After accruing 25 college credit hours in high school, Dylan Carnahan came to Avila University to pitch for the Eagles ahead of the academic curve.
“I was playing with house money,” he said. “I spent time studying for school and playing baseball like I planned until COVID-19 happened. I had another year of eligibility, because I had redshirted a year.
“I decided to go for the added degree because I knew it would be easier while I was already in that collegiate world.”
Carnahan graduated from the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance program at Avila in May 2021. He graduated with his undergraduate degree in marketing the previous year.
“I wanted to understand finance,” he said. “Wealth management and creation are important topics for personal and professional environments. I was trying to bolster my knowledge and understanding of these areas because of their importance.”
The decision paid off quickly for Carnahan, who landed a position as a consultant for the Cerner Corporation (now Oracle Cerner) in Kansas City the same month he graduated with the MBA.
“It’s a fantastic differentiator to have that bullet point alone,” he said. “The experiences and knowledge I gained going through the process of earning a master’s degree was greatly beneficial.
The online format helped Carnahan balance work and school while still making time to run the Simple Questions Podcast, which he started in 2020. The podcast shines a light on the world’s leading experts by asking them simple questions. Through his athletic and professional connections, he has had two World Series champions, international bestselling authors, C-suite executives and many others on as guests. Avila’s online program format allowed him to juggle all these responsibilities.
“The online format was manageable and flexible, which was great because I had a lot going on,” he said.
Out of the Bullpen
Carnahan was born in Kansas City but grew up in Olathe, Kansas. Although his undergraduate degree was in marketing, he is working in a different area of business now.
“It’s extremely rewarding to collaborate with others in strenuous environments when you get it right,” he said. “In my specific industry, I work on a contract with the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense. It’s a challenge that allows me to develop my skill set.”
Although not all the MBA in Finance coursework applies to his current role, Carnahan still gained valuable knowledge. He especially enjoyed Marketing Management, International Finance and MBA Capstone courses.
“In my current role, I don’t do many things that are related to marketing, but the tenacity required to complete tasks and work with others is the same.
“International Finance is a valuable course. There is a lot of great information being disseminated. The projects and assignments you must do drive you to understand the content being covered.
“The MBA Capstone course was extremely difficult, but half of the course was in a group environment. That was the most difficult group assignment I had, which parallels what I do now, being in a group environment under pressure.”
Carnahan believes that earning an MBA in Finance set him up for success straight out of college and in the future.
“Going through this program, I learned things I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise,” he said. “I received a great level of foundational knowledge that I have taken and built off of during my professional career.
“I want to continue collaborating with people on complex problems — that’s my favorite thing to do.”
One of the first graduates of the online version of the MBA in Finance program at Avila University, Carnahan celebrated by walking the graduation stage for the first time in person.
“It was fun,” he said. “I did not have an in-person ceremony in 2020, but it was great to reconvene in 2021 and capitalize on that moment — especially with the stakes being higher. It was a nice cap to my collegiate career.
“It’s a major accomplishment. People knew the knowledge that I acquired would benefit them, as well.”
The commitment level Carnahan made as a collegiate athlete also served him well as a student in the online master’s degree program.
“You have to be prepared to make a commitment to further your knowledge,” he said. “Then you must hold yourself accountable because that’s how you get the most out of your opportunity.
“If you do those two things, you prime yourself to be successful in the program and utilize that knowledge you receive.”
After earning two degrees and a successful college baseball career since arriving at Avila in 2017, Carnahan wouldn’t trade one minute of his experience.
“The MBA program has tremendous value,” he said. “I was grateful to be part of it. I had a fantastic time at Avila.”
Learn more about Avila University’s online MBA in Finance program.