Get Your MBA in Transportation

A trainyard at sunset, just after a storm. A rainbow arcs across the sky.

Want to go into business? According to experts, the transportation industry is a smart choice.

Phillip Marx is earning his master of business administration degree at Northwestern University in Chicago. He’s already worked for two major players in the transportation sector: Union Pacific Railroad and Delta Airlines.

Phillip Marx, Northwestern University Student, MBA in Strategy and Finance.

Click a button to watch an interview with Phillip Marx:

“I think transportation definitely offers some great opportunities for up-and-coming students,” Marx said in an interview with Fast Forward.

Marx earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University and began working for Union Pacific right after graduation.

“I was able to spend a few years there getting to know the transportation industry, understanding what it takes to operate this huge network across 25 states and thousands of miles of track. I was really able to learn a lot there,” he said.

As he had planned, Marx returned to school after earning a few years of real-world experience. He chose Northwestern with the idea of continuing to advance in the transportation sector.

“One of the reasons I chose the MBA I chose was Northwestern has a fantastic transportation center,” he said.

Recently, Marx accepted a job with Delta Airlines in the finance and financial planning department. There, he will help Delta make decisions and investments that are good for business in both the short- and long-term.

“Strategy and finance is really understanding the direction a company’s going, and how to get there,” he explained. “What steps we need to take to make sure that we’re implementing the right procedures and policies that get us where we need to be.”

In his conversation with Fast Forward, Marx described the type of student who might enjoy working in transportation business as one who likes to solve problems.

“Someone who likes analyzing a problem. …Someone that would enjoy numbers. That would enjoy approaching a business solution and working with business partners, be it in operations or different parts of a business, and understanding what’s going to be the best outcome for the company,” explained Marx.

Marx said that he thinks the transportation industry is a particularly good option for business-minded students, because it’s a growing industry with tremendous staying-power.

“Transportation—getting stuff from one place to another—is always going to be there. It’s always going to be a necessity,” he said. “So if you can get involved and be a transportation professional, you know, in some way, shape, or form, that you’ll be able to have a job. And be able to contribute to the economy and what society needs.”

He added, “Getting involved in a growing industry that we know is going to be there for a long time is a great opportunity for students today.”

Marx’s advice for Fast Forward readers is to pick an industry, like transportation, that offers long-term opportunities.

“One of the things I’d recommend is to look at where you can make a career, not just where you can get a job. Jobs tend to be more temporary but a career tends to build on itself over time. Look for something that you think you’d be a good, long-term fit for, and then figure out what it takes to get there,” said Marx

Check out Marx’s video to see clips from his interview!

Aaron Mack
Fast Forward: Volume 3 Issue 6 – Maritime & Rail