Whether at work or home, Durant native Scott Hampton lays down the law.
“We don’t give our kids an easy life because we know life’s not easy,” he said. “We don’t let them think that things come easy. We try to teach them that hard work pays off. Our education is an example of hard work paying off.”
Hampton will complete the Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Management online program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in July 2017, although he already participated in the May graduation ceremony.
His wife, Ashley, is also a state trooper. She holds an MBA and is working toward a doctorate. The couple also owns a rental property side business that they started with one building in 2011.
“It’s like herding cats,” he said. “That’s our lifestyle. It’s hectic.”
Not surprisingly, the online format was essential for Hampton to return to school after he earned a Bachelor of Technology in Emergency Responder Administration from Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City in 2014. He said he spends approximately 15-20 hours per week on the online MBA program.
“It was the only way I could go,” Hampton said. “The setup, go at your pace, and completely online is what drew me to it. I couldn’t have done anything else.”
Eye on the Future
“It’s just what we’ve done,” he said.
However, after 17 years on the job, Hampton has started to put some thought into life after law enforcement, which will likely come in the form of “some other type of administrative job.”
Enter the MBA program.
“I’d been kicking it around,” Hampton said. “I wanted to get it to help me with career advancement, but also to just give me something to fall back on after my current career. Applying some of the things we’ve learned in the master’s program, as far as spreadsheets and finances, has helped us with the streamlining process of our side business.
“I hope to be able to take some of the things we’ve learned, apply them to that business and make it even more successful. I think the master’s degree will also help me with progression in my agency, but I’ll probably get the biggest bang for my buck after this career.”
Hampton said he didn’t tell most of his friends and family he was enrolled in the MBA program until he was close to completion.
“I just kind of did it secretively,” he said. “They were pretty surprised and very supportive. It far surpasses anything I ever would have expected I would obtain.”
No Online Rookie
One advantage Hampton had in the MBA program was that his undergraduate degree was also fully online.
“I was real hesitant about online when I first started,” he said. “It was kind of the same setup — online and tailored around cops. The [MBA] coursework was tough, but once you’re done, it gives you something to appreciate. With our jobs, we’re pretty well used to things that are hard to earn being well worth it. It’s something we have enjoyed.”
Hampton said Robert Howard was one of his favorite instructors at SOSU.
“I enjoyed the learning process and the application in Contemporary Issues in Management [MGMT 5453] … as I was going through homework in the management realm, I had the same trials in my full-time job, so it helped me address them,” he said. “I was able to immediately put some of the education to work as I was doing the classes in real time. That was enjoyable for me.”
Hampton added that the management-based courses were especially beneficial to him as a supervisor.
“My main enjoyment was from the theories of why people act as they do in the workplace,” he said. “I manage up to 30 Type-A, strong-willed people who are all different and very strict in their beliefs, but are all rule-oriented. That has its challenges.”
Still Going Strong
Hampton is looking forward to a somewhat slower pace once he completes the MBA. However, it doesn’t sound as though that will last long.
“I think I’m going to put some applications in to teach adjunct online,” said Hampton, who enjoys working out and shooting in his minuscule amount of free time. “My wife currently does that, as well, for Southeastern. We’re a pretty good match. She’s brilliant. I thought the master’s is hard —
Ashley’s Ph.D. is no joke.”
Even though he doesn’t have a specific career in mind once he leaves the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Hampton knows he has opened the door to plenty of options with the master’s degree.
“I’m ready for it to be over,” he said. “For the most part, there have not been any hiccups in the MBA program — it’s fair but hard. With AACSB accreditation, it should be hard.”
Of course, he firmly believes the effort is warranted.
“Plan out your approach to how you’re going to handle the time constraints,” Hampton said. “This program is a perfect fit for the working student. To me, there’s no other way I could have done it … end of story. Even if it only required a couple of classes in the classroom, I could not do it. It’s worthwhile, but it’s not easy to obtain. It was structured well and laid out well. The course load, with the way the adviser staggered it, was manageable.”
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Management program.
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