Jeff Drake is currently a director at Trimble, Inc. in Denver, Colorado, and a student in the Purdue Online MBA program. Outside of work and school, he enjoys spending time with his family in the mountains—camping, skiing, biking and fishing.

Jeff recently shared his experience in the program during one of our online information sessions. Read on for his take on why Purdue’s Online MBA was a good fit.

1. Why did you decide to enroll in the online MBA program at Purdue University?

I had previously attended Purdue for civil engineering in 1998 and then immediately started at the company where I am today. There, I worked on a project that eventually became one of our mainline businesses. I use the technical skill set that I developed in civil engineering almost day-to-day.

I had always thought about returning to Purdue for additional education as our portfolio matured and business requirements dictated. I thought now would be a great time to gain more skills and take our product portfolio in our business to the next horizon.

I’m getting everything that I had hoped for in terms of the program: that rigor, that world-class instruction and faculty. Everything that I had previously experienced in the Civil Engineering Department is just as enriching on the business side.

2. What have you found most rewarding about the online MBA program?

The faculty and access to professors for the online MBA have been outstanding. [It's helpful] that they have office hours in the evenings that accommodate me in Denver. 

In the admissions process, I was referred to a group of students aged 40 and older, and that’s been an incredible resource for support, trading notes on classes, getting through exam time and more. It’s been a great support network.

Also, it’s been very helpful to know that success coaches are available and that you have access to them.

3. Have you been able to apply the learnings from the curriculum to your career?

Absolutely. The instruction is fantastic, and it’s not just working out of a book. It’s real-world examples. I’ve been able to use that knowledge in my [line of] business.

You hear in the news about supply chain challenges, and our company is one of those battling supply chain issues, so doing analysis on the probability of supply for a statistics class has been very applicable. We do long-range planning and quarterly business reviews; having that information in our accounting class (and some of the finance mixed in) has been really beneficial.

>> Read: What Can You Do with an MBA with a Specialization in Supply Chain Management?

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