In 2003, Dan Coryell graduated with his Bachelor in Business Administration in management and marketing and enrolled right away in a MBA program at a large state school. After two semesters of working full-time while taking classes, Dan decided to take a break from school. Going back to finish his graduate degree was always in the back of his mind, but life was busy.
As an assistant manager at a rental property owned and operated by his family, Dan was busy helping with the family’s day-to-day business operations. He learned about Drury’s MBA program from a tenant who was enrolled in the program. He liked the idea of focusing on one class at a time for eight-weeks and completing the program in one year. He also loved the international business focus of the program, which culminates with a trip outside of the United States to see first-hand how other countries conduct business. Dan contacted the director of the program and started full-time in the fall of 2009.
“I wanted to distinguish myself from my peers with a top-notch business education. The skills and abilities I gained at Drury helped set me apart,” Dan says. “I had a great foundation to start from with my undergraduate degree, but Drury was able to demonstrate how to bring all of the information together. I learned how to see everything from a big picture perspective – to see how each aspect of business affects the other one and how to integrate business functions. I was prepared and equipped with the knowledge, skills and insight to view business operations from a holistic perspective. My role requires the ability to see the whole picture and the interrelated organizational segments. Through this process, my team and I can formulate specific strategic management plans and identify areas that have underperformed and need corrective adjustments.”
At first, Dan was hesitant to enroll in a graduate program.
“I had been out of school for six years,” he explains. “While at [my previous graduate school], I was just a body in a seat – there were 75 students in my class. You didn’t ask questions.”
Dan believes the personal learning environment at Drury contributed to his success as a student. “It wasn’t intimidating. Because of the intimate, personal experience and small class sizes, there was always a lot of discussion and feedback. It really facilitated my learning. With six years of real-world experience under my belt, I felt I could contribute to the discussion, but also learned a lot from the other students. There was such a diverse level of experience in the classroom – I didn’t have that at my other school.”
“I feel like I now have a tool bag of resources – I developed close relationships with the people in my classes and the faculty. I run into them out and about in the community all the time. I can call on any of them for advice or a referral in almost any field. It’s reassuring to know people who can help.”
Dan also tries to give back to others in the same way he’s received. He works with the business departments at both Evangel University and Drury University to help mentor business students and share his best-practices. He also teaches business as an adjunct instructor for a community college. “I enjoy teaching future business leaders. It keeps me plugged in and I learn new things too.”
Angie Adamick, Director of the Drury MBA Program, states that Dan “has a generous spirit and demonstrates how to live a life of paying it forward.”