How Two Alumni Used their University of Phoenix Education to Pursue their Passions

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University of Phoenix’s business degree programs can provide working adults with many of the fundamental business skills they need to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into successful small businesses. Two Phoenix alumni, Kevin Saucier and Bryon Davenport, have leveraged their University of Phoenix business degrees into thriving business ventures in collecting and restaurant promotion, respectively.

Solidifying a Passion for Collecting

For Saucier, who was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from University of Phoenix in 2014, a business degree was a way to develop his entrepreneurial vision of collecting and selling memorabilia from the Titanic. Explaining his and others’ ongoing fascination with the 1912 disaster at sea, Saucier said: “It’s a story everyone can relate to. It’s got love, fear, tragedy. … It’s really the perfect story.”

Collecting for Saucier became more than a hobby. It was a passion, and one he wanted to earn a living from. He immersed himself in the stories of the passengers, grew his collection and pursued a degree at University of Phoenix in order to better understand how to operate his business. He found the coursework which includes courses in strategic management, finance, marketing, ethical and legal topics, organizational project management, innovative leadership and other key topics to be rigorous. “I was working twice as hard as my kids, who were attending a brick-and-mortar university,” Saucier said.

The business degree, which provided him with skills in evaluating the effectiveness of various business strategies and integrating strategies into operations, helped him to grow his business into a recognized entity. His specialized collection, which includes original Titanic chairs, sheet music and game boards has been widely exhibited and led him to work with Titanic film director James Cameron as well as Robert Ballard, the explorer who discovered the Titanic wreckage.

An Innovative Way to Promote Restaurants

Davenport received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Phoenix in 2010. Raised in Mexico, he discovered a passion for food early in life, instilled by his mother. He learned Spanish and later joined the military, but found after reentering civilian life that his employment options were limited. He decided to focus on his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in business.

Davenport moved to Peru and attended culinary school where he developed his breakthrough idea: a television show focused on local Peruvian restaurants that would bring their cuisine and culture to a national audience. His show is called the Werito Show, and he uses it as a platform to promote restaurants across the U.S., Peru and other Central and South American countries, helping restaurants find new customers.

While developing the show, Davenport also pursued his master’s degree at University of Phoenix. He said the classes instilled him with skills that have been essential to the success of his business from collaboration to strategy and communication. Through all his life experiences, he has remained committed to his goal. “You’ve got to work hard in this life to get somewhere,” Davenport said.

Business Degrees at University of Phoenix

As these two alumni discovered, University of Phoenix business degree programs can bring structure and skill sets to business ideas and provide flexible, online classes that make completing a degree possible for working adults. 

There are numerous options within University of Phoenix’s business programs. The Bachelor of Science in Management, for instance, can be further specialized with electives in communications, computer applications, project management and more. Regardless of which track is selected, the bachelor’s degree program provides students with business fundamentals and a clear understanding of business principles and organization with courses in finance, marketing, innovative leadership, change management and macroeconomics.

There is also a faster-paced MBA program for those who have an existing undergraduate degree. The Competency-Based Master of Business can be completed in just 12 months, and there is also a traditional 16-month MBA program on offer.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to helping students navigate career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous in-demand career paths including in computer software, nursing and business, and they provide flexible start dates, online classes, and numerous scholarship opportunities to make it possible for anyone to get the degree they need to get ahead. 

In addition, the University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates with the resources they need to be competitive in the workforce for no additional charge. These services include resume and interview support, career guidance, education and networking opportunities. Numerous Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) provide University of Phoenix students and alumni with lifelong connections. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu