Joe Fikes graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1997 with a BS in English. He served for four years as a Surface Warfare Officer, then he moved into Electronic Warfare, and then became a Public Affairs Officer. In 2007, after ten years in the Navy, he left active duty and moved to the Baltimore area.
In the spring of 2011, Joe found a career as a Sales Engineer with Nalco through Orion, where he worked for nearly four years. Since January 2015, he has been a corporate account manager with GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc, and lives outside Houston, Texas. Joe likes sales because it allows him to grow a business and exercise his entrepreneurial spirit, and he is also attracted to the high financial upside potential.
Joe learned about the Jack Welch Management Institute through Orion, and took his first class in July 2015. Joe enrolled because he wanted to take advantage of his GI Bill benefits, develop his management skills, and ultimately advance his career. He's been taking one class each semester, and is currently finishing his fourth class. Because the program is online, Joe has the flexibility to take his classes and assignments with him when he travels for work, which he frequently does. Joe recently met with a group of students in Arizona for a real world application meeting, which proved to be a very valuable experience.
The MBA Program is Joe's first experience with online classes, so he initially had a few hesitations about learning online, but was able to get up to speed quickly, and has found the program easy to use and manage. Joe categorizes the faculty as being "outstanding -- they are readily accessible and provide helpful, timely feedback." Joe doesn't pay anything out of pocket for his education - the GI Bill pays all of his expenses, including books.
Within the curriculum and coursework, Joe cites a focus on high level strategy and general management, based on the business principles of Jack Welch. Joe recommends the Jack Welch Management Institute to anyone who needs the flexibility to travel for work, attend to family responsibilities, or schedule classes and assignments around pre-existing commitments. According to Joe, "I am already putting the skills I've learned to work in my current role, and I believe that earning my MBA will help me advance in my career." We wish Joe all the best as he finishes his MBA, and we know it will have a meaningful and lasting impact on his career progression.