MBA Student/Colonel Deploys Isenberg-Learned Skills in Air National Guard
June 17, 2016
“Before Isenberg, most everything I knew about management was ‘the government way,’ observes Alexander Haldopoulos, a Colonel with the Massachusetts Air National Guard at Barnes ANGB in Westfield. “I craved to add a civilian business mindset to my skills,” continues the Colonel, who will complete his Part-time MBA degree from Isenberg this fall.
A fighter pilot, Haldopoulos commands the 450-person Maintenance Group at Barnes, which is responsible for the care and maintenance of twenty-one F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft. He leads compliance-driven operations that call for extreme efficiency and meticulous coordination. When a plane returns from a mission, the systematic, complex process of detecting problems, fixing them, and returning aircraft to fully mission-capable status can take anywhere from 2 hours to 30 days, depending on the malfunction. MBA courses at Isenberg in organizational leadership, operations management, and business turnarounds, he notes, are helping him to drive continuous improvement and motivate employees. That, he adds, includes adapting his communication style to different generations on his team.
Haldopoulos takes his MBA courses online and in the classroom in Springfield. “I prefer the in-class setting because you get direct, immediate feedback both from the professors and classmates, but the online courses have been quite adequate,” he says. Haldopoulos values the insights of MBA classmates who bring a variety of perspectives to the table. “Doctors, corporate executives, military personnel— everyone has a different story.”
In addition to its academic assets and its convenient location (Haldopoulos lives in Longmeadow with his wife and three sons), Isenberg offers another distinct advantage: “Tuition and fees are paid-for as a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.” Haldopoulos also suspects that his military career “won’t last forever.” Military cutbacks and government sequesters, he notes, are matters of record. Better to be prepared for any eventuality with a broadly marketable Isenberg degree.