Brian Goodman was already a successful businessman, but he desired a role in executive leadership. The Chapman MBA program expedited his transition and helped land him the Chief Operating Officer role at a fellow MBA alumna’s growing Orange County company.

After starting out as a corporate attorney, Brian’s career began pulling him away from the daily practice of law. Increasingly, he found himself serving as an advisor to businesses of varying stages of development, size and complexity; from early-stage start-ups to divisions of leading international corporations. Brian liked this direction and realized he wanted to make the transition into executive leadership. Acknowledging that it was in the strategic capacity that he experienced the most personal satisfaction, Brian decided an MBA was the next logical step to make his C-suite goals a reality.

Looking into the programs available in Orange County, Brian was attracted to the Argyros School of Business and Economics Executive MBA (EMBA) program. He was drawn to the smaller classroom size, the customized approach, and the assurance that he’d be in a classroom of peers—experienced business leaders and future executives.

A Diverse Offering

When he entered Chapman’s EMBA program in the fall of 2015, Brian invested his time in academics and the many networking opportunities that the Argyros School of Business and Economics provided. Becoming a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, attending MBA-association events, and taking electives expanded his connections beyond his EMBA cohort.

It was through these Chapman connections that Robin Follman-Otta, of Markall Incorporated and RA Industries, Chapman EMBA alumna ’15, and Brian were first introduced. Hearing of Brian’s academic and professional accolades, Robin kept tabs on Brian. Over time, their acquaintanceship evolved into a friendship.

The Decision

Brian was nearing graduation and was applying his developing EMBA skills to work as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development with Technossus, LLC, a privately held, award-winning software solutions and technology consulting firm. Then one day, Robin reached out to Brian with a question. She was moving into the CEO role of a group of family-run companies, RA Industries, and she was in the market for a Chief Operating Officer. Brian was flattered, but didn’t see himself in the role at a manufacturing firm. He thanked Robin, and offered to help her find the right person for the job. As Brian learned more about RA Industries and the position, he recognized the opportunity that a COO position presented and he realized that he could use his 18 years of strategic and operational experience to create value for the business and its stakeholders.

Robin’s plan may not have worked exactly as she anticipated, but Brian ultimately joined RA Industries as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel just months after his May 2017 graduation. In his role for  four months, Brian has found an amazing fit. He works directly with the leaders and founders of RA Industries and has enjoyed the opportunity to build a personal relationship with them. While his new role requires his operational skills, he is still able to draw on his legal background to advise the corporation on legal matters. In a relatively short period of time following graduation, he has achieved his goal of advancing to the C-suite, and is working for a longstanding Orange County-based firm with significant personal and professional growth opportunities.

A Dream, Realized

In reflecting on his Chapman Executive MBA experience, Brian credits his personal relationships with the program’s faculty as a key feature. From the academic structure of the EMBA program, he has a solid understanding of the essential inner-workings of a corporation. While he’s never led a marketing team, and is not an accountant or master of finance, he can now make informed strategic decisions on the direction of the company based on meaningful discussions he can have with the other leaders of the business.

Brian’s EMBA landed him in the C-suite. Where will yours take you?

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