Carnegie Mellon University

John Campion | Part-Time Online MBA | Class of 2019

U.S. Navy Submarine Officer. Academy Instructor. Foodie. Explorer

My family defines who I am today. As the oldest in the family, I stepped into a leadership role early in life. Setting a good example for my siblings and ensuring that their needs were met led me to develop a servant leadership style, which I have exhibited in the Navy and look forward to displaying in the business world.

My sister (who is adopted from China) spurred my interest in U.S.-China relations. Facilitating her reunion with her Chinese foster family while I was working on my master’s degree in China gave me invaluable experience in bridging gaps between people of different cultural backgrounds. Seeing China develop as a maritime power drove me to focus the research for my undergraduate thesis on comparisons between the U.S.-Soviet maritime relationship in the Cold War and the U.S.-China maritime relationship today.

I have sought to continually develop my leadership skills — as a submarine officer in the Navy and political science instructor at the Naval Academy. These leadership experiences are invaluable, but I recognize that leadership needs to be finely tuned based on whatever environment you are working in. An MBA will give me knowledge and experience of leadership in a business setting and will give me the expertise needed to be a competent leader after I finish my time in the Navy and start a new career.

I’m recently married; we’re both foodies who love to cook together. I love traveling and hiking. From breath-taking hikes on my honeymoon in Hawaii to week-long treks sleeping in yurts in northwest China, I love to explore new areas off the beaten path.

Your Life + Tepper School

The Tepper School stood out for me based on the flexibility of the online program, its reputation for excellence and its location in the Pittsburgh area. While still working full time in the Navy as an instructor at the Naval Academy, I required a program that would give me the flexibility I needed to meet my work commitments while also preparing me to leave the Navy.

The online program provides this flexibility, while the Access Weekends have allowed me to cultivate friendships that I will be able to use in the future.

The Tepper School has confirmed its reputation for excellence. My instructors are at the cutting edge of research in their field and are highly committed to the Online Hybrid program.

The Tepper School’s location in Pittsburgh was also critical to my decision. My wife is from Wheeling, West Virginia, and we would like to be close to one of our families. Working in Pittsburgh would allow us to achieve this goal. Speaking with recent graduates from the Tepper School who work in the Pittsburgh area confirms the opportunities to use this degree to develop as a professional in this location.

My biggest concern with doing an online program was that I would not be able to collaborate and network effectively with the other students in the program. While this part of the program is a challenge, we have been able to develop relationships in our limited time together. The Access Weekends are a great way to develop friendships. The team-building activities in BaseCamp helped develop the initial bond, and the group projects we have undertaken display the challenges and benefits of working in a team at a distance. Having a class on managing people and teams early in the process, which had us develop a team contract, informed our group of the challenges of this type of collaboration but gave us the tools we needed to overcome these obstacles.