Born and bred in Connecticut, Cooper Mrowka, MSM ’20, barely knew anything about George Mason University before he reached out to their baseball coaching staff. Due to an injury that sidelined him for a season, he had graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass) with a year of playing eligibility remaining. The corner infielder seized the opportunity his baseball career gave him in furthering his higher education as Mason prepares him to pursue his dream job.
After completing his undergraduate degree in sports management at UMass, Mrowka was ready for a change of scenery. “All I knew about George Mason was that it was large and close to [Washington,] D.C.,” he says. “But through my research process, I saw how many opportunities both the school and region had to offer me as I looked forward to life after graduation.” His decision to transfer felt immediately validated from the collaborative work in his class cohorts to the relevancy of the course material to the expertise and support of his professors.
Continuing his collegiate baseball career was not the only determinant that pushed Mrowka to extend his studies. With the onset of COVID-19 canceling the rest of the baseball season, there was a silver lining that he could continue at Mason past his spring of 2020 graduation from the MS in Management program. Again, the support of his professors proved critical as he decided on the next steps he would take. “Professors Saul Garcia and Victoria Grady made themselves available via Zoom chat multiple times and really helped me choose a program,” he says. The program he ended up selecting was the graduate certificate in business analytics.
For someone whose undergraduate studies were in a completely different ballpark from business, Mrowka immediately recognized the benefits of his graduate coursework. “I feel so much more comfortable and prepared for entering the business world,” he says. “I recommend business graduate degrees, certificates, or even just courses to anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge of the workforce.” His professional goal is to work in the front office for a Major League Baseball or National Football League organization. The School of Business degree not only gives him the resume boost, but also the tools and preparedness.
Mrowka’s prowess on the baseball diamond has opened doors for him to elevate his learning and professional potential. He also found a way to turn the negative of the pandemic into a positive by advancing his education more than he ever imagined. “I find that being an effective teammate is an important trait in both sports and business,” he says. “We’re all working towards a common goal and each member has their own strengths, weaknesses, and things that make them tick.” Working in his class cohorts has given Mrowka the critical experience he will draw upon in boardrooms for years to come. The George Mason University School of Business has him ready for the big leagues.