In a strange twist, Chauncey Ward decided it was time for him to earn an MBA after he started to earn a second bachelor’s degree.
“I ended up taking a couple of classes in entrepreneurship at [another school],” Ward said. “That kind of went in the wrong direction for me because they wanted me to retake all of my accounting courses. Basically, I would have been in school for another two years. I decided that wasn’t for me. We parted ways after 30 hours of the entrepreneurship, and I was like, ‘Oh, man, I really enjoyed that.’ I had no problem with researching and writing business plans. I wrote several business plans for fun. It’s a hobby of mine.”
The good news was that taking those entrepreneurship courses was the big push Ward needed to put him on track to achieve a major goal.
“I always wanted to earn an MBA — even after I finished my undergrad,” Ward said. “Nothing really called to me. You’ve got to have a passion when you’re going to school to push yourself through it. You’ve got to find something that is going to push you until the end that you actually want.”
Ward earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship online from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in May 2016. He said one of the coolest parts of attending his graduation ceremony was meeting some of his fellow online students.
“I got to talk to one of the guys who completed his degree in Oklahoma City,” Ward said. “I got to sit beside him when he got his MBA. He had never been on campus. I thought that was neat.”
Working Toward His Own Business
After earning his MBA, Ward took on a new role. He now works at Douglass Distributing in Sherman, Texas, in fuel accounting. He orders all of the Exxon/Mobile products the company sells.
“I didn’t even apply for this job at Douglass,” Ward said. “I got a call to come in for an interview. I guess someone passed my information along.”
Ward is also working towards his dream of entrepreneurship by developing and launching a business directory website for the Texoma area called TexomaMainly.com.
“I’d like to partner with a few departments at Southeastern and just see where it goes from there. Get the students engaged with a few hands-on projects,” he said.
Ward, who earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma, said he expects to have the website live very soon. This website will generate revenue through the sale of ads.
“I’m working on it now,” Ward said. “It’s just in the background. I’m going to the Chamber [of Commerce] and putting the final touches on it right now. The whole mindset going in as an undergrad in accounting is the lifeblood of any business — you need to know your numbers and know the health of your company, so that was my idea going in. I always wanted to be a business owner.”
Once he got started, having an idea for a business helped Ward push through and earn the degree, which he believes is the best mindset to have when tackling an MBA.
“Go for it and give it your all,” Ward said. “While you’re in school, have that entrepreneur mindset. Develop your company now. If you have a good idea that you want to be an entrepreneur, go into your first class knowing the company you want to build within the next two-and-a-half years while you’re earning your master’s degree.
“In essence, your passion flows over into your schoolwork. It doesn’t feel like schoolwork anymore, just like if you work for yourself and you do something that you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like that anymore … it’s just work. That’s what you do, day in and day out.”
Becoming a Student
Ward said he chose SOSU because of its proximity to his home in Colbert, Okla. He was also familiar with the university’s MBA in Entrepreneurship program.
“I read a little bit about the program,” Ward said. Robert Howard, the MBA Director, is the first face you see when you go to talk about the MBA. You talk to that guy and he makes you want to do it.”
Ward said his family wasn’t exactly surprised that he planned to continue his higher education.
“They called me a big nerd,” he said. “Anybody that spends the majority of their time watching documentaries on Netflix and whatever else I can find or read … they knew it was in me.”
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship program.