MBA Student Proves That Business Wisdom Starts With Asking the Right Questions

– Business Simulation Helps Prepare Tomorrow’s Business Leaders with the Confidence to Act and React Quickly –

AURORA, Colo. – January 29, 2013 – If Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group, lost it all, what would he be doing to come back?

Thanks to Cheryl Ayres, a student in American Sentinel University’s MBA degree online program, LinkedIn users were able to learn about Branson’s secrets to success. This is because Ayres followed a basic business principle: business wisdom starts with asking the right questions.

Ayres was one of four LinkedIn members who were able to pose questions to Branson as part of an interview to commemorate his latest achievement of becoming the first LinkedIn Influencer to cross the 1-million-follower mark.

Branson sat down with LinkedIn and answered four questions from LinkedIn members, which included Ayres’ question: “If you lost it all what would you do first to recover?”

Branson’s answer: “You have to define what success is. I’ve spent a lifetime creating things that hopefully I think can make a difference to other people’s lives. I’ve genuinely never set about to think of myself as a businessman. If I lost it at all I’m sure I’d want to carry on creating. Most of my time is now spent creating not-for-profit ventures like The Elders or Carbon War Room or Center for Disease Control or trying to protect species. That’s where I get my main satisfaction from. And somehow, even if I didn’t have any money, I’d continue to do that.”

LinkedIn readers may never have been able to hear Branson’s response to that question if Ayres had not been sparked by a recent challenge in her MBA business simulation class.

“Our professor mentioned several times that the course would be one of the toughest and at that moment it felt more like a test – and I didn’t do well at all,” says Ayres.

She took a short break on social media, seeking some inspiration. It came in the form of a Twitter post from LinkedIn’s executive editor, who sought questions for Branson.

The question Ayres sent was an echo of her own concerns.

“Business professionals and leaders of today can no longer ‘learn on the fly’ since there simply is not enough time for that,” says Val Gokenbach, business program chair at American Sentinel University. “Business simulation exercises prepare tomorrow’s business leaders with rapid learning and application of concepts in a safe environment. This provides the experience and the confidence to act and react quickly once in the real business setting.”

Gokenbach notes that business classes in American Sentinel’s program provide the foundational learning necessary to understand all aspect of the business world. In tandem with the simulation approach, students – like Ayres – are well prepared to lead the future of business and have the confidence and knowledge to truly make a difference in anything they choose to do.

Ayres later realized that she hadn’t really needed Branson’s insight, as she came to the same conclusion herself when rising to the challenges presented in her simulation class: keep plugging away.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online business degree programs focused on the needs of complex and dynamic market sectors. Business offerings include MBA online degrees, MBA health care and business intelligence degrees. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.