Spotlight: Graduate Ambassador James Liakos

By James Liakos, Master of Business Administration student

My journey at Wayne State did not begin as expected. During my final semesters in undergrad, I had been back and forth about going to graduate school. However, a big problem for me was that I was graduating with a degree that I was not completely passionate about. I have a finance degree from the University of Michigan; however, I had originally started my undergrad career as a biology major. This left me uncertain if finance was the career path I wanted to take.

Upon graduation, I accepted a position as a financial analyst with an automotive supplier that completely changed my view, and I ended up feeling confident in my choice of going into finance. But I was unsure about pursuing an MBA. I didn’t want to take on any additional debt, and I was currently traveling to different parts of the country for my job. Eventually, two years after graduating, I moved back to Michigan and settled in Detroit. I still had doubts about pursuing an MBA, but I always had this feeling that I wanted to go back to grad school, also my employer would pay some of the tuition cost. So, I enrolled at Wayne State University in the spring of 2019. This made sense since I was living and working in the city, I would be close to a campus that I had heard great things about and knew some of their alumni from work.

Enrolling at the university turned out to be one of the best choices I made in my post-undergrad career. The staff and community at WSU were more than helpful once I enrolled in the MBA program. My professors have been engaging and the support staff have always been helpful answering my questions. I like to talk about the community at WSU and how great it is because I did have some roadblocks along the way that would make things difficult. During my second semester, I had a major surgery that left me unable to attend classes for about three weeks. To my surprise, both my teammates in my class and my professor were more than understanding. This showed me that being a student at WSU doesn’t just open the doors to another degree, it also provides a valuable support system to help you along the way.

As for my MBA, I feel confident that this degree will help me pursue future career goals. I recently decided that I wanted to sit for the CPA exam. I let the chair of the accounting department know about this goal and he assisted me with getting connected to a faculty member that walked me through what classes I would need to take and requirements I would need to meet to sit for this exam. I am thankful that I chose Wayne State University.

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