Nicholas Robertson came to Henderson State University to compete as a member of the school’s fishing team, but he isn’t finished curating the bait for his future career.
The Denton, Texas, native enrolled in the Master of Business Administration hybrid program at Henderson State University to set himself up for future success.
“Earning an MBA was in the plan all along,” he said. “I also applied for a graduate assistant position and got started with that recently. I love it. It’s a nice change from the physical labor I am used to doing.”
Robertson completed the Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Studies program at HSU and transitioned into the MBA program in August 2020. He is also working part time at Red Ball Oxygen Company in Shreveport, Louisiana, to prepare for life after college.
“I am interested in a potential career at Red Ball once I graduate with the MBA – it is definitely in my scope. But I am not opposed to exploring any other opportunities,” he said.
After four years as a Reddie, Robertson knew that he wanted to remain at HSU in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, for graduate school before joining the workforce on a full-time basis.
“I like how small Henderson State is,” he said. “I like the small-town feel. I like knowing everybody. I have met pretty much every single person I walk by on campus, one way or the other. My fraternity, Phi Lambda Chi, has also helped me get to know more people on campus, as well as increase my network throughout the community.”
Casting His Line
Robertson graduated from Lake Dallas High School, just outside of Denton. After the HSU fishing team reached out to him, he was eager to join and indulge his passion for fishing as a collegiate competitor.
“I toured the campus, liked what I saw and rolled with it,” he said. “My dad, Korey, got me into fishing when I was about 10 years old. I was on the Henderson State fishing team all four years.”
Robertson gained experience working as a technician at AGS Home Services in his hometown for two years and as a farm foreman for Kennedy Farms in Arkadelphia for three years while he earned the BBA.
Although Robertson is still in the early stages of the MBA program, he enjoys the online portion of the coursework — especially now that he is working as a graduate assistant.
“Online is a different way of learning that I like a lot,” he said. “Our classes also meet in person twice a semester in the hybrid format.”
So far, ACC 6123: Accounting for Business and Management is the only course that Robertson has taken in the MBA program curriculum.
“I loved it, and I hated accounting in my undergrad,” he said. “I am looking forward to any management-related courses, which is really all of them. There’s something to learn from each class, so why not make the most of it?”
Robertson hopes that by the time he completes the MBA program in 2022, he will be able to walk the graduation stage at an in-person commencement ceremony at HSU.
“I definitely will walk after I get my master’s degree — especially since I didn’t get to with my bachelor’s degree,” he said. “They set up a “walk across the stage” online for us, but it wasn’t the same as being there in person.”
Once that day arrives, Robertson will be the second person in his immediate family to earn a graduate degree. His mother, Kathy, graduated with her master’s from the University of North Texas in 2019.
“My parents are pretty excited for me to earn an MBA,” he said. “My dad owns a business. He has always told me, ‘If you can work for yourself, do it.’ I got my undergrad in entrepreneurship because I eventually hope to own my own business.”
Robertson, who also enjoys hunting in his free time, looks forward to building his foundation of business knowledge in a place that has become close to his heart.
“Having an MBA will open up some opportunities for me down the road,” he said. “I already feel like I have expanded my knowledge way more than I thought I would in a short amount of time.
“The best way I can describe it is that undergrad teaches you how to learn, while getting your master’s degree teaches you and lets you learn. I like the program a lot.”
Learn more about Henderson State’s online MBA program.