This past week, I graduated with a business degree in Organizational Management. I worked hard, and I managed, with God's grace, to keep my grades up throughout the entire program, graduating Summa Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.988.
I want to publicly thank the Lord for this opportunity and I want to extend my thanks to the many people who have helped, encouraged and supported my efforts. My next action is a significant one, I will be working toward my Master of Information and Knowledge Management degree.
I could not have managed the demands of family, clients, business, and my education, without a great deal of determination, love and support from my wife and children, and my extended family, friends, classmates and clients. My suite of eProductivity tools, along with the Getting Things Done skill's that I've acquired while serving The David Allen Company, also came in handy for managing the multiple projects and actions I needed to complete along the way.
A brief narrative of my journey follows ...
Four years ago, I set out to accomplish a very important goal: to complete a college degree, a course of study I began at age 16. You see, when I was in college the first time, computer science was all the rage. I took every computer course I could, starting with Assembler language on the IBM 370 Mainframe and the Xerox 530 batch system. With my 40WPM hunt-and-peck typing skills, I was as fast on the IBM 029 Keypunch machine and ASR 33 Teletype as anyone in the computer center. Then, the Heathkit company announced a second generation build-it yourself computer kit - the Heathkit H8 Microcomputer. I had to have one, and I worked for a year to save the money to get one. While my friends were saving for cars, I bought a computer with no keyboard or CRT, just an Octal keypad and a set of 7-segment LED displays.
To pay for my computer habit, and seeing the opportunities that computers would bring, I did what so many computer science majors (including Bill Gates and many others in this growing field) did: I dropped out of college so that I could build and study computers day and night. With the help from my college professor, I rented my first office and started my own computer consulting business.
By the time that IBM introduced the PC my business was booming, with clients across the country. I began consulting and training at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force base.
I continued to study - sometimes for several hours a day . I studied a variety of business and computer subjects. I read books, went to seminars, and taught at professional conferences. I guess you could say that while my formal schooling stopped many years ago, my education has been focused and continuous.
But I digress. Fast-forward 20 years.
Not having a degree was not a problem for more than 20 years, until I was asked to teach an technology course at The Master's College. I was more than qualified technically, but I was academically unqualified. For the first time in my life, the lack of a college degree became an obstacle. I decided that I did not want that to happen again. I also wanted to show my daughters that even though dad had a successful company, a university education was to be highly regarded. I wrote down a someday/maybe to look into various degree completion alternatives.
Four years ago, my wife suggested that I might want to resume my college education. I laughed. Business was slow, the post DOT.COM/stock market crash/Sept 11 economy was not doing well. I did not see how I could spend the money for tuition and take additional time away from business development in order to study. Kathy asked me to pray about it. I wasn't too sure about the timing, but knowing the wisdom of my wife and her track record, I agreed to do this. The Lord unmistakably opened several doors and a few months later, with letters of recommendation from my pastor, friend and client, David Allen, and a few others, I applied to The Center for Professional Studies, at The Master's College.
Fast forward four years and many hours of dedicated study.
The 79th Commencement Ceremony of
The Master's College. (May 12, 2006)
The commencement address was delivered by Dr. Robert Provost, President of Slavic Gospel Association in Loves Park, Illinois. The closing charge to the graduates was delivered by Dr. John MacArthur, President of The Master’s College.
I'm up next
My 15 seconds of fame, with our college president, Dr. John MacArthur
The 2006 Organizational Management Graduates of Cohort 43.1
Right now, I'm working on my Organizational Management capstone project, which I will present, this summer, in front of a panel of experts from industry and academia. Once that's done, I plan to begin a course of study toward my Master of Information Knowlege Management Degree. This will be a good opportunity for me to bring together my 25 years of experience as a consultant in the areas of technology, collaboration and information management, and productivity to the field of Knowledge Management.
As we say in my tribe: Mazel Tov Eric! It's a terrific accomplishment.
Posted at 05/19/2006 13:40:13 by Marc Orchant
Congratulations on a job very well done.
Posted at 05/19/2006 14:01:40 by Michael
What a wonderful example of faithfulness and perseverance. Just goes to show you, we are never too old to learn, and if you are teachable, you are learning until the day you die.
Posted at 05/19/2006 14:29:25 by Diane Leone
We at epbcpa are very proud of you. Keep
up the good work. We knew you could do it.
God bless you and your family.
Paul (and staff)
Posted at 05/19/2006 14:35:49 by E. Paul Brodsky, CPA
Congratulations Eric, you are an inspiration. God bless as you move forward from this milestone.
Posted at 05/19/2006 14:46:57 by Ian McKenzie
Congratulations Eric. What a wonderful story of the teamwork of a family to help you establish and fulfill a goal. Proverbs 31:26--your wife is an excellent example.
Enjoy the accomplishment!
Posted at 05/19/2006 16:44:28 by Donna
I am so proud of what you have accomplished. It has taken great strength and fortitude to stay with your goals. You are blessed by having such a wonderful and loving family to support you in your journey.
Good luck with the next step.
With all my love,
Posted at 05/19/2006 17:01:12 by Aunt Royce
Way to go bro!
Posted at 05/19/2006 17:37:38 by Walter
We are very proud of you, Eric! Go get 'em!
Posted at 05/19/2006 18:23:07 by Keith and Amber Saare
Congrats... After 25+ years since you started working with computers you have a degree - and that, my FRIEND, is better then me at 32+ of computers - you "ARE THE MAN".
And with a GPA of 3.987 - now that's impressive... Remembering I'm the guy that both could teach, and did correct the teachers of CIS-3 class, let alone doing the lab tours, for which I think I took it 5 or 6 times, with 3 or 4 Withdrawals, and 2 Fails... So you ARE THE MAN.
Eric - Honestly - You DID GOOD... You should be proud, and I am.
Your long time Friend,
Posted at 05/20/2006 0:39:52 by Rick
I have written many posts about Eric Mack and his various projects but nothing he has done has inspired me more nor made me more proud of his special abilities than his announcement of receiving his business degree in Organizational Management. Eric is a special person who thinks things through clearly and once he decides on a course of action he makes a plan and then sees it through. Congratulations, Eric, for such a huge accomplishment and for standing up as an example for us all.
Posted at 05/20/2006 5:27:02 by James Kendrick
Posted at 05/20/2006 5:49:27 by Warner Crocker
Great job Dad! I'm really proud of you, you achieved your goal. Might I remind you, though, of the saying that you use with us, "It's not over till it's over." I know that you will be great getting your Masters degree. You are a BIG encouragement to our family.
Posted at 05/20/2006 6:05:33 by Amy Elizabeth
Congratulations Eric - well done and well deserved.
Posted at 05/20/2006 6:34:34 by Nick Duffill
Posted at 05/20/2006 7:24:46 by Rob Bushway
Congratulations. I know this study has meant a lot to you and your family. Good job!
And good luck with your Masters.
Posted at 05/20/2006 7:26:31 by Nadine
I just finished reading Eric Mack’s post on finishing his Business Degree. Eric’s mind has amazed through the past year or so that I’ve gotten to know him and talk with him. He’s the kind of guy that never stops learning and never stops until he has solved the problem that he’s trying to solve. I love folks like that. It energizes me to be around them.
In this virtual world. the best we can do is follow their blog and glean from from them. Fortunately for me, I’ve had several opportunities to also talk with Eric via Skype and he is just as inquisitive on the phone as his blog posts appear.
Keep going Eric – go for that Master’s degree. Thanks for teaching us the value of pursuing knowledge and solving problems with a fervor.
Posted at 05/20/2006 9:32:45 by Rob Bushway
Hey Big Brother,
It was wonderful to get to celebrate your special day with you. I know how much work it is to have a family, pay the bills, and go to school at the same time. It really takes a lot of motivation and dedication to keep everything in check and you did it!
Lots of love!
Posted at 05/20/2006 10:16:01 by Christine, Alex & Tacoma
Congratulations! It is thanks to Heathkit that we met.I'm proud to have been one of your early customers.
Posted at 05/20/2006 16:37:35 by James Hill
I don't think there is anything you can't do in God's strength and purpose. To God alone be the glory for all He has done in you.
Posted at 05/20/2006 20:34:55 by Peter Beers
Peter, your letter of recommendation meant a lot to me. I appreciate the confidence you placed in me along with your prayers and encouragement.
The years I spent studying at The Master's College have been wonderful and God made it possible for me to finish the race, despite some tremendous obstacles.
God is good!
Grace to you!
Posted at 05/20/2006 22:06:32 by Eric Mack
God bless you as you begin to implement and exercise your training.
Hi to all the girls in your life.
Posted at 05/21/2006 13:39:23 by Tom Givens
Thanks for the kind words, Jim.
As I begin to get a balanced schedule again, I'd like to visit you.
Perhaps I'll learn another invaluable lesson from you, too!
Posted at 05/21/2006 16:33:57 by Eric Mack
Eric - This is my first ever blog entry and it's really quite exciting!! Seriously though, you were a pleasure to have in class. Your thirst for learning challenged me to come prepared with substance each week, not just 'sizzle' (although there was some of that too... HRC at the DNC... need I say more!?)
May God bless you richly as you serve Him by serving others! Congratulations!!
Posted at 05/22/2006 8:32:18 by Jim Daggs
I believe your achievement would inspire others as well.
Looking forward for more great and interesting posts. ANd yes, good luck for your future andeavours.
Posted at 05/22/2006 9:07:11 by Hemant Gohil
Thanks, Jim. I enjoyed the leadership course and the projects. Leadership was a challenging topic. I enjoyed the weekly presentations and the character profiles that you asked us to do each week. It's changed the way that I look at news, world events, or people I meet.
PS. I slipped the photos from the presentation to James, who included them in the graduation banquet presentation. Dr. Hughes got a kick out of it, once I explained it. I'm sure you'll hear from him. :-)
Posted at 05/22/2006 11:22:08 by Eric Mack
Eric, congratulations on completing your degree with a Summa Cum Laude. I'm
surprised you're going for another degree in a field that I've not heard
I'm sorry to learn your Tablet PC went down. Maybe someday I will try one,
but not having any drawing ability, I've stayed away. One of my earlier
laptops was a Toshiba, but I didn’t stick with the brand as its ratings
Posted at 05/23/2006 0:46:27 by Paul Edwards
Thanks for sharing! Brought back memories of my one and only "computer science" class at LMU, while I was getting my business
degree...the keypunch and teletype machines. Actually I got to use the keypunch machine in another class - a business class where we input information for our "company" and the computer would spit out the results. Took me a while, but eventually my company did go bankrupt...those dang labor strikes!
Again, congratulations on your major accomplishment and best of luck going for your masters.
Posted at 05/23/2006 11:09:28 by Barbara Rosen
Congratulations Eric. Especially since you didn't take the easier way out.
You took on additional challenges that you did not have to tackle.
You have my heart felt appreciation and respect.
Above all I know that you give all of the honor to God.
Posted at 05/23/2006 11:44:23 by Dennis Englin
Well, my son, I'm delighted to add my CONGRATULATIONS!!!! to this long list of praise and appreciative comments -- both for you as a person and for your magnificent achievements. Of course, I am not surprised at your stellar performnance. But just the same, I enthusiatically salute you.
Posted at 05/23/2006 17:12:13 by Jean-Pierre Amor
Eric, you were an outstanding student in all of my courses. I think you got an A on every paper. I wish you and your family God's very best for the future.
Dr. Dan Horner
Posted at 05/23/2006 18:34:19 by Dr. Dan Horner
Eric: Way to go man!!! Congrats on hanging in there through the tough challenges of continuing your education and maintaining the integrity of your business. It was a pleasure having you in class and you were always a challenge to me as a teacher--in a good way! I trust and pray that the attainment of your Masters degree will be as rich a blessing, and as strong a challenge. Keep on growing. Phonedude
Posted at 05/24/2006 15:06:07 by Mike Long
What an inspiration! I am turning 50 in July & have almost got my AA. I will then start on my bachelors in Security Management. I too have taken many classes over the years since high school, but I had to go to work as soon as I graduated & up until a few years ago it wasn't relevant that I have a degree. Having had to recently go out into the job market it has been very difficult to overcome my lack of formal education. Within the next 24 months I will also have 'That wonderful feeling'. Thanks for sharing your story and know that you are inspiring others to acheive their goals.
Posted at 05/25/2006 10:11:00 by Kevin Smith
Kevin, thank you for sharing your story with us.
You're never too told to learn. One of the ladies who graduated in our program is 70 years old! It was something she'd always wanted to do.
When I was in college, for the first time, I remember making the Dean's list with a elderly gentleman - we both had 4.0 records. I had completed 24 units. he had hundreds! He had completed most of the courses that the college had to offer. I remember being so jealous!
I wish you the best of success in your studies.
Posted at 06/03/2006 21:25:22 by Eric Mack
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