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Interview with Recent M.A. in Leadership Graduate Jonathan Stutz
-Written by Greg Price
July 7, 2014
Recent City University of Seattle graduate, Jonathan Stutz, and Associate Program Director, Greg Price, sat down for a conversation. Jonathan has been taking classes in the Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) program the past four years and walked in CityU’s 2014 Commencement. He had this to say about his decision to enter the MAL program, the decision to choose his thesis, his thoughts on the faculty and advisers, and what is on the horizon for Jonathan.
Greg: Why did you decide to choose CityU’s MAL program?
Jonathan: Once I decided to pursue a MA in Leadership, there was a period of time where I gathered information from a number of schools. City University of Seattle’s hybrid program appealed to me because the program combines the personal experience of the classroom with the flexibility available through online distance learning. As well, courses were offered on Saturday mornings and afternoons which was preferred over weeknight courses. (Editor’s note: hybrid courses were offered when Jonathon enrolled and for a couple of years thereafter, but since, the program has become wholly online).
Greg: How has the MAL program helped you in your career?
Jonathan: Intensely, studying and writing about leadership, while working as a leader in business, has this unique value that is simply not possible when practicing one of these activities without the other. For example, when you have the opportunity to immediately take your learning on Tuesday and apply it on Wednesday, and then go back and discuss your experience with your classmates and professor on Thursday, there’s a synergistic effect that positively impacts your effectiveness in both the classroom and the workplace.
Greg: What was the process you went through to choose the subject for your thesis project?
Jonathan: When I was growing up my family, like many, enjoyed the tradition of watching the film, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ immediately after the Thanksgiving meal. Years later, during my two daughters’ youth, my wife and I would renew this tradition with our own family. Through the countless iterations of absorbing this film I came to understand and appreciate the underlying story, the real story that the author L. Frank Baum is conveying to his audience. To me, the book and subsequent film is about leadership and the characteristics of leaders who are successful in accomplishing their goals and objectives.
Greg: What is next for you?
Jonathan: In addition to leadership, one of my other business interests is project management. I’m considering getting a certification in Project Management, known as the ‘PMP’ credential for ‘Project Management Professional’. My future may also include teaching leadership or human resources courses, sharing the knowledge gained from my career and experience at City University of Seattle.
Greg: Anything else to add?
Jonathan: I’m grateful for the talented teachers, classmates and advisers at City University of Seattle who have enriched my learning. The last four years have been a highly rewarding and a super positive experience.
Greg: Thank you, Jonathan. We hope the best to you in your future activities. BTW – I can help you enroll in those Project Management courses you are interested in!
Author’s note: Please read Jonathan’s five-part series on leadership in CEO World Magazine posted below.