Kevin Stevens is a commercial product market manager at Choose Energy. He earned a Master of Business Administration in strategy and entrepreneurship from Southern Methodist University and shares his educational path.

(Photo Courtesy of Kevin Stevens)

(Photo Courtesy of Kevin Stevens)

Why did you pursue a master’s degree?

“No one in my family had ever graduated with a master’s degree, and I was one of only four in my immediate family to graduate college.  My mom and I are extremely close; instead of walking to receive my diploma, I skipped graduation and had it mailed to me. After seeing how upset this made her, I made a promise that I would obtain my master’s so she could see me walk across the stage to receive a degree. While working at Green Mountain, it became clear my career was stalling and that was the push I needed to fulfill the promise I had made to my mom.”

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

“There were two: being a good husband and balancing work plus school. I had an extremely supportive wife and job. Choose Energy allowed me have a flexible schedule and always ensured that I focused on my success academically. Unlike some of my classmates, I was lucky to have supportive bosses who were engaged and encouraging in the pursuit of my master’s. The best piece of advice to those pursuing grad school would be to make time for your friends and family outside of school. They are likely a big part of the reason you made it this far, and it is important to make time for them while you are in school. For me, a weekly date night with my wife was a must, as was at least one day/night with family or friends.”

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

“The answers are limitless, but the opportunity, both personally and professionally, that comes with a master’s is amazing. Choose Energy has been great in allowing me to take on tasks that related to my studies before I graduated, and subsequently challenged me to take on new ones after graduation, which has unlocked my career potential in ways that weren’t possible before. Before graduating, most of my work was centered around my experience in the energy industry, but now I am taking on additional tasks that involve much more marketing, finance and strategy skill, which allows me to work with even more great people than before. Personally, my MBA allowed me to spend time in Asia this past summer and gain immensely talented friends who have become an important part of my life.”

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