MBA students listen to early career advice
from Oklahoma State alumnus Austin Murch
While students typically learn from leaders with numerous years of career experience, those attending the September 15 professional development course were given a chance to listen to early career advice from recent MBA alumnus, Austin Murch. Murch, a project controller with Sandia National Laboratories, was once the MBA Association president and received his MBA degree from OSU in 2015.
Murch began his talk by explaining how he learned from and embraced each obstacle he faced when going into the workforce.
“I took something from every stop, every challenge, and shaped my career path,” Murch said.
This led the discussion into the topic of failure and success. Murch suggests one way to overcome the feeling of failure is to change your outlook on situations because you may not be failing at all.
“What you think are failures are actually all learning experiences, and reassess how you view your own accomplishments,” Murch said.
Then, Murch began discussing how learning from performance feedback and others in the company can be essential. One of the traits employers have noticed about millennials is the difficulty new employees have accepting the feedback cycle in a business setting. They also noticed millennials may be ignorant of corporate life and have the outlook that they are the unique example.
Students enjoyed listening to someone who recently started his career, which is a situation most students will soon experience.
“It was exciting to see such a recent alumus from my program already excelling in a successful career,” Mason Evans, MBA student, said. “It’s a real life example of the success we all hope for, and it is really encouraging to see.”
Murch also gave general advice about failure and success.
“Passion is what drives your success and what moves you forward,” Murch said.
He also explained our biggest obstacles are our own expectations or lack of patience. It is important to keep in mind the lack of patience is not always a bad thing, but rather can strengthen drive.
On the other hand, Murch emphasized the importance of having patience during the first few years on the job.
“Embrace fresh experiences and take something from each situation, then use it to grow personally and professionally,” Murch said.
To conclude, Murch reiterated students and new employees should self-assess and learn from any experience. When self-assessing, be careful to not be too hard or easy on yourself while looking at success and failures. And finally, he emphasized that people should be a sponge and ask questions.
Regina Bockus, an MBA student, was intrigued by the experiences Murch shared with students.
“Hearing about not only his experiences, but also the experiences of his connections that are all at different points in their careers, made Murch’s speech especially informative and helpful,” Bockus said.
In Murch’s current role as a project controller, he works on earned value metrics in regards to cost and schedules for the explosive actuator components in nuclear weapons. Previously, he was a business management professional at Sandia National Laboratories, where he did financial analysis for explosive materials product realization teams. Murch completed his bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan in 2013.