Student Spotlight: Grace Jones Finding the right professional path sometimes means trying new fields and...READ MORE
Why I Got Two Master’s From CityU
by Jon Quigley, MBA, MSPM
Early on in my career, I used my engineering degree and background to work in the automotive world, eventually assisting radio frequency field studies for PACCAR in Mount Vernon, WA. I knew it was one of the most beautiful places on earth, so I sought a position at the Technical Center that allowed me to stay. After I received a job offer, I went back to North Carolina to propose to my then girlfriend and ask her to move across the country with me. She said yes, so I accepted the job. In just two weeks, we found a place to live in Mount Vernon, planned and held a wedding and I was on my way to start the job.
At the time, PACCAR had an arrangement with CityU for its employees, so I registered for the MBA in Marketing. The program was writing-intensive, and included both project and collaborative work. I enjoyed the on-campus atmosphere at the Everett branch.
When my son was born we moved back to the East Coast to be closer to family members, so I finished my MBA via distance learning. This was a very different learning environment for me, but it worked out and I was awarded my MBA in Marketing in September of 2000.
I was not finished yet. By then I had spent considerable time in product development. I knew the processes needed to be successful, and the marketing MBA taught me about customer requirements and distribution channels to deliver the product. I realized project management was the concept that tied all of these areas together.
I realized learning more about project management would help my career in the long run, so I started researching different programs. CityU had a Master of Science Project Management, which I compared to a Master’s in Project Management from Western Carolina. The difference for me came down to: one was a Master of Science the other was a master’s degree. So I enrolled again at CityU. The trepidation over the thesis was the most difficult for me, and like the MBA, the coursework was writing-intensive. I achieved my second master’s from CityU in 2007.
In the end, the writing I did through both of these degrees has helped define the path of my professional life. I have co-authored, and contributed to, more than 10 books on a variety of business and product development topics – including a contribution on Agile for the Encyclopedia of Software Engineering. I have also written scores of magazine articles on numerous topics, and I am presently a part-time instructor teaching Agile Project Management at CityU. I am also on the Advisory Board for Western Carolina’s Master of Project Management program and Forsyth Technical Schools Advisory Council. Both are honors I’m sure I would not have gotten had I not gone through the CityU programs. I believe these successes, at least in part, are due to what I learned at CityU, as well as constant learning I do personally.
My son occasionally asks me, who gets two master’s degrees instead of a PhD? I tell him, it is not over yet.