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Father and Daughter Complete MBA Program Together

Katelyn Conover and her father, Gerry Breen, graduated from the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offered through the Beacom School of Business last August. Conover said going through this experience with her father was a memorable experience for both of them.

“Getting my degree with my father was an awesome experience,” Conover said. “Not only did I have a built-in study partner, but I also had someone who understood the struggles I was juggling on a daily basis.” 

Classes offered in person or online allow the MBA program to fit many people’s needs. Conover and her father both completed the program online, and she said the online program was helpful because she could set the pace and manage her workload.

While completing the program, Conover worked full-time, freelanced 10-15 hours per week and raised two young children at home. Breen also worked a full-time job, which included international travel, while helping run their family farm. 

“We have always had a special bond but completing something like this provided me a newfound respect for him,” Conover said. “I’m very proud of him.”

After graduating with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing in 2014, Conover said she always knew she wanted to return to USD for the MBA program later in her life. 

“For me, it was about doing what was best for my growing family but also my career,” Conover said. “I knew earning an MBA from the Beacom School of Business would open up opportunities for career development and skill advancement.”

Conover said while balancing the multiple aspects of her life, she and her father would dedicate Saturday mornings to studying for exams. She said these mornings helped with their schoolwork, and in building their relationship as well.

“The conversations always got sidetracked which just led to laughter. I think the donuts during study time also assisted in us having good moods,” Conover said. 

Conover said taking the first step to complete an MBA can be intimidating, but it can also bring new opportunities. She believes this program made her a more well-rounded marketer, and her main goal for getting the MBA is career advancement. 

“Start now,” Conover said. “No matter when you want to start, you have to take that first step.”