Paul DePalma, a graduate of the Executive Master of Organization Development Program, is Owner and CEO of ADEPT Performance Systems
Paul DePalma began college as a pre-med student at Boston College. He was quickly drawn toward business and ultimately ended up majoring in economics.
Work has always been important to DePalma, and he held a variety of jobs during his younger years. “I had 15 jobs before I was 25,” smiled DePalma. DePalma worked in pharmaceutical sales, but his interest in nurturing business growth led him to pursue a career in consulting.
While running his own consulting firm, he referenced outside literature designed to help companies develop. It was then that DePalma decided he wanted to develop his own materials to assist companies.
He had previously considered an MBA, but what he really wanted was a degree with distinct focus. He did not know that a Master of Organization Development existed, and when he heard of BGSU’s Executive MOD program, he was intrigued. “Many of the programs that I looked at felt glitzy, some felt soft, but BG was both empirically focused and practical,” said DePalma.
At 40 years old, Paul found himself travelling once a month from Florida to BGSU, “I probably had the longest commute of any of my classmates,” he said. Once he arrived at Bowling Green, he found himself learning a lesson he had not expected.
“When people learned that I flew in for class, they instantly opened up and offered to pick me up from the airport. I realized I was not the best at accepting help, but if people wanted to help, I could let them.”
It was this tightly-knit cohort model that helped fuel DePalma’s success in the EMOD program. He was able to interact with students who had real-world experience and students who had a more abstract, theoretical understanding of business and its application. “Although it was an academic experience, almost every class had information that you can use every day,” he said.
DePalma said of the program, “It was challenging, but I liked the rigor of the program. I wanted it. I wanted someone to drive me. I wanted the homework. It made the degree have more value for me."
Having a family helped him get through the process. His wife and daughter were driving forces in his success.
“Travelling was not a strain at all,” he said, “they both were completely supportive. They even flew up and watched me graduate.”
Now the CEO of his own company, ADEPT Performance Systems, DePalma is piloting his future. “I would strongly recommend the EMOD program. It offers skills that are universally applicable in all functions of the workplace,” he stated.
DePalma is proud of his decision to go back to school, and he recommends the EMOD Bowling Green to anyone considering a more focused, practical understanding of leadership and organization.
“If the world of business were filled with more Bowling Green EMOD graduates, then it would be a more dynamic, effective environment,” DePalma concludes.