Posted by: Date: November 26, 2019

Adam Jones brings different perspectives to the program with his alumni status and undergraduate in chemistry.

He shares tips and tricks and some insights into his journey to the MSMA.

What is your Wild Hope?

I have grown up in a military household while my father served for 28yrs, and I have served in the military for nearly 14yrs before medically retiring. During my transition I have noticed difficulties that veterans face as they try to navigate through education, housing, medical needs, and legal support. My Wild Hope is to support military veterans in the western Washington community resulting in a stronger overall community.

What drew you to the MSMA program here at PLU?

Two separate events had great influence on my choice to attend the MSMA program. First, I was attending PLU for my undergrad in chemistry and was working side jobs over the summer. During one of my side jobs the customer of the house I was painting explained to me that she was a life coach and had many inquiring questions about my goals upon graduating. She advised that to supplement a science degree I would need a business degree. She explained this is beneficial for clients of hers in this field to organize projects, for managing lab processes, and business needs as promotion opportunities materialize. Secondly, I had an opportunity to be a participant for a focus group from a previous student in the MSMA program while I was a senior in my undergrad studies. I knew the student and he informed me of all the networking opportunities and further explained that he was able to utilize his analytical skills from his mathematics background, similar to my science background.

I then met with Mari, the MSMA program director, to determine the course outline, requirements, expectations, and initiated my application!

What are you most excited to learn?

I am most excited to learn about more tools related to Project Management. I have had many experiences in the military that relate to program and project management, but know that I could always improve and hone those tools to be more productive for a future employer.

How do you plan to use this degree in your future career?

My background includes conducting investigations, gathering intelligence, structural maintenance on Chinook helicopters and other airframes, managing and instructing course materials, as well as credit card account management for more than 300 people.

The MSMA degree will supplement my chemistry undergrad degree and the above skills to find a job managing projects related to corporate espionage or fabrication processes of aircraft with major corporations in western Washington.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students when considering a graduate program?

I would advise undergraduate students to consider the following 4 items:

  • [Knowledge Diversity] My current program is made up of a diverse background of students. Most students do not have a business background currently, and that is okay!
  • [Value] Attending a 9-month long program gets you a Master’s of Science degree that gets you prepared for a PhD program or employment in a short period of time.
  • [Networking] While attending this program, students will get multiple opportunities to network with alumni, business owners, and even organizations such as the Puget Sound Research Forum. This leads to several opportunities for real-world integration as well as job opportunities.
  • [Field Experience] I would strongly recommend going into the field of where you maybe hope to work. While visiting that organization, ask them what difference it would make if you were to apply with the MSMA degree. While speaking with a major aircraft manufacturer in the area I was surprised to find that the salary and quality of life difference was so vastly different.