The first thing Dr. Gregory Moody wants students to know about his course, EMBA 704 - Technology Innovation: Theory and Practice, is that you don’t need a technology background to succeed.
“Students see the word technology, but it’s not about spreadsheets, databases, or mathematical models,” he explains. “This is a strategy course for anybody with decision-making responsibilities, so they can understand innovation, adapt and manage it, and lead in their companies.”
Like all Executive MBA courses, Dr. Moody’s technology class is designed to help students make an immediate impact in their careers. For that reason, he tries to keep things practical and challenges students to identify innovations within their companies and their industries, so that they can more easily anticipate how their roles and responsibilities will be affected.
For Dr. Moody, the course represents not just his love for the subject matter, but also another step forward in his lifelong learning journey.
Q: How did your career path lead you to the EMBA program?
Dr. Moody: “I started as an IT auditor at KPMG and I wanted to earn my master’s degree. My senior manager said if I’m working and earning a paycheck I’m not going to want to go back to school, so I should just do it. I earned my master’s (in Information Systems Management) and my Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh (in Management Information Systems), and then I did another Ph.D. in Finland, specializing in cyber security. I then returned to Nevada and became an assistant professor at UNLV, and the last professor teaching the EMBA course recommended me for it. I’ve been teaching this course since 2017.”
Q: Why do you think someone should pursue the EMBA?
Dr. Moody: “There are two key reasons. One, you are exposed to a cohort of students, and you’re able to build your network. Networks are so important, they enable you to switch positions, build a support system, and make friends. It’s about who you know, but not in a bad way. There are a lot of smart people out there, and you can’t know everything, so you need people you can rely on.
“Secondly, the EMBA allows you to increase your skill set across the swath of business. Students usually come in understanding one area – finance, marketing, human resources, etc. – but they gain a larger understanding of how things work and interact. It makes you a better manager and a better leader.``
Q: Why is this course such an important part of the program?
Dr. Moody: “All industries are impacted by technology. Every student is going to experience some level of interruption. It’s up to the manager to understand and evaluate those changes so they can make decisions.”
Q: What do you love about teaching?
Dr. Moody: “I love the students. They come in knowing what is valuable and what is not valuable, and they can share things from different perspectives. It makes for a livelier discussion and a lot of real-world examples. That’s not something you can do – even in a master’s program – when students don’t have that experience. Together, they develop a dynamic of trust, and they help each other out.”