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Staff Spotlight: Buz Jacobson

Mar 9, 2018

Title: Program Mentor

Department: Mentoring, College of Business

Hometown: Born & Raised in Rochester MN, Springfield MO for the last 25 years.

How long have you been working at WGU Missouri? Since May 2017.

What did you do before you started at WGU Missouri? I was the Business Department Chair for a Private University, Franchise Trainer for Classic Rock Coffee Co., and I also volunteered my time teaching soft skills (Emotional Intelligence, DiSC Profiles, Conflict Management, Working in Teams, etc.) for the Missouri Jobs Center in Springfield, MO.

I have a managerial background with over 15 years in leadership roles from various business fields; such as Verizon, Liberty National, Cooper Communities, Thomas Nelson Publishers and IBM. IBM was nationally recognized by being the recipient of the Malcom Baldridge National Award for quality in manufacturing and engineering. This drives my passion for education to be not only energized and engaging, but to have qualitative results by impacting society for the betterment of all. I have spoken at National Conferences on Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Development and community outreach programs on personal development.

What was your proudest moment at WGU Missouri? Well… I’d have to say it is ongoing. Every time a student has an “Ahh ha, I get it” moment, I’m smiling inside. Knowing that students realize that they are not only capable, but they really get it…that is what I am most grateful for. Knowing that I was able to play a small role in seeing that come to fruition are my proudest moments.

What is your favorite thing about working at WGU Missouri? The passion that all of WGU has for helping students and changing lives. How special to be a part of such a great group of educators and learners; such an honor to be here!

What has surprised you most about working for WGU Missouri? Lol… well, I knew working from home might feel lonely, even though my Boxer-Lab has a way of curing that, but what surprised me the most is the amount of support we have for our students. From collaborating with peers on my team, Course Instructors, Math Help Line, Success Center – the support goes on and on. The amount of support was pleasantly surprising!

What was your first job? Door to door sales selling Watkins Products in my pre-teens; delivering pizzas for Shakey’s Pizza as a teenager; and assembling AS400 Files at IBM while in college.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Lead singer in a Rock Band (Kansas & Journey), but I did get to sing at Carnegie Hall with Evangel University’s Concert Choir… so that will have to do.

What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime? Currently I am on a journey of health, mainly physical. I’ve lost over 50 lbs. by using former Olympian Jeff Galloway’s program (walk/run). That has played a huge role in my getting healthy. This past year I completed several 10ks and one 15k… and this year… I’m just getting started.

I also am volunteering my time working with the City of Springfield by facilitating modules on areas of soft skills; Emotional Intelligence, Habits/Attitudes/Beliefs/Expectations, and the DiSC Communication Styles. Investing in others is extremely rewarding and this opportunity allows me to give back to my community.

If you could learn any skill instantly what would it be? The skill of people reading. As an educator and a student of emotional intelligence and communication style assessments, I would appreciate the knowledge of “People Reading” to enhance my communicative skills. Faster connecting engagements with people lead to more meaningful conversations.

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