Alex BilliasMaster of Science in Management Studies Nahant, MA
“I didn’t want to do the science thing… I needed to find a way to pivot,” says Alex Billias
“I didn’t want to do the science thing… I needed to find a way to pivot,” says Alex Billias, “I was lacking those skills.”
Billias was a physics and philosophy major who knew his track after undergrad was either pursue his PhD or teach. He knew he wanted something a little bit different and was craving a practical experience where he could grow.
In Nahant, Billias ran his town’s sailing program and managed about twenty-five kids in the program. He says of this leadership experience, “I loved that responsibility. It was always something I connected with, but never had a forum to apply it.” That was until he found MSMS.
He turned to Questrom’s unique Master of Science in Management Studies program to add real-world business experience to his resume before starting on the job hunt. He says, “gaining real-world skills prior to (a job) is really valuable.” The MSMS curriculum includes three modules where students work closely with real company partners. Billias says this component of the program adds great value, “having worked for these three companies gave me more than having a straight academic experience.” He says the in-depth exposure that this provides is incredibly useful, “It’s really just getting a sense of what it’s like to work for a company like that in practice. You get that insight into the actual challenges they face.”
“They understand that learning is something you have to take ownership of to be successful,” says Billias about the professors of the program. He says, “We joke and call them Mom and Dad.” All jokes aside, MSMS professors give students the support they need while giving them the space needed to make the most out of the program. Billias explains, “They’re a good balance between hands on and hands off.” He says, “they give us tools, they’re there to guide us. That’s been a valuable thing so far.”
Another valuable piece to the program has been the community it provides. “It’s a lot like your middle school homeroom, everyone’s really close.” Everyone coming together from a non-business background also adds another really cool element. “The difference in perspective has made working in a business program interesting,” says Billias.
MSMS forces you to take charge of your own education, Billias says, “It forces you to take your education into your own hands and it was effective.”
An unconventional business student himself, Billias says he has some advice for undergrads considering their next step, “There are bits of business in everything,” he says, “You need some practice with exposure to business.”