An undergraduate degree is an important step in landing the right job, but continuing your education will put you in the right direction for landing the job you really want. Continuing your education can come in many forms such as a master’s degree, certification, seminars, continuing education or even joining a peer group. A master’s degree goes beyond the basics in your field. Bill Decker found that grad school not only helped him fine tune his technical skills, but also helped him with his leadership skills in the working world.

(Photo Courtesy of Bill Decker)

(Photo Courtesy of Bill Decker)

What is your background in management?

“John New and I have run our own company, The Hub Centers for Meeting and Collaboration, since 2003. Prior to that, I had various manager and staff roles with PWC and Eli Lilly. I also ran the board of directors for ShelterBox USA, an international disaster-relief agency, from 2010-2013.”

After graduation, how hard was it to transition to the actual working world?

“I felt like I was ready to take that next step, so it wasn’t terribly difficult. The real adjustment was probably changing to a 9-5 world from the less-structured college world.”

How has your education fueled your management success?

“The Jesuits at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and the way that program is structured seemed to fuel a level of mental agility that I didn’t appreciate until later on. It’s a critical attribute. Grad school, where I got my M.B.A., was more about honing the finer technical aspects of working in business, but also brought some good leadership development.”

What advice would you give someone coming out of college right now looking for a career in business management?

“If you don’t find the dream job, find something that gets you on that road and stick with it for a couple of years. Work hard and earn your increasing responsibility as it comes. You can get more choosy and move jobs later in life. Now is the time to dig into something and just prove you can do it well. Simply having completed college itself isn’t good enough anymore.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at

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