[UPDATE 10.13.2016:] Since the publication of this post, Kevin has moved to Liberty Mutual Insurance and is now working as a Business Systems Analyst.
To truly help you truly understand the feasibility and value of earning your MBA as a working professional, we asked a second-year part-time MBA student to share his thoughts on the program.
Kevin Harvey earned both his undergraduate degree and Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. He is currently enrolled as a part-time MBA student and works full time as an emerging technology analyst.
What led you to pursue your MBA?
When I graduated from the counseling psychology program, I felt like something was missing. I wanted to find a great way to combine both passion for technology and for people in psychology. I thought the best way to do that would be to get an MBA. When it comes down to it, it’s more about understanding people, as well as understanding the technology, and meshing those together to really make that work. Actually, I was on a trip to Apple this past January for a class. We met with the CMO, Phil Schiller ’82, and the one thing he said was that he urges every Apple employee to take a class in psychology, because the technology is the easy part, but you have to understand the people that make this all work. So the opportunity came and I applied to the MBA program.
What attracted you to BC’s part-time program?
I thought it would be a good way for me to get practical experience working in technology, and an opportunity to explore what direction I wanted to take. A part-time MBA gives you functional knowledge, where you understand the science behind the practical work, but it also gives you a vision that supplements the practical work to give you a greater picture of where it is that you want to go—a better understanding of what the field is like.
What about BC made you want to earn your undergraduate degree, first Master’s, and now your MBA here?
The thing that served me most was BC’s mission to form the overall mission. It’s the Jesuit mission to form the person who thinks about these three questions: What brings you joy? What are you good at? And who does the world need you to be? That’s very important because I know that there’s a lot more to education than just being inside the classroom.
In what way is BC’s part-time program unique?
The best part about the MBA program is the way they combine a rigorous academic curriculum with applied learning experiences. Last January I participated in the Tech Trek and visited 23 different companies along the West Coast. From Google, to Amazon, to Microsoft, I was able to supplement my in-class learning, which is something that’s very hard to find in other programs. For someone like me, who loves technology, I was given access to all of the information I could have ever dreamed of.
How would you describe the culture of BC’s part-time program?
I think it really comes down to what your own schedule is and how you want to pave that. I’m very interested in going to events after work. If I’m not on campus, I’ll make sure to come here. For example, I went to an event with the marketing director of Google, who’s also a BC alum. I was able to meet with him and ask him questions about how he got where he is today. BC holds events during the day and evening, so part-time students actually have the opportunity to pick and choose what they want to get involved with.
How is the Carroll School of Management preparing you to make your mark on the world?
First, the rigor. Then, the support of the faculty. Your professors do more than teach you from 7 to 9:30 p.m. They’re available whenever you need them. In fact, I have a meeting set up with a member of faculty who said, “I’m free at this time after work. Feel free to come by and discuss this idea of yours.” They’re always willing to go above and beyond to help students. Rigor combined with personalized attention from the faculty is a formula for success.
What advice would you offer to a student considering a part-time MBA?
Think about what’s valuable to you, and where you see yourself in the future. And then consider Boston College—a place that welcomes people from all walks of life, whether it be areas of study or socioeconomic backgrounds—it’s a place that welcomes diversity over all. And once you get here, it’s a place that really prepares you to dive into emerging markets and equips you with the tools to be successful.