Graduate Profile

Michael Friesen

Michael Friesen earned his MBA in strategic leadership from WGU in January 2006. Before coming to WGU he attended the Air Force Air War College. While researching universities for a master's program, Mike found WGU and discovered that it offered him the chance to transfer his military correspondence work over as part the MBA requirements. He felt it was also financially reasonable. He says, "One of my long-standing goals was to complete an MBA program, and WGU made it happen sooner than would have otherwise been possible."

As a WGU student, Mike found that time challenges were his biggest hurdles. He says, "It was challenging to stay on pace with the weekly assignments, but I knew if I fell behind, the effort to catch up would be even more difficult, so I kept at it." He found that the flexible schedule was a life saver, and the ability to complete homework assignments and other requirements at most any time of the day was a big plus. He continues to explain, "WGU's program is definitely designed with the working professional and family person in mind. My wife and I have four sons, so the flexible approach of WGU was invaluable."

A lot has happened since Mike earned his MBA online from WGU. He was a pastor, but has since taken a sabbatical. His degree helped him land a position with a construction company as vice president of operations. He recently left that company and started his own business, Leading Strategies LLC (www.leadingstrategies.net), an organization that aims to build world-class leaders through coaching and professional development. Mike also retired as a reservist from the military in December 2006 as a lieutenant colonel.

During the period of August 2006 to June 2007, Mike and his family built a new house, and they have been enjoying it since. In his spare time, he plays the piano, skis, reads, focuses on home projects, and is a simulation pilot. His future plans include starting a leadership university for both the secular and Christian communities. He has considered continuing his education, but has no definite plans yet.