Logan McCune (MBA’13) wants to take you on an adventure. Follow him, and you’ll explore Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula, and search for buried treasure on a remote island.
Don’t have time for such an extravagant romp? McCune, a graduate of Willamette’s MBA for Professionals program, has you covered. He’s going to take you along with a blend of age-old storytelling panache, and innovative 360° technology embedded in his Indiana-Jones-meets-Back-to-the-Future e-Book Caracol.
If you’re wondering how an MBA student could advance such an ambitious project while working and studying, McCune has an answer: “the Willamette MBA for Professionals program has been eye-opening, even for my writing hobby. I’ve based many of my course assignments on my book and applied business fundamentals to formulating, designing, and marketing it, just like any other product.”
In the spirit of Willamette’s collaborative, entrepreneurial classes, McCune sought creative partners and funding. He found the former in Phil Catudal and Shpatar Morina, both of the Early Career and Career Change (full-time) MBA program. Together, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the technology and travel required to finish Caracol.
Even though the Kickstarter campaign didn’t meet its funding goal, McCune’s entrepreneurial resolve remains intact; “I think of the Kickstarter as one big focus group. We learned a lot from that [first] campaign, and we’ll apply that learning to the next time. Between these lessons, and the support that we saw from our backers, we’re excited to try again in early 2014.”
Fact Trumps Fiction After MBA
While Caracol awaits a second attempt, McCune’s professional career took a positive turn soon after he began his MBA at Willamette.
“Before I started the program, I managed a sales team for a telecomm company. I wanted to move into HR management, so I decided to earn an MBA,” he explains. At the recommendation of Willamette’s career services staff, McCune attended an MBA career expo and found his current employer. “Since then, I’ve been promoted to Director of Recruitment and Selection. Every day, I apply so much of what I learned at Willamette to my current role: instilling a marketing and sales mindset in my recruiters, constantly seeking ways to improve operations, and having a better understanding of our organization’s business needs.”
Opportunity Presents Itself Again
In April, McCune co-authored a chapter for the “Global HR Practitioner Handbook” with Lisbeth Claus, one of his former professors. Currently, he’s collaborating with another former professor, Gary Knight, to coauthor a book about career advice. “These are two great opportunities for me,” McCune enthuses. “And it’s all thanks to building relationships with two great professors while I was at Willamette.”
McCune continues to emphasize relationships as a peer resource advisor and mentor to new MBA students; “I’m always saying; ‘MBA programs are expensive investments, for good reason. Know that you’re not just paying for the knowledge; you’re investing in the connections with fellow students, alumni, professors, and community contacts.’ Being in the program taught me that business is always about networking, where you’re putting others first, always striving to be a resource.”