Wednesday, January 9, 2013

MC degree leads to successful business ownership

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Kathy Hughes is a smart, independent businesswoman, who always knew she wanted to manage her own company helping people. So, in June 2012, Hughes, along with her business partner, started Moxie Insurance Agency in Odessa.

Hughes said, “I was in banking for nine years prior to getting into the insurance business. I enjoy owning a business and helping people with assets and protection.”

She discovered that Midland College’s (MC) baccalaureate program in organizational management definitely helped her succeed in the more intricate aspects of business management. The 33-year-old single mother of two graduated from Odessa High School in 1997 and immediately enrolled in Odessa College; however, simultaneously starting a family and going to school was difficult at the time. She dropped out of college until 2007, when she resumed pursuing a business degree at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB).

“While I was taking classes at UTPB, I heard about MC’s bachelor program,” explained Hughes. “I liked the idea of the flexible ‘hybrid’ classes, and the instructors were friendly and really wanted to help me succeed. So, I enrolled at MC. I can honestly say that Dr. Jeff Crain was the BEST teacher I ever had. He made it worthwhile to make the trip from Odessa to Midland. Dr. Crain’s lectures were ‘down-to-earth,’ and he made things fun!”

Crain passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in summer 2011; however, students still fondly remember the one-time lead instructor in MC’s baccalaureate program. Today, his legacy continues at MC, as one of his former students, Amme Cole, has assumed the lead instructor position.

Cole was also one of Hughes’ instructors in the program and fondly recalled, “Kathy was always a joy to work with and really personifies what we look for in our students. She was eager to learn, engaged and a good teammate.” Today, under Hughes’ keen business management skills, Moxie Insurance Agency is thriving. Hughes and her partner have recently expanded their business by purchasing another Odessa independent insurance agency. Hughes said she owes a great deal of her company’s success to the training she received in MC’s organizational management program.

“The courses taught me how to manage day-to-day operations,” said Hughes. “Instead of just reading and memorizing a textbook, we participated in team simulations that focused on real-world scenarios. Those simulations helped me with planning. Also, the flexible class schedule made it easy for me to finish my degree.”

Besides owning and managing her own business, the single mother stays busy with her two children—6-year-old Tyler and 4-year-old Tinley. She also enjoys riding her Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle and plays golf.

Hughes stated, “I believe in working hard, but still having time to enjoy life. Thanks to MC’s baccalaureate program, I am able to have a successful business that allows me resources to enjoy my family and have fun.”

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