Gerald Turner is the CEO/Managing Partner of EPM International. Turner works with companies in providing global business consulting services to develop effective, sustainable methods for executive leadership teams to create and execute strategic plans.

(Photo Courtesy of Gerald Turner)

(Photo Courtesy of Gerald Turner)

Why did you pursue a master’s degree?

“I decided to pursue master’s degree programs to elevate my management savvy and business acumen to the next level of mastery. Given my undergraduate preparation and experience in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, I chose to pursue two graduate programs – one, a master’s of science in Industrial Systems Engineering and Management, the other, an executive M.B.A. in Strategic Systems Management.”

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master’s degree?

“My advice to professionals contemplating a pursuit of a master’s degree would depend upon where a given professional is in their career (i.e., beginning, intermediate, advanced). A factor common to all career maturity levels would be the degree to which a master’s degree would significantly enhance their professional credibility, the market value and leverage of the unique skills to be acquired, and the extent to which such knowledge and skills will prepare them for future growth opportunities.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your master’s degree?

“The biggest challenge I faced when pursuing a master’s level degree program was determining the ‘best future value’ to be anticipated in time, cost and quality from among my short list of candidate programs. My preferred program also needed to have a two-year completion cycle, hopefully including the comps or capstone project demonstrating mastery.”

What was the biggest reward for earning the master’s degree?

“The biggest rewards I received for earning the master’s degree included the return on investment I realized in time, cost and program quality and the extent to which I could successfully apply and leverage the newly acquired knowledge and skills to enhance my career growth, productivity and performance.”

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