Learning & Future Growth: Applying Skills From His Online MBA

Reed Waldenmaier enrolled in the Online MBA program with SMU Cox. He used his skills to further his career and network with his peers.

A group of SMU Cox online MBA faculty and students at a presentation

This blog post was originally published in January 2020 and was revised in April 2023.

Even after the very first semester, Reed Waldenmaier knew he’d chosen the right MBA program. The Online MBA from SMU Cox isn’t just convenient and flexible; it has already proven relevant to the work he does at Wrist Ship Supply. “I’m learning a lot, and I’ve already been able to apply the skills learned during the program on the job,” says Reed. “Especially in areas of managing and leading people, I’m bringing what we’ve done in the courses to refine my skills. And I know the more I work on it, the better I’ll get.”

Reed was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree in International Maritime Business from Massachusetts Maritime Academy. With the opportunity to enter the Wrist Ship Supply’s global management training program, Reed relocated to Houston. He enjoys the job, the niche industry of the company, and particularly the opportunity it affords him to travel abroad. Reed is thinking globally and long term.

That’s Where SMU Cox Fits In

“I looked at a lot of MBA programs,” says Reed. “Good schools in and around Texas, but none of them offered what SMU did. It’s a phenomenal school that’s nationally ranked year in and year out and the Online MBA was much more flexible to my needs and accommodating to where I want my career to go. So I did my due diligence and then trusted my gut.” And according to Reed, his instincts were spot-on. He likes the synchronous classes, the breakout sessions, and how the program is really geared to people who work full time. He feels as if he’s already gained valuable knowledge and solid relationships with his professors and his peers. Reed says his advisor has helped tailor the experience to his needs and she guides him toward alumni and networking events. Although it’s an online program, Reed feels fully connected to the university, its culture and the campus; he’s even visited several times to work with faculty, meet people and even attend an SMU tailgate and football game.

Ready For the Online MBA Immersion

One of the unique features of the Online MBA at SMU Cox is its immersive component. Students participate in at least two 4-day immersions, with options for international and domestic experiences. The cities are specifically chosen for their relevance to the curriculum and the real-world skills leaders will need in a global business economy. The first immersion was held in December 2019 in London. With Brexit making an impact on economies around the world, SMU Cox students were be at the center of it all. They heard from keynote speakers, engaged with corporate leaders from Microsoft and GSK, met SMU alumni, worked on team projects, and toured city businesses and tourist destinations.

Reed said he looked forward to the experience, noting it’s a something not offered at other Online MBA programs.

“I knew there will be a ton of networking opportunities there,” says Reed. Reed, on the trip, found himself bonding with his cohort -- having become close to them in classes and group projects. They solidified life-long connections on that trip together. 

Reed says his group is diverse in age and occupation. They span in age from him, at 23, to someone in their 50s. Their careers include finance, engineering, the medical industry and even someone in the Air Force—who’s fitting in his MBA while he serves. The Online MBA allows people who might otherwise never have met to come together and learn how to lead in an ever-shifting business world.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Online MBA from SMU Cox, please contact someone from our Admissions team today at 214-842-1214 or cox.onlinemba@smu.edu.