It takes many components for a business to run smoothly. Managing multiple people and responsibilities is not easy to master without a little help. One instrumental aid in this endeavor is the fundamentals one professional learned through education. Kevin O’Brien is the director of operations for Stens, a Metro Detroit corporation that is a leader in the outdoor power equipment parts industry. He boasts of his extreme appreciation for his schooling as it provided a strong basis for his current role.
What is your current position and what does it generally entail?
“I currently hold a position as the director of operations for Stens. I oversee the operations of five locations, one being in Canada. My main focus with the five locations is continuous improvement programs for both the organization as well as my team.”
What initially interested you in pursuing management as a career?
“My efforts in pursuing a management career started when I was in high school working at a prototype machine shop. The owner took me under his wing and taught me how to do many things around the business. During that time, I saw how he worked with others to develop their skills and abilities. I saw how they responded to his teachings and became successful in other areas as well, even other job opportunities.”
What are some ways your degrees prepared you for your role at Stens?
“I worked full time while going to school full time, and doing both taught me how to balance my time and efforts. I feel that my bachelor’s degree helped build the foundation needed for an understanding of business, and required me to buckle down and achieve the goal I had set for myself. As for my master’s degree, it helped me with real world examples on how to handle situations at work. I was able to apply what I was learning to my day-to-day professional life.”
Was it helpful for you to have a degree to obtain your current position?
“Having a master’s degree helped me get the job I currently have. I feel it gives me a better understanding and overall perspective on what happens in the workplace. I also feel it has separated me from the rest of the group that was interviewing for the role.”
After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at www.metalleaves.com and Examiner.com.