A tale of two Baylor EMBA grads: Different stories, same dream
Post-grad degrees are not for the faint of heart. They require hard work, discipline, and late nights; Baylor’s Executive MBA program is no exception.
While some pursue their MBA straight out of undergrad, some take time to establish families and careers, returning years later for a shiny new degree. Ahad Rehmatulla and Marc Fergason are two such students graduating from the program this month. While they have different stories, both remind us it’s never too late to achieve our dreams.
Rehmatulla (pictured above left) currently serves as vice chief of staff and medical director of the inpatient care unit at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Waxahachie, Texas. Throughout medical school and his early career, he saw how policies impacted doctors and patients. After being out of school for nearly 10 years, he sought out an EMBA to learn how to manage the process.
“I wanted to learn how policies impact an organization from a business perspective, then learn how to affect change instead of just reacting as a physician,” says Rehmatulla, who already had degrees from Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and Texas A&M. “The business topics we studied — specifically, the unique and complicated financial structure of the healthcare industry — helped me better understand the clinical realm.”
Aside from the projects required to complete the EMBA program, Rehmatulla has been on the front lines of COVID-19. He’s used the knowledge he acquired through the 21-month program to create and lead the COVID task force in Waxahachie.
“I think I’ve aged 10 years in the last two months,” he says.
Fergason (pictured above right) has a big heart for Baylor. His daughter, niece and nephew all are Baylor Bears, and that family connection inspired him to apply for the Baylor EMBA program. After years of what felt like tragedy and disappointments, he was ready to chase a lifelong goal.
“The EMBA program challenged me from day one,” says Fergason. “I was the oldest in the program — turning 50 right as we began — and was balancing a family and a new full-time job… This weekend, this graduation, is something that I have looked forward to for 31 years. I laughed when I did the calculations in our finance class about the return on investment for the cost I am putting into this program at the age of 50, but this is way more than that. This is a dream and a lifelong goal.”
Fergason has worked in the oil/gas industry his entire life, and he looked forward to learning how to propel his career. He used the time in the program to study his industry from a business perspective and to engage with other disciplines.
“The best part of the program was connecting with my classmates, hearing their stories,” says Fergason. “It is kind of surreal that this is all ending… It is sad that we didn’t have our last class weekend in person, and we had to cancel the trip and delay the graduation, but at the end of the day, we have made lifelong friends, and we have our master’s, which is a big deal.
“Receiving this degree is a dream come true. I’m so thankful to be a part of the Baylor Family.”
Both students have managed their lives, careers and academic ventures by maintaining a positive, thoughtful attitude. We’re so proud of the work they’ve done, and we can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Sic ’em, Baylor graduates!