Three Brothers, One MBA Program

Billy, Jonathan, and Daniel Roy grew up in Frenchville, Maine. They all earned their bachelor’s degrees at the University of Maine and are now all enrolled in the MaineMBA program. “Honestly, the three of us never planned to work on our MBA’s simultaneously,” Billy says. Jon, who works at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center as a research engineer and project manager, was the first to begin the program. Dan and Billy joined him last summer. 

While the brothers are naturally competitive with each other, they’ve gone their own way professionally and geographically. Read on to learn more about the journey they’re taking at the Graduate School of Business.

Dan: Sales Manager for Valvoline, LLC. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Jon: Research Engineer and Research Project Manager at UMaine’s ASCC. He lives in Bangor, Maine.
Billy: Construction Project Manager for Knowles Industrial Services. He lives in Windham, Maine.

What do you think is the benefit of an MBA degree?

Dan: Data analytics has been an interest to me for the last couple of years. Last year, we asked a company analyst to create a commission report for our team that would give us insight into the key performance metrics of contracts we executed with customers. The analyst did a good job, but my boss and I felt that he wasn’t quite getting what we were looking for because he wasn’t aware of our day-to-day activities. I decided that I wanted to provide value to our team and organization above my daily responsibilities. Our Senior Vice President offered to have the company pay for my MBA, and I was thrilled with the idea.

Jon: My goal is to pursue executive-level leadership roles in the future. I found that an MBA is one of the best tools to prepare for those types of management roles. An MBA gives you the knowledge you need to see the big picture and develop the core competencies required for effective business management. It helps you develop the foresight to predict risk and make sound and informed decisions. I also feel like it has been a powerful tool for me in building empathy towards the different professional skill sets required in an organization. My strengthened understanding of the different business-oriented skill sets has helped me better communicate with coworkers across departments.

Why did you decide to earn your MBA at UMaine?

Billy: This was a no-brainer for me. My brothers and I are Black Bears through and through. We take pride in what we learned and the relationships we built at our alma mater. We believe in what UMaine has to offer and have profited from rewarding careers that would not have been possible without our education and networking at UMaine. I could not see myself pursuing an MBA at any other institution.

Jon: I work for the University, and one of the perks of that is free tuition for continued education. 

Dan: I always found the University of Maine promoted a very open, warm, and inviting culture leading to the creation of lasting relationships. My friends from undergrad have remained some of my best friends to this day. I found the education to be top-notch yet affordable. The value is incredible! I am convinced that top students from the University of Maine can compete with students from anywhere in the world. 

How has the MaineMBA program helped you in your current professional role? 

Jon: The MBA has been a great and effective tool in strengthening my effectiveness and efficiency as a manager. I have been very fortunate to directly apply almost all aspects of what I have learned to my current job in project management, budgeting, operations and personnel management, marketing, customer relations, and more. 

What is your goal upon completion of your MBA degree? 

Billy: I plan to use this degree to help my company into the future. Some senior executives within Knowles Industrial Services are beginning to prepare their exit strategy, and financial management of the company is something we need to prepare for. I believe completing my MBA will help with this company’s successful future progress, and I intend to be a significant part of that process.

Dan: I love the organization I currently work for. They care about their people and treat us with respect. I hope to someday step into an executive role here. If and when that day comes, I expect I will be fully prepared to handle the role’s responsibilities due to my experience and education.

What has been your favorite class in the MaineMBA program?

Jon: I have really enjoyed many of the courses I’ve taken, but one of my favorite classes was Management of Contemporary Organizations with Dr. Muralee Das. It’s the course that convinced me to pursue the MBA. The content was so practical, relatable, and insightful. I have a good amount of management experience from being a Drill Sergeant in the Army and my role with the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Just about everything the course covered resonated with me. Another favorite class was Financial Management with Dr. Pankaj Agrrawal. I didn’t think I could learn so much about an unfamiliar field in such a short amount of time. Dr. Agrrawal is a brilliant professor, and I enjoyed the literature covered during the course. 

What is the benefit of earning your MBA alongside your brothers?

Billy: We’re very close to each other. Family is very important to us. It’s a good feeling to work towards the same goal with two other people that I respect and look up to in life.

Dan: Jon was very encouraging and helped explain what Billy and I should expect from our courses and how to best balance it with our careers. All three of us have very demanding jobs, which we are incredibly passionate about, so it can be challenging to figure out how to best prioritize time. Having my brothers alongside me in the MaineMBA program gives me confidence. I’m very proud to have two intelligent and ambitious older brothers to look up to.