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image 1Commencement 2006

Commencement Profiles

Kevin Nelson M.B.A. '08
Breaking the Corporate Code

A former cryptologist with the Navy and member of the special operations division of the F.B.I., Kevin Nelson M.B.A. '08 was familiar with deciphering codes. Yet, business lingo was still foreign to him.

He was awakened to this challenge when, upon retiring from the F.B.I. after 19 years of service, he applied for business positions.

"I was starting to put my resume out there and wasn't really getting any nibbles," he says.

Frustrated by the lack of progress, he decided to enhance his credentials with an M.B.A. He had already obtained his undergraduate degree and master’s in management information systems while at the F.B.I., but realized further training would accelerate his career transition.

Research on programs in the area led him to Adelphi’s GOAL (Graduate Opportunity for Accelerated Learning) M.B.A. program, which offers a fast-track, Saturday-only M.B.A. program for experienced managers. Conversations with administrators and faculty, particularly professors Samuel Natale and Sebastian Sora, further swayed him.

He enrolled in fall 2006. By July 2007, he had landed a position as vice president of IT program management at Citigroup. Through his Adelphi coursework and guidance from faculty, he had absorbed not only a better understanding of business concepts, but also a firmer grasp of the language.

"Starting (the GOAL M.B.A.) program and finishing it, one of the things I noticed is that my vocabulary from a business perspective increased substantially," says Mr. Nelson. "The business lexicon opened up doors that I believe previously wouldn’t have been open to me."

Mr. Nelson credits Professors Natale and Sora with helping him polish his resume and interviewing skills.

"I had never interviewed with a company before," says Mr. Nelson. "(Professors) Natale and Sora helped me with interviewing protocol."

Managing an operations team for a major global company has allowed Mr. Nelson to apply skills and knowledge gained from courses on international communication, organizational behavior, and finance. Projects with Adelphi classmates from diverse backgrounds exposed him to different viewpoints and the logistics involved in collaborating with dispersed team members.

With a young daughter at home and a demanding career, Mr. Nelson found himself cramming a great deal of work into his Friday nights, but he says the effort was worthwhile.

"It was very challenging, very exciting—to say the least—but worth it," he says of his GOAL M.B.A. experience.

Mr. Nelson praised his family, particularly his wife, for supporting his educational pursuits. Mr. Nelson is the only one, out of his two brothers, to have graduated from high school. He says he's now fulfilled his education goals.

Photos by Willson Lee
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