BGSU Online grad uses top-ranked degree to advance already successful business career

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Advancing careers through a flexible format, the top-ranked Bowling Green State University Online MBA program is helping one alumnus bolster their already successful business career.

Jeffrey Bivens ’23 enrolled in the 100% online program – ranked No. 1 in Ohio and No. 33 nationally by Poets&Quants – to further develop his business acumen after already building a successful career as a lean manufacturing manager.

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. 

“I’m always asking myself what I can do to continue to grow and expand my career,” Bivens said. “I wanted to understand business at a 10,000-foot level and going through the BGSU Online 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 based out of the Schmidthorst College of Business is ranked as one of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report's 2023 Best Online Programs Rankings.

Versatile degree 

Bivens, who grew up in northeastern Ohio and lives in Bloomington, Illinois, enrolled in the University’s flexible 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.”

Building knowledge and confidence

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

In February 2023, Bivens, an Army veteran, 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.

Appreciative of supportive faculty and staff, even in an online environment, Bivens thanks Disbro for her support throughout the program.

“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. He’ll continue making an even bigger impact moving forward.”

Updated: 12/20/2023 02:31PM