Connecting Our World Through Numbers and Culture

By Tommy Switzgable

“Perspective is something that I have gained at both NEU and the USAF,” says Brad States, DMSB’23, of Charleston, South Carolina. States, a part-time master of business administration and master of science in finance student, credits both the Air Force and Northeastern for introducing him to the string that intertwines our world. “Following my studies, I now see the global connections [that exist] through business and finance.”  

Prior to enrolling in two of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business’s most popular graduate programs, States worked as a job coach for special education students. Soon after, he decided to look to the sky and expand his horizons—and he did just that by enlisting in flight school and joining the Air Force, where he achieved the rank of captain and the status of a C-17A evaluator pilot.  

However, during his service in the Air Force, States pivoted yet again, developing a newfound interest in business and finance through various conversations with his fellow Airmen. “Spending time with people that have an interest in business and finance leads to long, interesting discussions during long flights or during deployments,” he says.  

This encouraged him to pursue a graduate degree in finance. States decided that Northeastern’s fully remote graduate programming was the perfect fit for his unconventional lifestyle of trying to balance schooling with a full-time military career. “As a part-time MBA student, I am pulled in many different directions due to the requirements professionally, personally, and in my education,” he says. To States, time management is the cornerstone to striking this balance—with Northeastern’s remote accessibility and asynchronous learning being the catalyst for success. 

With his graduation imminent, States reflects on his time at Northeastern and the impact it had on both his education and worldview. Not only was he able to pursue a world-class business education while continuing to serve his country, but he was also able to continue to learn about the world’s interconnectivity using a new lens—through a group of friends at Northeastern, no less, that would never have been in the same room. “[In my military service] I see the similarities and differences that all different people have. [Northeastern] has given me the same. Being able to interact with professionals from many different industries has given me perspective about how people live, work, and view the world.”  

You can learn more about Northeastern University’s part-time MBA program here, and follow the D’Amore-McKim School of Business on social media @NU_Business 

Northeastern has given me a more formal education regarding business and finance…it has opened my aperture to different possible career paths following my time in the Air Force.”  

Brad States, DMSB’23