This fall, graduate student Daniel Pruitt ’14 will become the first in Jacksonville University’s MBA program to attend a semester abroad. The aviation operations major will travel to The European Business School (EBS) Business School in Frankfurt, Germany where he will join fellow classmate, Steven Paduchak, a rising senior.
“I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but never thought it was possible with all of the courses I needed to take,” said Pruitt.
This experience is indicative of an overall focus on a globalized business education. A new initiative is being created for an International MBA program with international partners around the globe for JU MBA students. The Davis College of Business has begun partnering with institutions around the globe with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation or those completing the accreditation process.
“The focus is to allow JU students to become more competitive in a global business environment,” elaborated Dr. Don Capener, Dean of the Davis College of Business. “Students who understand how business is done in different parts of the world will make them more competitive while starting or advancing their career.”
This initiative will allow JU and international students to study in the United States and the cooperating institution during the completion of a two year program. This will involve students from both universities participating in a cohort which will require students to study at each institution in alternating semesters.
Pruitt, the Miami Springs, FL native is an avid BBC fan and hopes to discover the differences between European and American culture while in Germany. “I am going for the experience first and foremost,” Pruitt added. “Being the first Grad Student at JU to study abroad for a semester is pretty cool.”
Pruitt will become the first person in his family to attain a graduate degree when he begins JU’s MBA program this fall. He understands the value that an MBA program would mean for his career in aviation. At this point, Pruitt would like to be a pilot and potentially work in aviation administration moving forward. “Continuing my education will make me more marketable and I feel that an MBA is an invaluable degree which will assist in my future job search,” Pruitt stated.
A transfer from the University of North Florida following his freshman year, Pruitt found a “friendly” atmosphere, where “everyone knew each other” at JU. That and the aviation program led his pursuance of his undergraduate degree as a JU Dolphin. A private pilots’ license holder at the time, Pruitt attributes a mailing regarding the Davis Aviation Center as a turning point in his life.
“I never realized that JU had an aviation program, but when I looked into it, I felt it was a great move for me,” indicated Pruitt. As a Part 141 aviation program, he and other JU aviation students are not required to complete a certain number of flight hours with a more structured training program.
Currently, Pruitt is finishing up his Certified Flight Instructors License this summer as a part of finishing up his bachelor degree. Also, he will have an instrument flight instructor license by the end of the summer. “I enjoy teaching others how to fly,” Pruitt elaborated. “The moment when a light clicks on in their head and you know they understand what you are trying to teach them, that is the most rewarding moment.” Pruitt hopes to continue as a certified flight instructor in the future.
A member of Alpha Eta Rho, a college aviation fraternity at JU, Pruitt and others recently invited high school students to the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine to instruct them on aviation. Showing different parts of the plane, Pruitt felt like this was a great way to connect with the community.
“Overall it has been an amazing experience at JU, I could never imagine that I would be able to fly for a living and then also pursue my graduate degree at the same university,” explained Pruitt.