A Mug of Motivation

Amy shook her head quickly as she caught herself nodding off for the second time. A person can only spend so long studying for an exam before she needs a break, and she had reached that point. Time for coffee.

As the grounds hit the filter, Amy smiled, thinking back to last year. She was sitting in her company’s conference room with her boss, Jason, discussing all of the reasons she wanted to enroll in the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management, an online program offered by Purdue University and Indiana University. Amy was 100 percent sure it was a fit for her. She could continue working fulltime, and in a little more than two years, she would have two master’s degrees.

Now, she just had to convince Jason that it was a good idea, too (and that maybe the company should even pay for it). His time was limited, and she was anxious, so she got straight to the point.

“Jason, we’ve talked about my professional goals before, and with three years of experience here, I know that this is an organization that offers many opportunities for career advancement. Before I can take on new roles, I need more management education and experience. I found an online program that is specifically for people working in the agriculture and food industries, and I’m ready to apply. I just need your support.”

Amy had prepared a list of how the organization would benefit if Jason said “yes” to her request. She walked him through each one during that meeting.

  1. By using distance education technology, she will complete her degrees with minimal interruption of her current position.
  2. The efficient processes she learns in the program will positively affect the company’s bottom line.
  3. She will develop analytical skills and be exposed to innovative management concepts that will influence the organization’s performance.
  4. She will see how different operating departments in organizations work, giving her a broader perspective of the way her company does business.
  5. The focus on food and agribusiness will allow her to explore managerial concepts in the context of her company’s marketplace.
  6. She will exchange ideas among students and would bring fresh ideas back to the company.
  7. Ultimately, having her complete the program is a powerful investment in the company’s future.

“This is a very compelling list of reasons, Amy. I can see the value in a program like this. I just need a couple of days to think this through. May I take the list with me?”

Amy dug out the biggest coffee mug she could find in her cabinet and filled it to the rim. She remembered the feeling of elation she had when Jason e-mailed her explaining that the company would pay for a portion of her tuition, and she would not have to use vacation time when attending the five, one-week residencies.

Although studying for the upcoming exam now made her feel more anxious than elated, she knew she had made the right decision—in the two months she’s been in the program she has already established a strong network with her classmates and the professors are challenging her to look at areas she had never considered before.

She taps on her laptop’s touchpad, and the course website appears back on the screen. With coffee mug in hand, there won’t be any nodding off this time around.

To learn more about the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management, visit
www.agecon.purdue.edu/agribusiness.


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