Since enrolling in Boise State University’s Online Master of Business Administration, Jerid Rimbey has transformed into a recruiter for the program.
“A lot of people in my department were toying with the idea of going back to school and doing technical degrees,” he said. “After talking to them about why I did the MBA, four of them have enrolled at Boise State.”
It’s easy to see why Rimbey is so admiring of the Online MBA. After graduating in August 2023, he landed a promotion to senior materials and process engineer at Lockheed Martin in Owego, New York.
“I was debating going the technical or business route,” he said. “I went with business because I figured that I was already qualified for most of the technical jobs out there. I had not thought about getting a master’s degree. I started working and told myself I would never, ever go back to school.”
Rimbey researched online MBA programs across the country before choosing one that was the ideal fit for his needs.
“I am very glad that I found Boise State,” he said. “I liked being able to stop and start as I needed with the carousel. I also liked being able to take one class at a time. I wanted something completely online, and that had flexibility.”
The online format was especially beneficial to Rimbey, who became a father not long before he returned to college.
“It was fantastic,” he said. “The 7-week courses made it a lot easier to focus on one class at a time versus multiple classes. It worked out really well.
“My first daughter, Emma, was a few months old when I started. We had our second daughter, Jackie, when I was in the program. That was pretty cool. It worked out perfectly.”
The Write Stuff
Rimbey grew up in Spencer, New York, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in systems science and industrial engineering from Binghamton University in 2017. He is a first-generation college graduate.
“My dad and grandfather were both engineers who were interested in developing new technology and patents,” he said. “It piqued my interest to hear them talk about ways to improve design. It put me on that path.”
After that graduation, Rimbey and his wife, Abby, moved to Tampa, Florida. She finished her bachelor’s degree one semester early and then enrolled in a master’s degree program.
“She dropped out, and I picked it up,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to be the first person in my family to get a master’s degree.”
Choosing the Online MBA helped Rimbey become a better leader in ways he did not expect at the outset.
“The main thing I enjoyed was getting better at writing,” he said. “With my technical background, I am not an expert writer.
“All of the courses had a writing aspect, so it helped me grow in that regard. I can now write more cohesively and follow a theme. I am definitely better.”
Another element of the master’s degree that Rimbey enjoyed was seeing different perspectives from his classmates.
“There were a lot of engineers in the program, but there were also tons of people from other industries that I wasn’t familiar with,” he said. “It helped me to work with people of different backgrounds and skill sets. I typically work with engineers.
“The Online MBA also challenged my understanding of business finance; I have that now after taking accounting. It gave me the tools to become a better manager on projects and teams, which I enjoy.”
Down to Business
Even though he had no plans to return to higher education, Rimbey is happy that he took a leap of faith by earning an Online MBA without a business background.
“The timing worked out,” he said. “I am beginning to understand the bigger picture now and why executives make certain decisions. It was nice to get that exposure to business.
“I did my capstone project on Northrop Grumman, which is becoming our main competitor at Lockheed Martin. It was interesting to see what the competitors are doing and how it is impacting our business.”
Rimbey said that his family and friends are helping him celebrate his major accomplishment. He looks forward to seeing the long-term impact of having a master’s degree on his career.
“Everybody is excited and happy that I did it,” he said. “Some of them are kind of surprised that I made it through. I’m hoping to use my degree to advance into a management role in the future. I got an MBA to open up my options.”
Even though he has yet to visit the Boise State University campus, Rimbey plans to continue recruiting colleagues to follow his path to the Online MBA.
“It was easy to do while working full-time,” he said. “The flexibility of the classes and having everything online worked out for me. It did not impact my ability to do my job and have work-life balance. It was low impact with a good reward.”
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