MBA '07 sets sail with the Navy

Eric EggerWILLIAMSBURG, VA -- When the U.S. Navy came to The Mason School of Business to recruit for their Financial Management Associate Program, a new developmental training program for civilians, Eric Egger MBA '07 took notice and signed up.

The Navy's website describes this two-year program as "an upward trajectory position designed to extend the knowledge and work experience of the selected candidate through extensive on-the-job training and developmental rotational assignments."  Egger is one of 6 analysts who work with the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery managing five regions - East, West, Support Command, Headquarters, and the National Capitol Area.  At the end of the program, Egger is guaranteed a position. 

Egger elaborated on his responsibility overseeing the Travel Card Program.  His motivation was apparent as he explained that the changes could reduce overhead, thereby allowing the savings to be used to enhance patient care.  Converting the program from a paper based system to an online system was the first step. Travel authorizations are created electronically and linked to a person's company credit card, virtually eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for the employee.  Another benefit of the online system is this process can be managed from any government computer thus facilitating the approval process.

Consulting on financial policy questions is another aspect of Egger's job. While working on a quantitative analysis project for the Flu Preparedness Program, he found himself thinking "this is just like being in Professor Flood's statistics class,"  only this time his ‘homework' was delivered to the Surgeon General of the Navy.

Egger drafted a policy on how the Navy would respond to the California Wildfires.  Five different departments had to come to a consensus before it was sent to the Division Leadership for final approval.  Normally, a 30-day process, he was able to get the policy approved in eight hours.  Using this policy framework with minor changes, the policy can be employed to respond to any national disaster.

Egger attributes his success to the interpersonal and communications skills he developed in the Leadership Advantage program; "This highly-individualized program has allowed me to not only make a valuable workplace contribution but also helps the people affected by a national disaster."