Kevin QuanKevin Quan earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering from Clemson University and began working as a technical project manager, designing weapons systems and technical functions for the Air Force.

Kevin knew he wanted to pursue a master’s degree to advance both his current job and his future civilian work. But after starting a master’s at a local university, Kevin had trouble balancing in-person classes with his career. He began looking for accredited, flexible programs that he could complete while continuing to work full time. Although Kevin grew up a diehard Clemson fan, the MA in Global Business Management through The University of Alabama was exactly what he was looking for.

“It wasn’t just about football allegiance for me. It was about the program itself and the people who would be teaching me,” Kevin said.

Kevin Quan outside Denny ChimesKevin began his coursework while stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. For a year and a half while in the program, his days consisted of rigorous technical work and his nights were dedicated to studying.

In the last semester of the program, Kevin was preparing to relocate to Florida, so he was juggling work and classes along with finding a place to live. He said in-person coursework would have been “impossible” during this time.

As an officer in the military, Kevin knew his master’s degree would enhance his ability to lead teams and understand the people he works with. Beyond that, the program gave him the skills he needed to better communicate technical knowledge and jargon to colleagues who aren’t as familiar with the technical side.

Kevin Quan with friends“I wanted to be able to leverage my technical experience with my physics and engineering background while also learning how to lead better and understand the global market,” Kevin said.

One benefit of enrolling in a distance program was connecting with fellow service members in several of his classes. Kevin even met his best friend, Bryce, who worked at Robins Air Force base, through their UA online classes. Bryce became Kevin’s “Alabama buddy” and the two of them attended UA sporting events together.

“So many people were in the same position that I was, and I thought ‘if they can do it, I can do it too,’” Kevin said. “It’s amazing that an online program could give me so many real-life friendships.”

Kevin Quan outside Dreamland BBQKevin also had the opportunity to connect with several Culverhouse College of Business staff members who shaped his student experience. Jan Jones and Connie Chambers helped Kevin navigate his coursework and provided him with valuable networking connections. “It felt like family being connected to them. They were always so willing to help,” Kevin said.

Kevin graduated in August 2018, but on occasion he still visits Tuscaloosa, which he said is “one of the best college towns in the country.” His heart may be with his original alma mater, Clemson, but Kevin will cheer on Bama anytime the two teams aren’t playing against each other.

“My obligation to my country through the military was my top priority and without UA, I wouldn’t have been able to both serve my country and pursue further education,” he said.

Published: November 10th, 2020