2019 Best EMBAs: Joshua Quantz, Ohio State (Fisher)

Joshua Quantz

The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

“Natural leader and protector; strong, yet compassionate; witty personality; curious, loyal, and trustworthy.”

Age: 43

Hometown: Lebanon, Ohio

Family Members: Michelle (wife) and sons Hunter (19), Colton (17), and Tyler (7)

Fun fact about yourself: Awarded Bronze Star Medal in Tikrit, Iraq on September 11, 2003 – exactly two years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks

Undergraduate School and Degree:  

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership from the University of Texas at El Paso
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati

Where are you currently working? U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel serving as a Director for Strategic Plans, Policy, and International Affairs (J5) on a Joint Army and Air Force Staff

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Youth Football Head Coach – 8 seasons
  • Lebanon Warrior Youth Football League Board Member – 4 years
  • U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot’s Service Academy Selection Board – 6 years
  • Mentor high school students through the Service Academy and ROTC application and interview processes – 5 years
  • Lebanon City Schools “Men in Uniform Reading Program” and multiple speaking engagements/career days throughout the school year – 10+ years

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I did not intend to coach football during the 2018 season because of my school, overseas travel schedule, and time commitments. I was contacted and asked to reconsider by the athletic director; they really needed experienced youth coaches. I agreed to head coach the 7-8-year-old team and ended up leading them to the semifinals (where we lost by 5 points to the team that ended up winning the championship). This was a tough four months! In addition to practices, I commute 200 miles round trip per day to my office.  I am most proud that I actually survived it…my wife thought I was insane. Coaching is much more than teaching football, it’s about mentoring and developing our youth. Helping them learn about teamwork, accountability, resiliency, and commitment will serve them well in life. Getting the chance to provide a positive influence in a kid’s life makes it all worthwhile.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I was selected as Director for Army Operations and Training (G3), as a relatively junior Lieutenant Colonel, over several more senior Colonels. Being chosen for this highly competitive, sought-out position (a Colonel’s billet) by an Army General that I greatly respect so early in my career is one of my proudest moments.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Entrepreneurial Finance. I had no experience, outside of the television show Shark Tank, with it prior to this class. The course had the perfect mix of lecture, case studies, guest speakers, and business visits.  This is exactly the type of experience I expect from a top business school. Visiting venture capital firms and spending time with VC industry leaders were some of the EMBA program highlights. Learning about the process, funding rounds, the importance (and subjective nature) of valuations were not only interesting but also very insightful for someone like me who is considering starting up my own business in the future. A course like this can’t be taught from a textbook. It has to be experienced.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business is the best business school in Ohio and one of the top schools in the region. What I experienced during the EMBA program preview day and application process was nothing short of first-class. I really liked that the program was case study based and how selective and deliberate they were when building cohorts. My cohort had a great mix of industries and leaders. The professional experiences and academic backgrounds of the professors were also strong selling points. The immersion trips to China and Hong Kong sealed the deal.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Engaging with and learning from my cohort peers and professors. They were an absolutely amazing group of accomplished professionals, most of whom have become life-long friends.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The differences between private and public sector financial management, specifically congressional appropriations, are tremendous. Learning the relationships between income statements, balance sheets, and cash flows, and how to interpret, challenge, and question the information was by far the most valuable lessons learned. This is true especially for someone transitioning from military to civilian careers. The military manages budgets against spend plans with a primary focus on execution – in no way is it as complicated as managing P&L in the private sector. My increased confidence and acumen in corporate finance and accounting is noticeable in my interviews with civilian companies. I am excited to apply this knowledge in my next career.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? I travel monthly overseas for work, mostly to Europe. I quickly learned to turn those trips from sightseeing adventures into opportunities to get ahead in my assignments. This was tough because I love to travel and explore – not do school work in hotels and airports. I would pack my carry-on and checked baggage with books and assignments. Having the discipline to do school work while traveling created more time for my family when I was home.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Take full advantage of the school’s preview days – sit through a class or two and speak with the current students and professors. Take the test drive before buying!

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? I won’t be able to juggle school, career, and personal life.

Having completed graduate school once already, I knew it would be even more grueling this time in an executive program, having older children, a ridiculously long daily commute, and more responsibilities as a senior leader. I WAS RIGHT! Having the support of my wife, children, and boss made all the difference in the world. Prioritizing every minute of the day, spreading myself as thin as I could, and having the discipline to follow a routine got me through it. There will always be reasons why the timing isn’t right. You can’t listen to them.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I really wish I would have stayed on campus in the Blackwell Inn during the monthly resident weeks. I opted to save money and stay off campus.  Looking back, I feel like it was a missed opportunity to socialize, network, and build camaraderie. I let cost deter me.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? (Trey Addison. Knowing some of Trey’s life story and the challenges he had to overcome to get where he is today is inspiring!  He is truly a self-made man. The sharing of his personal and professional experiences as a lobbyist, congressional staffer, and now in the private equities game contributed greatly to our class discussions and my learning. He is smart, experienced, well-spoken, humble, and a professional in all aspects of the word.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I finally made the decision to retire after twenty years in the Army and pursue a second career in the private sector.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Business Ownership – grow my wife’s small business into a full-time family business.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Josh Quantz was a great teammate, I really wish he was still on our team.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Visit Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Visit Madagascar

What made Josh such an invaluable addition to the class of 2019?

“I have been involved in higher education for over 18 years and have rarely met a student with the natural leadership skills that Josh Quantz possesses. His drive and intelligence are only surpassed by his humility and desire to protect and lead others to their potential.

Josh had one of the more challenging schedules outside of the classroom. With constant International/domestic travel, military duty, and coaching a youth football team, many students marveled at Josh’s work-life management skills. In the classroom, I was most impressed at Josh’s innate ability to quickly and efficiently, access and synthesize information, in both oral and written form.

Josh’s twenty-year career in the Military was both welcomed and valued by the cohort. It was made clear to me why he was so successful in his military career. His quiet yet commanding presence consistently led and supported the cohort in their learnings and classroom discussions. Specific quotes from classmates include:

“Josh brought a different viewpoint to the class that enhanced our learning and opened our eyes to different ways of thinking.”

“Josh is an honorable man. A true leader.”

“Both in and out of class shared relevant perspective and insights. Demonstrated a willingness to challenge his own thinking, while remaining true to his values.”

Josh has a clear bias for action and always took personal accountability. He raised the bar for the entire EMBA cohort given his high standards of excellence which he practiced both inside and outside of the classroom. I was not surprised his classmates awarded him the “EMBA Student Recognition Award” which is our top EMBA student award nominated and voted on by the cohort.

I am proud to know and to have learned from Josh. It was a privilege to have him in the classroom and be a part of the EMBA Class of 2019.  It is my hope that we continue to bring in such high caliber individuals.”

Daniel D. Oglevee, MBA
Executive Director, EMBA
Sr. Lecturer, Finance
Department of Finance
The Ohio State University

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF THE BEST & BRIGHTEST EXECUTIVE MBAs OF 2019 or RANKING THE BEST EMBA PROGRAMS IN THE U.S.