Student Spotlight: Mark Dieterle ’80, MBA ’19 Candidate
In 1976, 18-year-old Mark Dieterle joined William & Mary for the first time, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1980. Over the 30 years that followed, he started numerous Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs but was never able to complete the program and earn his degree.
For Mark, William & Mary’s Online MBA “was an opportunity to put a stake in the ground and say, ‘You know, in two years online, I can get this done.’”
Once in the program, the curriculum’s relevance and clear applicability to his business experiences so far encouraged him to continue his studies, helping to improve his odds of obtaining his degree this time.
“What really was coincidental,” Mark says, “was the idea of the Renaissance Manager beginning to look at how we are going to succeed in an environment where things are changing even faster than they were yesterday, and that parallels a lot of what I’ve done in my career with regard to taking small or little bets in trying new things. It was refreshing to say, ‘Wow, they’re really onto something here with this curriculum.’”
In our video below, you can hear Mark Dieterle discuss his journey to the W&M Online MBA and his experiences in the program so far.
I'm Mark Dieterle. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I work for a company called INOAC. I went to William & Mary as an undergrad, and I was an athlete on the men's gymnastics team, and I came to the Mason school to get my MBA. Over the last 37 years, I started and attempted to finish an MBA a number of times. And 30 years go by really quickly, and so this was an opportunity for me to put a stake in the ground and say, in two years, online, I can get this done. It's going to be a time crunch. It'll be hard to get done, but I'm going to get it done, because it really would be cool to go back to my old alma mater and actually get an MBA.
But yeah, that was me when I was 18, so that's 40 years ago. Times have changed and online, you still have a really hard pace to match. It's expected you have access to information and you get it done, so it's very challenging. What really was coincidental is the idea of the Renaissance manager beginning to look at how are we going to succeed in an environment where things are changing even faster than they were yesterday? And that parallels a lot of what I've done in my career with regard to taking small or little bets in trying new things. And that really was refreshing to say, wow, they're really onto something here with this type of a curriculum. William & Mary's tough, okay? It was tough in 1976, when I came here. It was tough, I'm sure, 200 years earlier, and it's still tough. So the challenge is, can you keep pace ahead of where you think you need to be to be successful, and I'm happy to say that that standard still applies today.