BGSU graduates standing at commencement
U.S. Army veteran Jeffrey Bivens '23 graduated with an MBA at the Fall 2023 Commencement after completing the University's 100% online program. (BGSU photo/Craig Bell)

BGSU Online grad and Army veteran uses degree to drive electric vehicle manufacturing forward

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With a successful career in lean manufacturing, Jeffrey Bivens ‘23 turned to BGSU to improve his business acumen

By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07

Bowling Green State University graduate and U.S. Army veteran Jeffrey Bivens ‘23 has built a successful career as a lean manufacturing manager, constantly pushing himself to the next level.

Following production management roles at Ford Motor Company, Lear Corporation and Anheuser-Busch, Bivens is now a group leader at Rivian Automotive, Inc., an electric vehicle manufacturer, in charge of the performance and operations of the company’s rechargeable battery manufacturing facility. 

Throughout his career, Bivens has earned numerous industry certifications to increase his knowledge and credentials. He also started a consulting firm advising small businesses on sustainable growth.

“I’m always asking myself what I can do to continue to grow and expand my career,” Bivens said.

In his quest to further develop his business acumen, Bivens enrolled in the BGSU Online MBA program — ranked No. 1 in Ohio and No. 33 nationally in the 2024 Poets&Quants rankings.

“I wanted to understand business at a 10,000-foot level,” he said. “Going through the BGSU MBA program provided me with a solid understanding of how all the facets of a business work together.”

In addition to the Poets&Quants rankings, which are based on the University's commitment to rigorous academic standards, student experience and employment outcomes, the BGSU Online MBA program is ranked as one of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report's 2023 Best Online Programs Rankings.

The University is also once again ranked No. 1 in the Midwest for veterans and active military students.

Versatile degree 

Bivens, who grew up in northeastern Ohio and lives in Bloomington, Illinois, enrolled in the University’s flexible 100% Online MBA program in 2021.

The AACSB-accredited program equips students with comprehensive qualifications, skills and credentials to excel in an ever-evolving global marketplace.

Connie Disbro, assistant director of the BGSU Online MBA Program and Bivens' advisor, said the program provides an ideal balance of management, accounting, marketing, supply chain management, and strategy skills that are beneficial to numerous career journeys. 

“It can help someone achieve a promotion, salary increase or even assist with a change in careers,” Disbro said. “It’s a very versatile degree that has the potential to open a lot of doors.”

President Rogers and alumnus Jeff Bivens stand together for a photo at Fall 2023 Commencement
BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers and Jeffrey Bivens '23, a recent graduate of the Online MBA program, at Fall 2023 Commencement. (BGSU photo/Craig Bell)

Building knowledge and confidence

In addition to gaining valuable business knowledge throughout the program, Bivens found the confidence to move forward with a business idea he had been considering for a while. 

In February 2023, Bivens launched The Grind House Coffee Company to sell bulk and wholesale artisan roasted coffee.

“I know the manufacturing and production side of a business,” he said. “Now, I have a better appreciation for how the marketing team is selling the product, how the HR team is bringing in the best talent and how the supply chain functions to get the product to the floor for me to manage it.”

Bivens said he plans to continue his education at BGSU by applying to the organization development and change doctorate program.

Before crossing the stage at the Fall 2023 Commencement, Bivens thanked Disbro for her support throughout the program and shared how impactful the program has been to his career and business.

“It’s rewarding knowing that the knowledge we’re providing students through the Online MBA program is making a difference in their lives,” Disbro said. “Jeff has done so much to serve the public good through his military service and is now starting a business. I imagine he’ll continue making an even bigger impact moving forward.”

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 12/19/2023 10:01AM