Alumni profile: Mike Hardin, an innovation leader

Mike Hardin

By Greg Price

Last year over 20 students graduated with a Master of Arts in Leadership from City University of Seattle. We hear many success stories from our former students who share how their careers have greatly improved since graduating. Here’s a story from Mike Hardin, a Program Leader, Operations Innovation at Domino’s Pizza.

A call to action: how the program supported you professionally

The ‘power of the possible’ describes my educational journey. Prior to entering the program, I was concerned about time management, stress, and the overall cost when I decided to make the investment in my education. Now that I have completed my degree, The Master of Arts in Leadership program encouraged innovative and creative ideas that I applied within my career. I was challenged in all the ways I imagined, but was fully supported by the City University faculty.

The deep dive into leadership strategies and techniques was a call to action. I had to think differently and more globally when considering complex challenges and building a case for change in my research papers. During the Critical Thinking and Innovation course, my passion for innovation grew. I wanted to provide feedback and think differently about challenges in my current professional role and beyond.

Five months after graduating, the opportunity to be a Program Leader, Operations Innovation at Domino’s was given to me, and I took it!

Personal reflection

While enrolled in my final class in the program, I welcomed a son, had a full time career, and worked hard towards my next career steps. After completing the degree, I understood the importance of risk taking. The program helped me prepare for these risks and for my next steps. Finishing with a master’s degree is a milestone and has inspired me to continue to look for new ways to expand my knowledge.

I plan on using much of what I learned at City University to develop in my new role and chart out my carrier path. I certainly hoped my education would advance me in my career and personal growth, but did not anticipate the relevance and timing.

Why City University?

I would recommend City University to anyone with a full plate who has a desire to work hard and grow in their knowledge base. The staff is committed to the student’s success, as are the other professionals in the classroom who are trying to balance work, school, and life – they are there to cheer you across the finish line as well.  I think having concerns is normal, but it is important to take that first step, or first class to change your own personal outcomes. I am so grateful that I took the first step in my educational journey!

Thank you, Mike! Congratulations on your success at Domino’s Pizza!

If you are ready to make advances in your career, contact the School of Applied Leadership. Be a change agent in your current job – start your journey towards a master’s degree in leadership.


Published May 19, 2017



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