Student Voice: Thomas Povanda Says “Just Do It!”

thomas povanda

As the Director of Global Reliability, Engineering & Maintenance in the pharmaceutical industry, finding a work/life balance can be challenging. My work schedule has me on the road 60-70% with 50% being out of the United States. When I’m not traveling, my time is devoted to my fantastic wife and two sons. Pursuing an MBA at this point in my life (slightly over 50) would be out of the question for most people. But Patten’s online program is making that a reality for me.

The flexibility of the online MBA program has enabled me to connect to my coursework at any given time, at my convenience and on my terms whether I’m traveling in Europe, South America or Asia. Making it possible for me to turn my travel time into study time.

As a degreed Electrical Engineer and having worked in the industry for over 25 years, earning a higher level of education in Strategic Thinking and Management has always been a desire of mine. By the time I turned 50, work and family had become the priority, pushing the want to go back to school or even apply for an MBA into the background. It means so much to me to finally have this opportunity.

My initial goal was to give it a try and see if I could at least pass the first class….which I did. This decision has indeed changed my life and provided me with “Tacit” knowledge that I needed to move forward. By applying the knowledge I’ve acquired, I have already seen a difference in my career regarding technical aptitude, colleague collaboration, and overall life lessons.

My advice to other adults returning to school online is to review your coursework often. Don’t let too much time lapse in between lessons, otherwise; you may find yourself forgetting the material and having to relearn.

For students juggling a full-time job and family, some might say that there’s never a good time to go back to school, but I say what better time than the present time. Don’t talk yourself out of it. JUST DO IT! as the NIKE motto goes. Maintaining a laser focus on your overall goal will help avoid getting overwhelmed. Take each course and lesson one step at a time and reinforce the concepts by thinking about how they apply to your current role and the roles of others within your company.

My goal is to complete my MBA in Strategic Management and directly apply that knowledge to maximizing my potential and empowering those around me, both professionally and personally.

-Thomas Povanda | Master of Business Administration – Management Leadership