Why Navy Veteran Mike Castle chose the Baylor EMBA program in Austin as his grad school homeNov. 7, 2018
Michael Castle (Executive MBA 2018) is the administrative director of Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, a nationwide gastroenterology group currently expanding market operations in Austin. His job description entails negotiating joint services and subsidy contracts with Texas hospitals, as well as managing overall market strategy.
24 months ago, Michael Castle entered Baylor University’s Executive MBA – Healthcare program. Eight months ago, he was offered his present position with Texas Digestive Disease Consultants. While perhaps a natural progression of his decade-long career in healthcare administration, Mike nevertheless attests that the job offer was “definitely assisted” by his pursuit of an advanced degree.
Mike served in the U.S. Navy for five years before attending undergrad at the University of North Florida, where he majored in Healthcare Administration. Almost immediately upon moving to Texas, he applied to grad school. For Mike, there was no question about where he wanted to go: “Baylor is the home of the military medical services program and has a reputation of extensive support to veterans ,” he says. “As a veteran, I’m always pro-Baylor.”
What really sealed the deal, however, was when he saw that Baylor offers an MBA with a healthcare track. "That was it for me. A one-stop shop!”
Unlike many of Baylor’s EMBA students, Mike didn’t have such a long ‘gap’ between leaving and re-entering the academic environment. (The average EMBA student is 36 years old, with 11 years’ work experience.) Even so, he found it “absolutely difficult” to balance the demands of grad school with his work and home life. “It wasn’t easy,” he reiterates. “I’m not going to downplay that. And I don’t have children, so my burden was lighter than most.”
He doesn’t share that truth to discourage potential students, however. After all, he thanks the MBA for the job he has today. Rather, he wants to encourage anyone reading these words—and even thinking about grad school—to apply as soon as possible. “The best advice I’ve got,” Mike offers, “is Don’t be a fool. Don’t wait.”
Compared to the more rigid military environment, Mike found the Baylor classroom setting to be “more of an open forum,” where questions and sincere engagement were expected. He appreciated the small class size that allowed him to really get to know his cohort members. Even now, four months graduated, Mike says, “I still bounce ideas off my colleagues all the time,” and in fact, he works with some of them on a day-to-day basis.
At time of writing, Mike is “in negotiations” to take over regional operations for all of Central Texas!
ABOUT BAYLOR EXECUTIVE MBA
Designed for the high-achieving, working professionals, the Baylor Executive MBA Healthcare program is rigorous and relevant. The 21-month curriculum is delivered in a cohort format, one night a week in Austin, TX. This program allows professionals to balance the demands of working full-time while completing an MBA. Visit www.baylor.edu/AustinEMBA, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BaylorEMBA and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BaylorEMBA or Instagram at www.instagram.com/bayloraustinemba.
For a look at some of the many student programs available through VETS (Veteran Educational and Transitional Services), click here.