Preparing for Entrepreneurship Through an Online MBA
Michael Del Re ’24
It’s always difficult to balance a career with young children and the demands of everyday life,” he says. “I’ve taken time off and have had plenty of moments where I just wanted to give up, but, in the end, it will all be worth it to have powered through.
As an Army veteran with top-secret clearance, Michael Del Re ’24 MBA is a perfect fit in his role as a business analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton, working with government customers and vendors of software companies to integrate their software into the government system.
But Del Re is an entrepreneur at heart with designs to start his own golf-related entertainment business. To prepare for success, he’s earning he’s earning an MBA from the Whitman School online program in the entrepreneurship track. “This is my avenue to start my own business, become my own boss and live life the way I want to live it,” he says.
Del Re attended Old Dominion University as an undergraduate. That was shortly after 9/11, and when the United States invaded Iraq, Del Re joined ROTC. He graduated in 2007, received his officer commission and in 2008 was sent to Afghanistan, returning in 2010.
Del Re completed his military service in 2015 and was accepted into Whitman’s online MBA program in fall 2018. But shortly after, he was diagnosed with tongue cancer, requiring two surgeries and six weeks of radiation, which forced him to postpone the start of his coursework. Not too long after starting classes, his second child was born, followed by several moves caused by the reassignment of his former spouse, who was still in the military. And, he also got sick again and was hospitalized for several weeks.
“I was actually taking classes from my hospital bed,” Del Re recalls.
Fortunately, parts of the online program are taped and can be accessed on demand. Del Re typically fulfills his weekly in-person requirements in the late evening, after his kids are in bed.
Now on track to complete his degree in May 2024, Del Re concedes it hasn’t been an easy journey.
“It’s always difficult to balance a career with young children and the demands of everyday life,” he says. “I’ve taken time off and have had plenty of moments where I just wanted to give up, but, in the end, it will all be worth it to have powered through.”
Particularly valuable have been the courses in entrepreneurship, which Del Re plans to draw from to launch a family-friendly tap room with recreation activities centered around golf.
“I live in Pinehurst, North Carolina, which boasts one of the most famous golf courses in the country and attracts people from all over the world to our little town,” he says. “Having a business that caters to that clientele is my goal, and the MBA is adding to my own project management experiences to prepare me for success.”