If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, you can count Matt Porter a lucky man. He came to the College of Business at the height of the recession, unsure what the future could hold, but knowing he wanted to be ready for whatever came his way.
“I saw a lot of people changing jobs, struggling with employment, a whole slew of things, and that’s when I told myself I needed to go back to school,” Matt said.
He was working as a banker in Indiana and didn’t want an education to take away from time with his family, or make balancing work a challenge. He began looking for options that would be flexible enough to meet his needs and came across Colorado State University’s Online MBA.
“The degree was the same as what the students on campus received, so that’s what drew me to it,” Matt said.
Taking classes one at a time, Matt completed his degree over four years, staying on at the bank after traveling to Fort Collins for graduation.
“It was a reality that I had more education than I needed,” he said, “but I never questioned the value of it.”
Matt waited, and was patient, because he had a plan. He dreamed of teaching at McPherson College, his alma mater, a small liberal arts college in Kansas just a few hours from the farm where he grew up.
“CSU’s AACSB accreditation helps when you go to an educational appointment, knowing you have that rigor,” said Matt.
So when the moment came he was ready. A tenure-track position teaching business at the school opened up this year and he jumped at the chance to apply.
Matt landed the deal and began teaching in August.
“I really enjoy it because the work experience transfers,” Matt said.
Over the past few months he’s seen the benefits of being an educator expand beyond his salary. Being a mentor to business students, having flexibility with his hours, and connecting with the community have added a new level of value to his work that wasn’t there in his previous job.
The wide-ranging curriculum in the Online MBA program has enabled Matt to teach international business, operations management and principles of management alongside one of the professors he took classes from roughly 15 years ago.
Matt pursued his MBA to have more options, and says giving back to students who sit where he once did has been an incredible reward for his efforts in the classroom.