Alumni Spotlight: A digital nomad’s experience with an online MBA

Corwin McCammonThe Professional MBA Online program at Florida International University (FIU) provided alumnus Corwin McCammon an anchoring experience while he traveled the world, studied and worked as a digital nomad.

Digital nomads – travelers who telecommute to class, work or both – reduce their material possessions down to the bare necessities to fit their on-the-go lifestyle. No cars, no homes, and, most importantly, no limits. When adventure calls, digital nomads like McCammon are ready to answer. After deciding to pursue digital nomadism and embracing the necessary shift to minimalism, McCammon packed up his remaining belongings, told his family about his plans and enrolled in an MBA program that would allow him to study and travel the world simultaneously – FIU’s Professional MBA Online.

“I chose an online program because I wanted to pursue international consulting opportunities and experiences while completing the program,” said McCammon. “The Professional MBA Online is one of the few programs I found that really was designed for someone who’s going to be traveling non-stop.”

When McCammon said “non-stop,” he really meant it.

“I was fortunate enough to live and work in 9 countries during my two-year degree program,” said McCammon.

During the first few months of his program, McCammon first traveled to South Africa, then to Eswatini, and then to the island of Mauritius. Studying in Eswatini gave McCammon a first-hand perspective with the international and moral business questions his cohort faced in the MBA program.

“Eswatini was hit hard by the AIDS epidemic. I remember being in Professor Miriam Weismann’s class, and one of our assignments was that we had to pretend to be one of the pharmaceutical companies deciding whether or not to offer low-cost HIV medications to countries in Africa,” said McCammon. “It was so interesting to have that as a homework assignment and then be staying at an Airbnb where the host worked for the public health organizations that were there. They were able to tell me: ‘You don't understand how bad it was and what we were going through.’”

“It’s one thing to view an assignment as a story from the past, but it’s another thing to put a real face to the story.”

Throughout his travels and MBA program, McCammon cultivated a career passion for electrification: the process of replacing technology that uses fossil fuels with technology that uses electricity. When the opportunity to attend the National Black MBA 2020 Conference and Career Fair arose, McCammon worked with Cristina Aballi, assistant director of FIU’s Business Career Management office, to polish his resume and cover letter in preparation for the virtual event. McCammon connected with a representative recruiting for Chrysler (now part of Stellantis). Eventually, McCammon was offered a career shift into finance.

“That good financial background from an MBA that I got at FIU opened a door for me,” said McCammon. “My boss’s boss pulled me aside and said they wanted to offer me a mid-level position within finance. I was sitting there thinking about how I’d never done finance, but they saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself yet. They offered me a job as a model controller managing the production budgets for two vehicles (Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee).”

Working as a model controller managing the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee unified McCammon’s passion for electrification with his business career aspirations.

“Our company is really dedicated to embracing electrification and taking it to the next level. I'm building the electric vehicles of tomorrow. I’m responsible for not only managing the checkbooks for the current vehicles in production but also for planning for years to come,” said McCammon.

“I’m responsible for millions of dollars of production, and my FIU degree set me up to be able to do it and do it well. ”

After graduating with his MBA, McCammon decided to continue his education by pursuing a PhD in Business Administration and Sustainable Finance while he works for Stellantis and continues traveling.

About the Author:

Marisa McGrady is a writer and content specialist. Her passion for higher education brought her to FIU, where she works as the junior content strategist within the Chapman Graduate School of Business. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, or otherwise engaging in or creating worlds of her own.

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