A former helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps, Travis Richie, ’18, knew his service in the military would eventually come to an end. To benefit both his career and prepare for life as a civilian, Richie decided to earn an online MBA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
“I was at Joint Force Command Brunnsum, Netherlands, which is a NATO operational-level headquarters. I knew that I would be in another four to five years, and I wanted to prepare myself for that transition. The entirely online nature of the Nebraska program allowed me to complete the majority of my studies while stationed in Europe,” said Richie, who is currently a program manager for Avantus Federal, a consulting and IT integrated solutions company in McLean, Virginia.
Named one of the best online MBA programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report, the MBA@Nebraska program provides students with the flexibility to easily blend their professional, personal and academic schedules.
“I sometimes worked a shift schedule that included overnight work, and we would be deployed for training on occasion. The professors and group partners on various projects worked with me so I could contribute and complete my assignments even though I was eight hours ahead of their time zone,” Richie said.
During his time at NATO, Richie led a team of 30 personnel, who represented nearly all of NATO allies, and delivered contingency plans for a logistics hub in Afghanistan to senior executive leadership across three headquarters. He applied what he learned in the program directly to work he was doing in the field.
“The classes on understanding different cultures and how to apply that understanding to leadership techniques were invaluable. Some of the recommendation papers we would submit to leadership benefited from my improved understanding of how to make a business case and perform Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats analysis,” he said.
Specializing in finance, one of six areas in which students can earn a specialization, Richie made his degree matter in the work he does currently.
“I learned a lot of skills and techniques with Excel and other programs through many of my classes. It has helped us provide analysis to the government's planning, programming, budgeting and execution cycle,” he said.
While at Nebraska, Richie also earned a graduate certificate in supply chain management, one of nine online certificate programs at the college. Delivered in four eight-week courses, the certificate programs give students strong in-demand skills in relevant fields all within an abridged amount of time.
“In my current role, we are looking to prototype technologies that will improve the joint war fighting concept. As General Omar Bradly (former General of the Army and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) said, ‘Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.’ My supply chain management certificate has been hugely beneficial in providing insight on ways the Department of Defense can utilize commercial technologies and techniques,” Richie said.
Richie shared how his MBA@Nebraska degree set him up for a bright future both before and after he completed his service.
“My degree has been much more than a check in the box and improved my performance across the board during my time in the military and in the last three years as a defense contractor. I absolutely enjoyed the MBA@Nebraska program, and I don't think I'd be as successful as I am today without it,” he said.
To learn more about your MBA at the Nebraska College of Business, visit: https://business.unl.edu/mba/.
Visit the https://business.unl.edu/certificates page to learn more about business graduate certificate options at Nebraska.