Elevate your career with an MBA from Davenport University

Business professionals who want to take their careers to the next level often consider returning to school to earn their master’s in business administration (MBA) degree. This can seem like a monumental task, especially for those raising a family, juggling work commitments or both.  Davenport University has designed an MBA program with flexible start times and online options to put an advanced degree well within reach.

Those working towards an MBA from Davenport learn the skills necessary to elevate their careers, have a competitive advantage over other job seekers, and can expect to earn $3 million more during their career than those with a bachelor’s degree alone, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

Davenport’s MBA program is ranked #1 best online MBA program with no Graduate Management Admission Test and among the top three best online MBA programs in Michigan from onlinemastersdegrees.org.

One student who knows the value of obtaining an MBA from Davenport is Joshua Helmholdt.

Helmholdt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2002 and has been working as director of operations for Rivals, one of Yahoo’s sports media properties, for the past three years.

Rivals is a collection of independent publications that cover college athletic programs and high school athletics across the country. It is best known as a leader and originator of college football and basketball recruiting coverage, rating the top high school athletes who go on to play at the highest collegiate levels of their sport.

In his position as director of operations, Helmholdt oversees most of Rivals’ business aspects, including finance and marketing, and manages its network of 120 affiliate publications.

“I started at Rivals shortly after graduating with my bachelor’s,” said Helmholdt. “I have poured practically my entire professional career into this company and have formed many valued relationships. I am very passionate about the brand we have built and about continuing to make Rivals the leader in our space.”

Helmholdt knew that one way to continue growing the company was to grow himself as a leader. He had always intended to go back to school to get his MBA, which in turn would benefit Rivals, but the timing was never right until a few years ago.

“I actually spent the majority of the last 21 years since completing my undergrad as a sports journalist covering college football recruiting for Rivals, only moving back to the management side of our operation three years ago,” said Helmholdt. “I was finally at a point in my career where going back to college was possible.”

Helmholdt chose to continue his education at Davenport because of its close proximity to his home in Grand Rapids and Davenport’s strong reputation as a great school with a great business program.

“A lot has changed in the business world since I graduated with my undergrad in 2002, and I am interested in hearing academia’s take on where business is and where it is headed,” said Helmholdt. “I know many pursue an MBA to hopefully get a new job or advance in their career. I love my current job and am very passionate about leading our organization, so I am primarily pursuing my MBA to make myself better in my current role.”

Helmholdt said his MBA courses have already given him new tools and ideas to deploy in his current role, such as identifying his strengths and weaknesses as a leader and what areas of personal development he needs to focus on.

He expects to complete his MBA in 2026.

Jeffrey Van Den Heuvel is another student looking to take his career to the next level with an MBA from Davenport.

Van Den Heuvel earned his bachelor’s degree in business management online from Davenport while serving in the Air Force. When his military service came to an end in 2023, he decided to take advantage of the G.I. bill and pursue an MBA. While he had many schools to choose from, only one school came to mind: Davenport.

“Davenport was a great school, and it served me well when I got my bachelor’s degree, so of course, I wanted to continue being a Panther,” said Van Den Heuvel.

This time around, Van Den Heuvel is taking classes in person, which he really enjoys.

“One of the things I love about Davenport’s MBA program is that the staff have been extremely helpful, and the interaction with other students has been critical to my learning, said Van Den Heuvel.”

Van Den Heuvel currently works at General Electric (GE) as an aerospace lead customer order and fulfillment specialist. He knows an MBA will prepare him for his next role in the finance world, hopefully at GE.

“Earning my MBA will also show my two young kids that school is important, and they can do anything they set their minds to,” said Van Den Heuvel.

He will earn his MBA in Spring 2025.

To learn more about Davenport’s MBA program, click here.


Read about these other Davenport MBA grads and their exciting careers:

Nicole Williams, BBA ’04 and MBA ’21

Mark Vroman, MBA ’12


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