Student Profile: Dan Purkey, MBA

Student Profile: Dan Purkey, MBA

Recently, we caught up with Dan Purkey who is an MBA graduate of CityU. Dan currently serves as the President at The Open Door Group, LLC, which is a business consulting practice in Seattle.

Here is what he had to say when we asked him a few things about CityU:

City University of Seattle (CU): What attracted you to CityU?

Dan for book coverDan Purkey (DP): I knew that I needed an MBA to continue my career advancement. I looked into a number of programs and chose CityU because of its flexible class hours that allowed me to work around my regular job, its reputation as the leading MBA program on the West Coast, and that it offered a Managerial and Organizational Leadership (MOL) program as a discipline within the MBA.  MOL was a discipline I didn’t see at other programs and the title alone told me that it would help me in my advancement to executive leadership. It did.

CU: What was your experience like at CityU? With the MBA program?

DP: I liked the relaxed atmosphere the most.  I felt like I was in groups of people in the classes that took the program seriously and were there because they wanted to be there, not because it was expected or part of a “check the box” degree. The instructors were well-versed in their subjects and led classroom participation with ease, again with a more casual approach, as a whole.  I liked that sometimes instructors held class outside. Overall, the MBA program was more than I expected, particularly the education received from the MOL classes. It filled in gaps in my business knowledge and even allowed me to incorporate real world experiences from my job into papers, as well as provide me the impetus to try out what I’d learned on my actual job.

CU: How have you applied what you’ve learned in the CityU MBA program in your current/past leadership role(s)?

DP: I wouldn’t be the leader that I am today at an executive level and as a management consultant were it not for the CityU MBA program.  It gave me the foundation to produce results in various companies that some said simply couldn’t be achieved.  I always have thought that the MBA MOL program put me ahead of 95% of others that might be competing for the same positions as me.  I’ve now published a management book titled Uncommon Sense Management that has key lessons from the MOL program as the foundation.  The book is practical in nature and shows the “whys” and “hows” of driving better efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.  The philosophy rests on the principles of Effective Communication, True Prioritization, Simplification, and Alignment with Principles. It’s available at and through my management consulting firm’s website

CU: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for CityU students interested in the CityU MBA program?

DP: Think five or ten years down the road about what you’d like to be doing in the business world. Find the discipline best suited to your vision within the MBA program and take action to get the degree.  Don’t let excuses get in the way.  Truly prioritize completing your degree and make your actions in alignment with that priority.  True priorities are defined by actions, not words.  At the time I went through the program, I had a full time job with some out-of-town travel and was raising two teenage boys with my wife.  The MBA work is a temporary situation that produces lifelong results.

CU: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

DP: The very first acknowledgement in the book Uncommon Sense Management is to Roger Taylor, who was my main professor at CityU.  He’s one of the top five influential teachers I’ve ever had and is representative of the caliber of instructors at CityU.

Thanks for your time Dan!

Interested in CityU’s MBA? To learn more, visit our website or chat with an adviser.

Published July 16, 2013



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