Global Management Studies (GMS) was truly a once-in-lifetime experience. I can’t stop talking about Japan and the 7-11 connection.
Kasey Thompson is already accomplished, holding a master’s degree in software engineering. So why go back to school and get a Professional MBA? “I love education; I find it valuable,” he says. “Just learning something and expanding your horizons, I believe in that,” he adds.
Olin definitely gave him the opportunity to expand his horizon through our popular GMS program.
An unexpected trip to Japan
Typically, the GMS course is filled with full-time MBA students because the class travels to a country they’re studying, and getting time off can be challenge for students who work full time. This time, however, the class had a few openings and PMBA students like Thompson jumped at the chance to explore business and societal cultures and practices from another country. The class votes on which country to immerse themselves in; in this case, Japan won.
Thompson raves about several aspects of the experience, including how a week and a half in a foreign country bonds the class and gives students a unique glimpse into their professor. He’s also apt to talk about 7-11, originally a Texas-based convenience-store company, and how the persistence of one Japanese entrepreneur brought it to Asia. Its extreme popularity there led to the Japanese overtaking the company and saving it from bankruptcy.
School imitating work
Thompson thinks the cohort system at Olin is a brilliant concept because it “feels like family” and also because it imitates the situation we all find ourselves in at work. “I’ve had people ask me about the cohort groups, worrying they’ll get paired with people who have different styles and personalities,” he says. “I see it as extremely valuable because it forces you to work things out to accomplish a goal.”
He adds, “That’s exactly what you have to do in your job and truthfully, in a family too. You have to work with all kinds. It’s just another tool in the way you learn and live your actual life.”
One of the best, in our own backyard
Thompson is having a great experience at Olin. He’s developing relationships that feel like family while exploring new lands that are amazing and inspiring. But how did he choose Olin in the first place? “I did my research, went by rankings, talked to other Boeing employees, and everyone had great things to say,” he says. Plus, he adds, “It’s a top 25 business school in the US – if not the world – and we have it right here in our own backyard.”
Kasey Thompson, Professional MBA
Real Time Software Engineer, Boeing