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Alumnus Chris Pearson uses MBA to transition from public to private sector

Chris Pearson

Chris Pearson's journey from corrections officer to private brokerage consultant wasn't easy, but it was definitely worth it.

Chris spent his 20s advancing within the public safety divisions, emergency management agencies and law enforcement positions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But as he approached 30 and thought about settling down, he began considering a career change. While his time in the public sector proved a great learning experience, he realized his career opportunities were limited and constantly in flux, depending on the political climate at the time and the agenda of the current elected officials.

So Chris, who completed his bachelor's in business management earlier in his career, decided to pursue a postgraduate degree. Although he was initially unsure about which career he'd pursue, the international consulting work he performed during his tenure as a state employee helped him decide on an MBA. Chris had worked with clients in Europe and Asia, and coordinated a domestic sales force spanning 15 states.

“Learning about international business and how different countries and cultures conduct business differently than our domestic market made me want to educate myself to become knowledgeable in that area,” Chris says. “Earning my MBA was the right direction for me to take.”

He enrolled at New England College of Business in January 2011 and spent two calendar years taking courses, putting his young kids to bed at 8 p.m. and then studying from 8:15 p.m. to midnight every night.

“The first couple of months were really tough for me because I was so out of touch,” Chris says. “I told my wife, 'I don't know if I can do this.' I had to stick with it.”

But Chris's hard work, and the support of his family, paid off. He graduated in 2012 and spent the next three years in the public sector so he could be eligible for early retirement. After accepting his early retirement incentive, he started at the Nery Corporation, a business brokerage and intermediary firm. In his role as an associate, he offers advice and consulting services to business owners and investors looking to buy and sell companies, and also provides valuation services.

“Without the MBA, I would have never been hired, and I would not have the knowledge or confidence to meet with these business owners,” Chris says. “I went from talking to inmates on a daily basis to talking to CEOs on a daily basis.”

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