Executive MBA Program brings together the 'who' and the 'what'

  • EMBA Class of '09 members and UrsaNav executives
    EMBA Class of '09 members and UrsaNav executives  From left, Sean Gable, Randy Hall and Jason Ward.  
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Studies show that 85 percent of all job openings are not advertised, but they are filled via networking. As the saying goes, "It’s not what you know, it’s who you know."

However, in the case of Sean Gable and Jason Ward, it turned out the "who" and the "what" were equally important.  Sean and Jason, members of the Executive MBA Class of 2009, have joined classmate Randy Hall, Executive Vice-President of UrsaNav, Inc. (UrsaNav), in the challenging task of providing Position, Navigation and Timing solutions for commercial and government customers worldwide.

The three men met in 2007, in the Executive MBA Class of 2009 cohort.  Randy and Sean were members of the same study team and met weekly at Randy’s office to study and commuted together regularly on class days. When Sean’s job in the financial markets industry was eliminated in June of 2009, just a few months shy of graduation, Randy encouraged him to apply for a position at UrsaNav.

"My educational experience at the Mason School gave me the confidence to delve into and learn new subject areas again.  It had been such a long time since I was in school, but once I finished the program I was ready to embark on a new position."  A year later, Jason, a Program Manager for a large engineering firm, found himself seeking to put his MBA to work somewhere that he could offer strategic influence.  "Randy mentioned openings to me a few times during the program, and, as we built a relationship over the 20-months, I knew working with him could be a good fit."

Randy insisted that the pair go through UrsaNav’s Human Resource’s standard hiring procedures, even though he knew that both of them had the educational background, work ethic and congenial manner he wanted.  Randy wouldn’t guarantee them jobs, but he was confident that they would do well based on their collaborations and discussions inside and outside of class. All three credit the Executive MBA Program’s focus on general management for exposing them to all areas and facets of business.

Inc. Magazine recently ranked UrsaNav (www.ursanav.com) as the ninth fastest-growing private company in the Engineering division and the 1,263rd fastest-growing company overall – representing a three-year growth rate of 235 percent. This year’s ranking and the one the year prior, in addition to numerous other accolades, proves that UrsaNav’s prestige and influence in the engineering industry continues to rise. With 80+ employees and 85 contracts, UrsaNav not only provides an impressive clientele with innovative solutions and services, it promotes a culture of community outreach.  Randy admits "the sharing of our time, talents, and treasures" with others is not just talk, but part of the "walk" -- an expectation for all UrsaNav employees.

Randy is also very proud of UrsaNav’s recent ISO 9000 Certification which, in a nutshell, certifies that companies "say what they do, and do what they say." When asked what  keeps him  up at night,  Randy easily confesses, "Nothing really – I sleep pretty soundly,"  a testament to his faith in the UrsaNav staff.  If there’s anything that causes some extra pressure it’s figuring out how to reposition employees when a contract ends or is canceled.  UrsaNav prides itself on trying to find work for these employees in other areas of the company.  Jason, on the other hand, confesses some tireless nights thanks to "making sure required tasks get done so that Randy can sleep at night!"

Sean Gable and Jason Ward and Randy Hall -- now all UrsaNav executives -- were brought together by the Executive MBA program. It's a validation of  the education and the networking opportunities -- the "what" and the "who" -- the program provides.