roles in the government and eventually consult for the public sector.
What first interested you in the Kelley Direct Program?
In 2011, while deployed to Afghanistan, I had a lot of time to consider my future. Although I was considering several career options, the common denominator was that an MBA was either required or desirable for all of them. I began to research full-time programs. I thought that my only real opportunity was to complete my service obligation, exit the military, and attend an in-residence program for the next two years…until I stumbled across Kelley Direct. I discuss the decision at greater length on the Military to Business Blog (Links to an external site.).
An MBA is very much a brand decision. Ultimately, my interest in Kelley Direct and my decision to attend came down to one key point: Kelley, recognized that the online MBA was a disruptive innovation over 15 years ago and is at the forefront of a revolution that is drastically changing business education. That was the kind of school I was looking for and wanted to invest my future in.
Tell me about the Veterans’ Association. Why did you found it and what is your plan with it.
Founding the Veterans Association goes back to when I was researching Kelley Direct. As a military student, I had concerns on how military life, living overseas, deployments, relocations, and other factors would impact my ability to complete the program. The IU Veterans Support Services staff was extremely helpful but couldn’t offer the peer-to-peer perspective that I needed. And the full-time Kelley Veterans Club couldn’t answer the “virtual student” concerns I had. After my first Kelley Connect Week I began to make connections with other student veterans, and quickly realized that there were many. With the support of the KDSLA, we formed the Veterans’ Association.
As with every endeavor at KD, the people I have the opportunity to work with make the projects special. Throughout the process, the Veterans’ Association Leadership Team (Links to an external site.) has worked tirelessly, enabling the association to operate at full speed within a matter of months.
The Veterans’ Association is the primary instrument for military students at Kelley to network and collaborate. We are a chartered Student Veterans of America Chapter and are continuously working to connect with other national veterans’ groups as well as local chapters of those organizations. Finally, we provide prospective KD student veterans with a peer-to-peer perspective about the program. We are currently laying groundwork to support career advancement and transitioning support for our members through webinars, events, and strategic alliances with military recruiters. In the future, we hope that those partnerships afford KD student veterans an advantage in the free agent economy.
Describe how KD, KDSLA and USAF helped you reach your career goals.
KD is an integral part of my current success. Earning an MBA while working has allowed me to apply concepts I learn to my current position. Each class offers more insight on how I can improve my processes and myself as a manager. Consequently, my operation was ranked #1 in the Asia-Pacific region and for my leadership, I was named the top manager.
I can’t say enough about what the KDSLA does for KD. Through teaming to create the Veterans’ Association, I learned that the KDSLA is the lifeblood of KD. The student insight, connection with the faculty, and passion for improvement ensures KD’s position as market leader, no matter how many more top-ranked schools seek to offer online programs.
While I haven’t attained nearly all of my career goals, the KDSLA, Consulting Association, AGILE experiences, and Washington Campus program are all catalysts as I position myself to accomplish all of my career aspirations.
What advice do you have for new Kelley Direct students?
You are currently at the forefront of the biggest change in business education since the case method. But you only get out of the program what you put in. Know what your goals are and take advantage of every opportunity; there are many. Networking events, AGILE trips, KDSLA and Associations, and career services offerings are just a few of the unique aspects of the KD program. If the opportunity you are seeking doesn’t exist, entrepreneurial spirits rejoice. The faculty and leadership is open to improving everything. Welcome to Kelley Direct!