OO-ALC employees earn Aerospace & Defense MBA degree

  • Published
  • By Cynthia Griggs
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Bart Bates, 570th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, didn’t think he would continue his education after earning a Bachelor of Science, but then his leadership recommended him to apply for the Aerospace & Defense Master of Business Administration program at the University of Tennessee.

Each year, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex selects and funds a special education program for employees at the NH-03 or GS-13 level and above who have demonstrated exceptional potential.

Bates and four other candidates are the most recent graduates from the program: Kevin J. Borgatti, 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group; Brock Emerson, 309th Commodities Maintenance Group; and Daniel Hallock and Glen Moultrie, both with 309th Software Engineering Group.

“I am so incredibly thankful that this opportunity presented itself,” Bates said. “The knowledge gained regarding business and time management, coupled with human centered design and leadership, will surely provide skills sought after for any organization. Last year was one of the toughest I’ve experienced, but so incredibly rewarding.”

According to Michelle Hathaway, OO-ALC deputy director and a graduate of the program, said the MBA program provides students a unique way to thoroughly understand the dynamics of the aerospace and defense industry with a strong focus on enhancing business acumen, which increases the complex’s ability to improve processes and drive efficiency. 

The nomination process occurs each year in August, with each group within the OO-ALC putting forward their most promising candidates. These individuals apply by submitting a resume and a letter of intent expressing their motivation for pursuing an MBA.

The program is a 12-month online program from January to December while continuing to work full-time along with traveling on temporary duty orders to attend three in-residence sessions.

“The program is intensive, so applicants should be prepared for a rigorous schedule and ensure they can balance it with their professional and personal responsibilities,” Hathaway said.

She said in addition to the core MBA teachings, the overall experience will expand their leadership skills and build a network that will endure throughout their career.

“One of the most valuable aspects of this program lies in the opportunity to engage and share information with professionals from various industries within the aerospace and defense sectors,” said Emerson. “I’ve observed new perspectives that hadn’t crossed my mind before, forging connections across previously significant gaps.”

Bates said the program allowed him to focus inward and push himself to become a better leader.

“The human centered design portion of the course really focused on creating an environment within any organization open to flexibility and change, while remaining accountable for actions and growth,” he said. “I really feel I benefitted most from those lessons and being able to grow with the entire cohort as leaders.”

According to Emerson, a leadership development program working with a leadership coach was included among the embedded specialized programs in the coursework.

“My coach delved into inquiries about my leadership style, pinpointing areas for improvement that not only enhance my leadership capabilities, but also foster the growth of those around me,” he said.

The students also completed a capstone project that allowed them to apply the knowledge and skills they learned from the program to improving their workplace. Emerson said he focused on prioritizing early engineering integration in depot activities while Bates said he created an F-35 specific technical school that could be adopted by the complex’s training department.

In addition to the MBA program, the OO-ALC selects and fully funds a few candidates who are in the WG/GS-11 range to complete an Aerospace MBA from Weber State University. This program provides students with the knowledge and skills to establish and maintain a competitive advantage through proven aerospace management practices.

For more information about either program, contact OO-ALC.OBH.MXTrainingMGMT@us.af.mil.