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Drawing a Bigger Picture of Business Success With an Online MBA

August 17, 2021
Photo of Luke Gray in a tuxedo

Luke Gray, MBA ‘21 candidate, is a business-focused creative who knows how to capitalize on his talents and maximize his time. In addition to being an entrepreneur and a teacher, Luke is a dedicated artist. In total, he has worked at Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Comics for over half a decade. In his role as a senior digital production artist, Luke specializes in creative, marketing/branding, and product development. During his time at these top companies, he has been involved in several blockbuster projects including Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam.

For all he has achieved so far, Luke is not resting on his professional accolades. "Despite my title, I take on a variety of business, creative, and operational responsibilities," he says. "I manage over thousands of digital products on several distribution platforms, manage vendors, work with independent contractors, develop operational standards and procedures, help produce content, and more. Additionally, I pioneer the digital landscape with our various teams to best position our company for the future."

Luke’s indomitable drive and willingness to do more are helping him pursue another key piece of the mosaic for his evolving professional picture. Luke is currently completing an Online MBA at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Read more to learn how Luke, a standout student at CSUMB, is adding the Responsible Business Online MBA to his noteworthy achievements and busy business life.

An Online MBA Program Exceeding Expectations

With a full calendar of creative and business endeavors, Luke isn't shy when it comes to sharing what first drew him to the CSUMB Responsible Business Online MBA. "The flexibility, the ease of networking, the savings in commute hours, the enhanced learning experience through technology, and the countless conveniences are all key benefits. Not to mention the appreciation I get from my family and dogs!"

It helps that the program has been delivering where Luke needs it to. "So far, my expectations have been exceeded by this MBA program!"

What exactly was on Luke’s Online MBA expectation list prior to joining the program? Luke cites three specifics he was seeking and how CSUMB’s Responsible Business Online MBA is fulfilling them:

Better Business Tools

Luke’s first wish was to gain "more effective tools to become more efficient and effective at my workplaces." Luke has been able to build the efficient, effective business tools he can use in his professional day-to-day. Luke Gray points to topics—not just courses—in the program that have had immediate real-world application. In his Information Systems course, he learned several key Excel formulas that he was able to “apply immediately to increase my work’s efficiency."

Day-to-Day Business Applications

As a practicing entrepreneur with existing business acumen and business interests, Luke also wanted to learn best practices for running and executing successful businesses. For Luke, CSUMB’s online coursework is already showing ROI. "The MBA's proven methodologies and agile methods which teach students to efficiently run business operations have proved beneficial," he says. "Every class has something I can use to enhance my work and projects." Luke has been using his newly acquired ability to quantify and evaluate working units in operations to identify the best and most efficient route for execution. “I was able to use this skill set in my own startup to identify and improve efficiencies within my own operations," he says.

Networking Opportunities

Lastly, it was important for Luke to be part of an MBA experience where he could expand his professional network by meeting students in the program—even in an online setting. He says that his MBA networking opportunities in the program have been, “abundant.” Since starting the MBA, Luke has made close friends and new connections with the program’s talented cohort. He credits CSUMB’s numerous networking events, collaborative projects, club meetings, and workshops for these networking successes.

Charting A Responsible Business Path

CSUMB's Online MBA’s Responsible Business curriculum resonated with Luke from the start. He believes responsible business practices should be integral to the fabric of all businesses. He appreciates that the responsible business practices he is learning from the university’s caring and responsive professors in his CSUMB Online MBA courses will prove worthwhile for years to come. "CSUMB provides a responsible path for businesses to best position themselves with the changing tides," he says. "Businesses, like individuals, have the ability to actively improve the quality of lives around them."

Luke feels more companies can improve in this area of their business practices. "Most businesses are not aware of the great benefits of responsible businesses. The responsible business focuses on the quintuple bottom line, where profit, people, planet, ethics, and equity play significant roles in creating long-term practical values for consumers and society." Luke hopes to help businesses in the future with the responsible practices he has learned during his MBA studies.

It’s been equally important to Luke that the companies he works for are ethically-minded as well. "At Warner Bros., I would recycle large amounts of discarded paper by repurposing them into notebooks and sketchbooks that our coworkers would use for note-taking and drawing.” For Luke, supporting smaller steps of responsibility, on the employee-level, shows a company is willing to take significant steps towards sustainability on a much larger scale.

As is to be expected from a responsible business advocate like Luke, he is actively practicing the tenets he upholds as important for responsible businesses. In his own creative/marketing venture he runs with a few business partners and in his work projects, he looks through the responsible business lens taught in the CSUMB Responsible Business Online MBA.

“Whenever I approach any topic, whether in business or personal projects, I now use the responsible business approach to ensure thoughtful decision-making,” Luke says.

Designing A Responsible Business Future

In the short term, Luke’s positive MBA experiences have made for rewarding educational and business experiences he can use each day. "This education has equipped me with practical daily applications for work, useful operational strategies, a strong network of like-minded peers, and a responsible lens for careful consideration in every subject matter.”

In the long term, he hopes to run responsible, creative businesses which provide entertainment and educational value to families and businesses through innovative technologies.

Luke Gray urges others to join the MBA program which he describes as valuable, applicable, and engaging for business practitioners at all levels of experience. “CSUMB provides all the ropes and guidance for students to learn, engage, network, and grow. The flexible program allows for anyone from beginners to executives to master subjects at their own pace. I highly recommend CSUMB’s Online MBA program.”

Build Your Better Tomorrow

Design the career and life you want with the Responsible Business Online MBA from California State University, Monterey Bay. Balance your career and busy work life with our 100% online curriculum, focused on the increasing impact and importance of responsible business.