Two-thousand and eighteen was full of celebration and new beginnings for TROY graduate student Devante Brown.
This past year, the Atmore native married his college sweetheart, received a promotion and started his own non-profit organization, all while continuing to pursue his MBA from TROY’s acclaimed and accredited Sorrell College of Business.
“It’s definitely been an exciting year,” he said.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering and working his way into a divisional engineer position at Georgia-Pacific’s Atlanta regional office, pursing an MBA from TROY was the natural next step for Brown’s career plan.
“For me, I had a couple of paths I could have taken,” he said. “And since I have a lot of personal business goals I would like to one day pursue, I know having an MBA will give me the confidence to pursue them.”
Today, Brown is a year and a half into the online program and said it has continued to fit the life he and his wife, Jasmyne, are building together.
“My wife is an engineer as well, and she keeps me centered,” he said. “She keeps me on the plan for what our goals are—as a family and as individuals. … I plan to move into management of my company, so pairing my engineering degree with an MBA from TROY will help make me a better manager as I continue down my career path.”
Brown said TROY’s online MBA program is a perfect fit for him because his career requires travel.
“On any given project, I’m anywhere from the East Coast to the West Coast, and I stay on the road a bit,” he said. “So, when I am on the road, once I get done with my normal 9 to 5, the program allows me time to focus on my school work and get my assignments turned in.”
Through his studies and career opportunities, Brown has developed an impressive network of professionals—a resource that has helped inspire him to create his new nonprofit organization, the M3 Foundation. Brown said he knows first-hand that students growing up in small, rural areas have limited resources when it comes to preparing for college and careers, and he created the M3 Foundation to be a resource for those students.
“I started this online platform to give people in rural areas a place where they can find and gain online mentors and scholarships and other kinds of resources,” he said. “I also know professionals who come from small towns, and I want to give them a chance to give back to their cities. So, the foundation is set up to give people an opportunity to connect and give back. With everything else being remotely controlled, it gives them a chance to serve the areas they are from, as well. We just launched this year, and we’re still developing and creating events.”
With so many irons in the fire, Brown said he’s had to learn to prioritize and compartmentalize the important areas of his life.
“Now, with me having a full-time job, being a full-time husband and being a grad student—especially this year with planning a wedding and planning for a future family—you come to realize you have these extra duties. … A lot of times we think we’re at our limit, but these TROY classes have taught me I can push past my limits to achieve greater things even though I have a lot of other things going on.”