Russell Glenn stumbled onto his first career as an agent with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury. He has a definitive plan for his second career after enrolling in the Master of Business Administration, Management Specialization online program at La Salle University in Spring 2018.
"I have about seven years until I can retire," Glenn said. "At that point, I'd like to explore my options. I'll probably work for a government contractor. That was one of the main motivators for going back to school and getting an MBA. My employer also reimburses for education.
After Glenn graduated with an associate degree in accounting from Camden County College in 1998 and a bachelor's degree in finance from Rowan University in 2001, he wasn't sure if he wanted to embark on a corporate or military career until he attended a job fair.
"I saw a table with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury," Glenn said. "It looked interesting. They were recruiting for their office of criminal investigation. They told me what they did, investigating cases that involve tax crimes and fraud.
"I jumped into it and had a career in law enforcement from that point. It's fascinating. I never thought I'd end up doing what I'm doing -- especially with the casework. Looking back, I didn't even know what I was getting into. It's very exciting stuff."
More to Explore
Glenn considered enrolling at La Salle after his wife, Laura, graduated with an MBA, Management Specialization from the on-campus program in 2006. However, he wasn't sure which direction he wanted to take at the time, so he put it on the back burner. When he was ready to return, Laura, whose father and brother are also La Salle alumni, convinced him to enroll.
Glenn was originally looking at a Master of Public Administration when Laura said something that made him reconsider: "Why corner yourself with government and public service? With an MBA from La Salle, you have a lot more opportunities in corporate or in government. You can do everything."
The online format is especially important to Glenn since he and Laura have two young children, Natalie (3) and Nathan (1). He is on track to graduate in Spring 2020.
"Online is working out very well," he said. "I have a very busy work schedule. In fact, online was the only way I could do it. It takes a lot of the stress out of it. Any time I have availability, I can work on school.
"I also have a while to get my work done because it's very flexible. You have to have assignments in by Sunday, so I can work on them late at night after I put the kids to bed. My friends and family are excited for me. They think it's a great opportunity. A lot of them agree that, in this stage of life, online is the way to go."
Glenn's job as supervisory special agent includes leading a team of 20 agents with a focus on investigating counterfeit tax stamp operations and intercepting contraband cigarette and tobacco trafficking. He has been a supervisor for five years. When the time comes, Glenn will be ready for a change. He devotes approximately 15-20 hours per week to school while balancing a full-time job and time with his family.
"I'm leaving my options open," he said. "I will most likely purse something pertaining to law enforcement, such as analyst position or any type of position like the one I'm doing now. Or I might possibly explore positions with the federal government, such as a civilian position in the Navy. Having an MBA would definitely be a factor in getting hired. It will give me some leverage in whichever field I want to be in."
On the Way
Glenn has already acquired valuable insight during his short time in the online MBA, Management Specialization program.
"I like the course I had at the beginning of the program, [MBA 690: Creating Customers Through Effective Marketing Management]," he said. "It was interesting. Some of the courses that require computations are very difficult -- especially in an online setting. I'm doing [MBA 693] Business Analytics for Informed and Effective Decision Making now.
"I've always struggled with mathematics courses in the past. I knew doing this course online seemed tougher because I don't have that one-on-one or the other students, but the professors understand that and take it into consideration. All of the professors are very responsive."
Glenn, who plays guitar, golfs and enjoys riding his motorcycle, plans to walk the graduation stage when he completes the online MBA program. The La Salle campus is about 45 minutes from his house. Laura looks forward to seeing him join her as a graduate. Maybe someday Natalie and Nathan will follow suit with master's degrees of their own.
"I am already getting good value out of the MBA program," he said. "It's going to require a lot of work -- especially if your family has young kids because they take all of the energy out of you. If you are younger, jump on a master's degree program as early as possible. Don't put it off."
Learn more about La Salle University's online MBA, Management Specialization program.
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