Friday, January 18, 2013

My Business Minded Cousin George

George's graduating class
As a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my cousin George had only a vague idea of what he wanted to pursue as a career. He was intelligent, driven, analytical, and always emerged as a leader in teamwork environments. He was good at taking a problem, examining it, and applying abstract theories to solve it. He thought in terms of ideas and possibilities, but unlike many dreamers, he also had the remarkable ability to make intangibles into realities. He could have been successful at almost anything, which may have created some of his indecision. He wanted to find something he wasn’t just good at, but passionate about.

Our family encouraged him to follow in the footsteps of his father, who had opened his own corner bicycle shop and rental store in Myrtle Beach at the age of 23. His shop had been a booming success and local go-to for people on vacation looking to enjoy the warm sunshine and picturesque scenery firsthand. George had been raised around great businessmen who knew the niche markets, and how to have influence in them. George, a spitting image of his old man, was remarkably charismatic. Coupled with his business savvy and remarkable mind, we were certain he would do well in business. After joining an undergraduate business association his sophomore year, he was determined to obtain a B.A. in Business Process Management. I am proud to declare that he graduated this past May from the Business College with honors in the top ten percent of his class (It’s alright for me to brag a little, right?!).

Now that George is out in the working world, he’s expressed how much he misses studying effective models for business management, market case studies and learning a whole slew of other business-related materials. I had a feeling he would miss the academic sphere. While he’s doing well for himself as an Account Manager at his current job, I think the idea of managing an entire company from the top down, and maybe even founding one, is growing more and more appealing. With that being said, I think grad schools are on the horizon in his near future.

I have begun to do some research on the best, most affordable Full-time MBA programs available here in Illinois to send him. We have some relatives up north who have mentioned there are several reasonably affordable MBA programs in Michigan that George should consider as well. According to US News & World Report, the MSU Broad College of Business Full-time MBA was ranked 19th among public universities and 44th overall. I don’t know much about Michigan State, but it does seem like there are Spartan alumni everywhere. Just last week I sat next to a State grad on a flight back from Atlanta. We talked for a while and he seemed like a great guy. I’m still digging up info on what they offer and other programs he should consider.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up. I know he’ll be successful regardless, I just want him to get the best education possible. I look forward to speaking with him in the coming weeks about these new opportunities!

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