Ray White is the CPO (Chief Performance Officer) for ICUC, a social services company. ICUC manages social media for Fortune 500 companies. The author of three books, Connecting Happiness and SuccessAlexia’s Legacy, and Happiness Hacks, White credits his master’s degree for his success as a businessman and published author.

(Photo Courtesy of Ray White)

(Photo Courtesy of Ray White)

White earned his bachelor’s and M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington. “I wanted to do everything I could to be successful. I felt like a master’s degree would give me an advantage.”

When considering returning to school for an advanced degree White said, “It helps most in competitive corporate advancement. Higher degrees are the first thing a company looks at when hiring someone. Remember, they are not looking at you face-to-face. It is about how you present yourself on paper that grabs the attention of hiring managers.”

“Pursuing a degree has to fit into your career plans and lifestyle. It requires money, time, and a strong commitment. If you love to learn, want to gain confidence, and want to be a stronger businessperson, an M.B.A. is a great choice. There are tons of programs that offer distance learning, night classes, and executive formats.

In regards to challenges, White said, “It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of learning and want to spend hours on campus discussing policy questions with your classmates.  It is also easy to get stressed and focused on studying for the next test. Spending the right amounts of time in school, family and work without neglecting another area is challenging.”

“The biggest rewards from earning my master’s degree were confidence and credibility. I had confidence in my recommendations and conclusions and credibility with others in business meetings. My M.B.A. also opened up a whole new career path, which has been both fun and rewarding. Lastly, I feel confident to take on new challenges like writing a book and am proud have written three. I have the experience and the education to successfully balance new projects in addition to work and family,” said White.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com