A few months after Patrick Leipziger completed La Salle University’s online Master of Business Administration General program, his life changed. He received two great job offers on the same day, each representing a career transition he had been hoping to make for years.
Leipziger remembers being excited and flattered by his options, but also feeling a great sense of validation. He knew opportunity would follow quickly from earning an MBA.
“It’s an attractive degree to have, especially later on when you’re looking for advancement and promotion,” he said. “So, I don’t want to say I was necessarily surprised.”
Leipziger accepted a position with Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc., a construction management firm based in Lawrence Township, New Jersey. He now works as a cost engineer and is grateful for the opportunities an MBA affords him. “It’s definitely provided my family and me a life that I probably didn’t imagine so many years ago,” he said.
The road to that new life began 15 years ago, with a detour.
Get to the Grind
Leipziger was born and raised in a place he loves and where his family has put down roots. “I still live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania,” he said. “I probably will for my entire life.”
He wasn’t so fond of his first experience with higher education, however.
“I attended college out of high school in 2007,” he said. “I went for a couple semesters, just wasn’t quite for me.” Instead, he took a job with Rob’s Automotive, an auto repair and collision center, and made up his mind to keep moving forward.
“I got to the grind,” he said.
For Leipziger, that meant working hard while working his way up. In five years he advanced from an entry level job to leadership and the role of operations manager. Learning how to run a business helped him gain key experience. Picking up course credits in community college along the way also kept his study skills active.
After a decade with the company, Leipziger decided to complete his bachelor’s degree. Previous coursework put him halfway to achieving that goal, and in 2017 he enrolled at Holy Family University in Philadelphia. By 2019, he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and Management.
Leipziger was then ready to pursue his next goal: earning an MBA.
“I always wanted to work in either finance or accounting,” he remembered, describing the turning point in his career. “Life would get busier as time went on, it never really goes the other way. So I applied to La Salle University.”
A Hands-On MBA
Leipziger knew right away that La Salle’s online MBA General degree would meet his needs. “The first course I took was actually managerial accounting,” he said. “It was phenomenal.”
He was drawn to the program for its focus on experiential learning and collaboration.
“The program is very project based. They try to really put you in the role of being an executive,” he said. “You’re going to work with teams. You’re going to have to figure out complicated problems and trying to work well with others. And I think that’s something that we’re challenged with every day.”
Leipziger says the regular discussions had with his online MBA classmates during assignments were valuable as well. He enjoyed the fact his peers brought diverse perspectives and ways of working to the conversation.
“When you can discuss with a classroom of 30 people the experiences they’ve had and what’s worked for them and made them successful leaders, I think that’s excellent. It was a very effective way of getting everybody to put their ideas out on the table.”
He also enjoyed working with his professors, and the ongoing support they provided. “La Salle does take pride in having a lower faculty-to-student ratio,” he noted. “They can take the time to really get to know their students.”
Now that he’s graduated, Leipziger stays in touch with some of the professors who shared their knowledge and saw him through. He wants them to know their investment in him made a difference. “I’m forever grateful for sharing a classroom with them,” he said.
Building on Success
Leipziger’s new position with Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc. suits him well because it involves finance and accounting.
“I get to manage a very large budget, and I love it,” he said.
As a cost engineer, he also handles forecasting for multimillion-dollar construction jobs, such as a new cancer center his company is building. Cost projections for this type of large-scale project can range from surveys and permitting to specialized trades, labor, materials and more. He credits his MBA coursework for his early success handling this level of responsibility.
“It directly translates in what I do,” he said. “The only way I was going to be prepared for a job like this was through education.”
Leipziger is optimistic about the future for those graduating with a master’s degree in business because he knows firsthand the doors it can open and how quickly it can pay off.
“A lot of the people you interview with that are hiring officers, executives, directors, a lot of the ones that have been successful have made it a point at some time in their career to go back and get their MBA. They know what kind of skills and what kind of education that you bring to the table, because they went through it themselves,” he said.
“I definitely think having the MBA will help you in the job-seeking process. I know it helped me.”
Learn more about La Salle University’s Master of Business Administration General online program.