Jeremy Eiland Skates Into a New Operations Position With MBA

While Jeremy Eiland plays amateur ice hockey with friends, he has only dreamt of moving into the operations field — until now.

He completed the Master of Business Administration (MBA) General online program in March 2021 from the University of South Carolina Aiken. He will receive his degree in May after two years in the program.

“I knew an MBA would help with career advancement, whether it was staying in sales and becoming more of a manager or taking on a different position altogether. I really wanted to move into an operations role, which I have now been able to do,” he said.

Eiland works for a small distributorship that sells medical devices for orthopedic surgery. He started three years ago in a sales role, knowing he would pursue additional higher education to help himself grow.

He received his Bachelor of Science in exercise physiology from East Carolina University, where he took in-person classes. For his MBA, though, he wanted the flexibility of online coursework.

“This time around, I got to complete all of my coursework online. I am married, working full time and my wife and I welcomed a baby boy, Noah, into our lives,” he said. “I liked that I could still be a dad and spend time with my family while gaining the skills I needed for career advancement.”

Finding the Right School

Eiland’s number one requirement for an MBA program was an online format, and when UofSC Aiken popped up in his search, he took note of its reputation and started reading.

“The flexibility of the schedule was terrific, and the tuition was very reasonably priced,” he said. “Everything was online, which was what was so great about this program. I could take my classes remotely and choose my own schedule.”

MGMT A728: Operations Management was Eiland’s favorite course in the online program, as he one day aspires to manage a supply chain.

He also thoroughly enjoyed MGMT A716: Marketing Management and MGMT A715: Management and Organizational Behavior, even if the latter proved a bit challenging for him.

“I learned a lot and got to interact with my classmates often on projects. I thought that was pretty fun and worth the effort,” he said.

Cheering on the Home Team

Most of Eiland’s courses required group work, with the students finding ways to communicate and collaborate.

“I was in groups where we did Zoom calls or video chat. And then I was in other groups where we would do phone calls, email and texts. That worked out well,” he said.

Learning to coordinate meetings with other busy professionals sharpened Eiland’s project and time management skills.

“The whole culture at UofSC Aiken prepares you to manage your time as well as your assignments and projects a little bit better, which can certainly translate over into the real world,” he said.

Eiland’s family and friends were supportive of his desire to return to school, even though they knew it was going to be a lot of work. His wife was on board from day one. As the first member of his immediate family to obtain a master’s degree, he has much to be proud of.

“They were all waiting to see how I would manage my time,” he said. “Now, some of my friends have said that they have been inspired to go back for their MBAs, too, with UofSC Aiken being one of the programs they are considering.

“It was a big deal to get my MBA. My family was very excited and very happy about it,” he said.

Lacing It All Together

Eiland became interested in supply chain operations after his colleagues told him about their experiences in the field. His employer started giving him more operations tasks like tracking inventory and moving medical equipment from one account to another.

“I realized I enjoyed that more than I did being in a sales role, so that’s what piqued my interest in a career change within the same company,” he said. “My ultimate career goal would be to work as either a chief operations officer or lead a company/product line in supply chain. I want to take a product from conception to production and see it land in the consumer’s hands.”

Eiland plans to pursue an additional certification through the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). Once completed, he will hold the designation of Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). His MBA education will help in obtaining this accreditation.

Big Skates to Fill

Family time and hockey are favorite pastimes for Eiland. He plays on a men’s league, and he has already picked out a pair of hockey skates for when his baby boy, Noah, starts walking.

In the meantime, Eiland plans to enjoy some downtime post-school and continue to bolster his career and supply chain operations skills.

“I aspire to coach the youth hockey teams in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area. Aside from that, I love anything with sports — watching it, playing it, being outside and hanging out with friends.”

One thing is certain: Eiland’s career trajectory is looking as smooth as ice.

Learn more about UofSC Aiken’s online MBA program.

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