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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2020 Milestones and Firsts

MBA Opens Doors for Nontraditional Couple with Passion for Family, Education, and Careers

Story by Mia Gleason • Photo courtesy of Jessica Aguilar

Some would say balancing six children, a full-time career, and a marriage would be a full life, but Jessica and William Aguilar knew they wanted to pave an even brighter future for their family and careers by earning their MBA degrees together.

A Dedication to Education

In 2016, the Aguilars both enrolled at a local community college and began classes during the summer. Their schedules included working during the day, going to school in the evenings, and managing to spend time with their children.

They graduated together in December 2017 and began classes at WSU the following January. After earning their bachelor’s degrees, they decided to pursue their MBAs together, a decision both say was attainable by their hard work and WSU’s online program reputation.

Jessica, a data analyst at Cadeo Group in Portland, Oregon, says her position only hires people with master’s degrees. It was one of the reasons she was hired over 115 other applicants.

“An MBA will open doors for me, and my current position is a testament to that,” Jessica says. “My résumé was looked at because I was pursuing an MBA. I will have more valuable insights when analyzing data and catch things I may have missed before my MBA training.”

Enjoying the Journey

William is currently an IT data analyst at Columbia Distributing, where he maintains data pertaining to their markets, products, customers, and internal finances. He was recently integrated into the data modeling and engineering team where he will be responsible for developing data solutions and models that inform company strategy, opportunities available to him because of his MBA training.

“Many of my stakeholders are a collection of bright minds, most with decades of experience,” says William. “I can now communicate effectively and provide actionable solutions because of my MBA experience.”

“Getting your MBA isn’t going to be easy,” says Jessica. “You are going to have to do a lot of homework and read a lot! But you are going to gain a lot in the process, which will make the time spent worthwhile. Focus on your goals and where you want to go, celebrate milestones big and small, and remember to enjoy the journey.”

Both William and Jessica will graduate together with their MBA degrees in spring 2021.