Jay Gordon: Career accelerates with the Joint MAcc/MBA

Posted: April 23, 2024 | Author: Madalyn Bushman | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU Business BuildingJay Gordon, currently serving as the Accounting Manager at Hexcel Corporation, achieved a significant milestone by graduating from Southern Utah University in December 2023 with his Joint MAcc/MBA degree, boasting a 4.0 GPA—an accomplishment he hadn't envisioned during his earlier college years.

Before venturing into the accounting industry, Gordon accumulated substantial experience in diverse sectors including hospitality, warehousing and property management. In the initial phase of his educational journey, Gordon worked full-time while taking one class at a time. Admittedly, he lacked direction and motivation to pursue his college education further.

Gordon's education has been a progressive experience. "I am a non-traditional student,” he said. “And although my route through school has been unconventional, I have achieved personal, educational and professional success."

Though it took Gordon seven years to complete his associate's degree at Salt Lake Community College, his progressing maturity revealed a natural aptitude for quantitative subjects, particularly in math and accounting. This realization sparked an innate drive to pursue a degree in Accounting.

While working on his bachelor's degree in Accounting from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, Gordon was the President of the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA) Student Chapter, which provided him with great opportunities and connections that continue to prove beneficial.

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree, Gordon started working in a formal accounting role and soon felt compelled to achieve more academically. He lives by his mantra, “Do it while you have the drive.” This led him to start looking into graduate schools, with his very specific checklist of requirements.

His criteria for graduate school included:

  • Online courses that offered the flexibility he needed with his career and personal life
  • Program that was tied to a brick-and-mortar school (a personal preference)
  • Affordable with valuable, high-quality education
  • Variety of perspectives from professors and study material

In addition to those factors, Gordon could not choose between a MAcc or MBA degree. He found the value of SUU’s Joint MAcc/MBA ideal for his career goals and future. He decided to do both with the joint degree program.

Educational ROI

"In the accounting world, everything revolves around ROI, right? When contemplating various programs, the return on investment was a significant consideration for me,” said Gordon. “Even before completing my degree, I experienced promotions and salary increases directly attributed to my graduate studies, showcasing the added value I brought to the table. The Joint MAcc/MBA degree from SUU not only proved to be affordable but also pays for itself quickly, as seen by the tangible returns it has generated for my career."

Experience at SUU Online

Throughout his virtual learning journey, Gordon appreciated the ability to study from any location. Dedicated to his academic pursuits, he devoted 20 to 30 hours per week to study, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the material.

His commitment succeeded as he completed his joint master's degrees in just two years, achieving a flawless 4.0 GPA. Gordon's scholastic achievements earned him an invitation to join the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, an honor reserved for only the top 20% of graduate students in business programs.

Gordon expressed appreciation for his professors, who were instrumental in his rewarding experience with SUU Online. The instructors were accommodating and responsive to Gordon’s scheduling and academic needs.

Naturally, when students are proactive and assertive - as Gordon was - the student-centric faculty are better able to support students in their academic endeavors.
As a graduate student in an online learning environment, Gordon acknowledged the absence of traditional face-to-face interactions with professors and peers, a notable aspect of his undergraduate studies. Nevertheless, in his graduate studies, leveraging the convenience of online connectivity and seamlessly engaging in Zoom calls with both peers and professors provided him with the flexibility and community essential for his academic pursuits.

The Joint MAcc/MBA program was not easy, Gordon explained. “It needs to be challenging for it to be worth it.” He learned that not only can you do hard things, you can do challenging things and be successful.

The impact of a MAcc/MBA

Gordon found that obtaining his joint master’s degrees has provided many new opportunities and has given him a competitive edge.

He shared, “Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to pursue the Joint MAcc and MBA degrees that have equipped me with valuable skills and knowledge. These educational experiences have not only broadened my perspective but have also allowed me to contribute more effectively to my company. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and challenges with management promotions, leading to compensation increases and opening doors to exciting professional opportunities. I am grateful for the continuous learning that has enriched my capabilities and allowed me to make meaningful contributions in my field."

For those contemplating the Joint MAcc/MBA program at SUU, he advised that being a non-traditional student should never be a deterrent to learning. He emphasized that maturity can significantly influence your individual learning journey and motivation.

Learn more about SUU’s Online Joint MAcc/MBA degree today.

Tags: Accounting Graduate Programs SUU Online