Interview with AMU Alumnus, Uchenna Faumuina-Eze
The following profile is the seventh in a series of student profiles of our students and alumni at the university.
Job title: Software Business Analyst, Government Contractor and Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Northern Virginia Community College.
Degree earned: M.S. Sports Management, 2011, American Military University
What have you been up to since earning your degree at AMU?
Since earning my degree, I started my own clothing line and brand. Our clothing deals with culture and the fusion of arts and entertainment. I am also the head women’s basketball coach at Northern Virginia Community College, which has been a fun and exciting experience from the beginning.
What led you to choose a master’s degree in sports management at AMU? Was it based on passion or a specific career goal?
First and foremost, education is very important in my family. My parents instilled in me and my siblings that knowledge is power. I was looking to obtain a master’s degree that would work in leadership and management roles, and a friend of mine mentioned AMU. I was quickly amazed by how AMU provided tremendous support and resources to its students, not only in education, but also through community service and outreach.
I immediately began to do further research. I saw a familiar face on the website, Dr. Brian Freeland, who I knew from my college playing days. I reached out to him and asked for some background on the university, and the rest is history!
Sports for me is both a passion and a career goal. Sports have always been a big part of my life and I know the influence it can have on someone.
Tell us about your position at your employer.
Currently, I work in IT as a software business analyst for a government contractor. I also work in sports as a women’s basketball coach at the junior college level.
Is there a particular class or professor that stood out?
All the classes stood out. Each professor was awesome and easily accessible! I can’t say how many emails or Skype sessions that each one personally did to make sure that I correctly understood information or an assignment.
Dr. Flegle provided real insights into how sports play a vital role in society. He also introduced me to so many concepts that will make me a more informed person throughout my sports career.
How did your studies at AMU prepare you for success in your career?
Earning my online degree with AMU set me up for success in so many ways. The professors who work directly in the field allowed me to have an optimal learning experience. Also, I developed soft skills like self-discipline, communication, initiative and dependability, which are key aspects in sports and in life. Those soft skills are what I need to be successful in my career.
What makes our sports management program stand out in your field? Were there key lessons taught there that helped give you an edge?
I love the fact that we have some of the top professors in their fields. Each one brings current, innovative ways of teaching to make learning effective. I also love the collaborative approach we take when we work on group projects and assignments. This approach teaches accountability; it builds on each student’s skills and contributes to the overall goal.
What is one (or two) key pieces of advice you would pass on to someone new to online education?
For anyone considering online education, first and foremost, you must understand that time management and flexibility are important. It’s not easy trying to balance work, school and daily life. I found that our professors are very understanding of the lives we have outside of school and make accommodations if you need them. So don’t stress!
What is your favorite thing about online learning?
I enjoyed everything about online learning. It was very convenient and fitted around my daily life. I also admire my classmates’ commitment and dedication to pursuing a non-traditional path to gain their education.
How do you approach education with your team?
We approach education with the goal of maintaining a certain GPA. The team understands this is important for them when they plan to go on to a four-year institution after junior college. Our basketball staff will formalize a plan that is put into place the moment the student is enrolled in school and is identified as a student athlete. We use technology and all available resources to help students reach their fullest potential and achieve success.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to travel as much as possible; it’s exciting to learn about different cultures and meet people. I also enjoy doing community service projects and events. When I am not doing anything, the best use of my free time is to just take a nap!
Online education isn’t a one size fits all, but it’s a great opportunity for those looking to increase their knowledge in current areas of expertise, or to look at new avenues for growth. Our student profile series will give a face and personality to our dedicated online learners at the university. Interested in learning more about your online education options? Explore our schools and programs at AMU.