Meet Daniel Walmer. He's a UHD Marilyn Davies College of Business Alumni who graduated December 2017 with an MBA in Management.
"I graduated college in 1997, and never dreamed that 20 years later I would don a cap and gown and do this again," said Walmer. "This degree cost me a lot more of my own money, sweat, and sacrifice."
After 17 years in the non-profit industry Walmer knew that rising past mid-level positions and advancing his career required more formal business training. That realization led him to UHD Marilyn Davies College of Business where the MBA program provided him with a higher ceiling for his career and the tools to reach it.
His efforts didn't come without challenges. One semester after beginning the program he was diagnosed with Lupus and was in kidney failure. He took a semester off and started chemotherapy to realign his immune system. When he resumed the program he was taking 11 medications and often had to stand during class to ease joint pain. Although this sounds immensely challenging, Walmer said that his MBA goal helped him look outside his illness to a greater end. Plus, in his final semester he made two A's and a new baby boy!
But with the support of his wife, kids and co-workers and three years of hard work he celebrated his incredible achievement on stage at graduation. "That piece of paper represents so many sleepless nights and so much challenge that I well up every time I look at it," said Walmer. "This MBA is easily the toughest things I've done, and I've run over 40 marathons!"
His time in the classroom provided him with the management skills he needed to be successful in his career and made him a better teammate and collaborator. "The theories and practices we studied in textbooks came to life through the real world wisdom and experience of our professors and corporate fellows," said Walmer.
#MyMDCOB has turned my dreams into plans - Daniel Walmer
Q&A with Dan:
We asked: What advice would you give a prospective business student?
Dan: "Use the diversity and the myriad of partnerships UHD has established with its downtown neighbors and employers to your advantage. There is no other program geographically positioned to be a part of Houston's business landscape. Network with every opportunity you get in and out of the classroom. Those relationship will be as, or more valuable than what you learn in the classroom."
We asked: As a graduate, what is something that you know now that you wish you would have known?
Dan: "I wish I would have known that what you do in your twenties isn't as important as the skills you develop while doing it, and the people you get to know in the process. You don't have to narrow down your path that early, but you can make sure there will be as many avenues on that path when you reach that stage."