Graduate Spotlight: Taylor Barton

Kettering University Online Graduate Taylor Barton
Kettering University Online Graduate Taylor Barton
Kettering University Online Graduate Taylor Barton

Graduate Spotlight: Taylor Barton

As Kettering University Online’s (KUO) Program Development Manager and Senior Instructional Designer, I have the pleasure of meeting our graduating students. In this new blog series, we highlight a few of our graduates who come from a wide range of educational, career, and geographical backgrounds.

This time, we are happy to spend some time shining the Graduate Spotlight on Taylor Barton. Taylor recently graduated from Kettering University Online’s MBA program. This is Taylor’s second graduate degree. He also graduated from the M.S. Operations Management program. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.

JL: Taylor, thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with us!
TB: My pleasure!

JL: How about we begin with you sharing a little bit about your background and professional experience prior to pursuing the online MBA program at Kettering University?
TB: Sure. I received my BSBA from Kettering University in December 2016, and then I began my full-time career with JSP International. I did my entire co-op with JSP, starting as a Design Engineer Co-op, but finished my last 2.5 years or so as a Program Management Co-op. Then, I started my full-time career as a Program Manager for JSP, where I was responsible for all of the returnable packaging and consumer goods business. In 2021, I was promoted to Senior Program Manager, where I maintained the same responsibilities while picking up a few additional responsibilities.

JL: That’s so wonderful! How did you find, and why did you choose, Kettering University Online?
TB: I decided to pursue my KUO education after speaking with my academic advisor as an undergraduate. Being a graduate of KU and being a business major, I was able to get into the program without taking any tests and was able to have a few classes waived due to taking them as an undergrad. I first pursued my MSOM, which I completed in 2019. I was then presented with the opportunity to pursue my MBA for an additional four classes. The opportunity was too good not to pursue, especially since my company agreed to pay for both of my graduate degrees. With my busy personal and professional life, the online aspect of every class made it very easy to choose KUO.

JL: Was there a moment that stood out as being particularly insightful or exciting?
TB: The moment that I registered for my capstone course was the most exciting because I knew that all of my hard work and dedication had paid off and that I was checking off one more goal of mine.

JL: How about a moment that was particularly challenging? How did you overcome that challenge?
TB: The most challenging time for me was the class that I took right after my wife and I had our son. I am a high school basketball coach and was in the middle of the season and was working full-time. My available time was quite limited, and to be so busy with life in general, I did not want to spend my free time doing homework, writing discussion board posts, and writing papers. If it wasn’t for my wife pushing me and keeping me focused on my goals, I wouldn’t have completed my degree.

JL: It sounds like the program offered valuable opportunities for skill development. In terms of the curriculum, which courses or subjects had the most impact on your learning and career growth?
TB: I really enjoyed the leadership-focused classes. With the added responsibilities from my promotion, I have been given many more opportunities to demonstrate my leadership skills. Having the classes push me to grow as a leader professionally has really helped me with my career.

JL: What skills do you think this program has helped you to enhance?
TB: My leadership and time management skills have grown the most with the KUO program. As mentioned previously, I’ve learned how to maximize the most of my available time and be productive during that time.

JL: Now that you’ve completed the program, how would you describe your overall experience, and what were some of your key takeaways?
TB: To describe my experience in one word, I’d say growth. I’ve grown so much personally and professionally in my time as a Kettering University student that I wouldn’t trade the long nights for anything. My key takeaway from my experience at KUO is that anything worth doing is going to be challenging. Yeah, things may be tough and uncomfortable, but it’s worth it in the end when you walk across the stage.

JL: As a recent graduate, what advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing an online MBA program, particularly at Kettering University?
TB: Do it. Sacrifice your time and put in the hard work because it is well worth it in the end. The KUO program is challenging, yes, but it is also rewarding. The time for each class flies by; just keep your head down and keep grinding, and you will be checking that box on your list of goals.

JL: How has earning an online MBA from Kettering University impacted your professional opportunities? Have you noticed any significant changes?
TB: It hasn’t yet impacted my professional opportunities, but there are some things in the works. Positions within my company will be opening in the near future, so I’m being patient and waiting for my opportunities. I know I could go elsewhere with what I’ve completed at KUO and professionally, but I love where I’m at, and I love my situation, so I don’t want to force anything yet.

JL: Looking back at your time as an online MBA student, were there any standout resources, such as online tools, support services, or faculty, you found particularly helpful?
TB: My professional advisor, Kaitlyn Spina, was extremely helpful. Simple emails and phone calls explaining what I needed to do and when helped me get through the program with ease. I’m very grateful for her help and advice, and I think that she was a big part in making my experience a great one.

JL: How do you think an online MBA program, such as the one at Kettering University, compares to traditional, on-campus MBA programs? Are there any notable advantages or disadvantages?
TB: In terms of competitive advantage, I believe that the KUO program is right there with any others. Having everything online, I feel, is a big advantage because you’re flexible with when and where you can complete your work.

JL: What are your plans or aspirations for the future? How do you envision leveraging your online MBA degree from Kettering University in your career?
TB: For now, I plan to stay with JSP International and pursue opportunities internally as they arise. I know that my degree from KUO will put me above my competition both internally and externally. If something were to change where an opportunity was available elsewhere, I feel confident that my degree from KUO would put my name at the top of their hiring list.

KUO, once again, congratulates Taylor Barton on receiving his MBA degree, and we wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors!

If you are interested in becoming a student, click below to learn more about our graduate degree programs: