From Blue-Grass to Capital Grad School: Jay Donovan shares his experience as a graduate student

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It’s never too late to go back to school, and Capital alumnus, Jay Donovan, is proof of that.

Years after finishing his undergrad at Otterbein University, Donovan decided to pursue his Master of Business Administration in Marketing at Capital.

“I had friend that had gone through the program, and they spoke highly of it,” Donovan said in regards to what led to his decision to choose Capital’s graduate program. “There was a wealth of information and resources available on how to get started and how to complete the application process.”

Donovan also mentioned location as another factor that played a role in choosing a graduate program.

“It was close to where I worked at that time, so it was easy to swing by after work for a few hours every night,” he said.

Like many graduate students who take time off from school after finishing their undergrad, Donovan was juggling school with a full-time job and a family at home.

“Two kids, working full-time and freelancing full-time as well. It was a lot,” Donovan said.

Outside of school, Donovan managed to find time to pursue some interesting hobbies.

“I’ve been a lifelong musician. I played bass guitar in high school. During undergrad, I did study, informally, the upright bass,” Donovan said. “I went through the School of Rock. I played in a bunch of bands.”

One of the most prominent bands Donovan has been a member of is blue-grass group Bucktown Kickback.

“Originally, I was more into punk-rock bands, but I found that I enjoy blue-grass as well. It’s fast paced; kind of like the punk-rock of country music.”

During his time with the band, Donovan stated that he would often travel the country, performing at up to 75 shows a year.

“I was working 40 hours a week, then piling into a van on Friday and driving to shows in North Carolina, then coming back on Monday,” Donovan said. “It was very hectic, but awesome.”

Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of Donovan’s musical career is that he managed to use it to his advantage for the graduate program at Capital.

“It was actually my MBA entrance essay. It was about how driving 30,000 miles in the van with those dudes made me a good candidate.”

When asked what advice he has for anyone who is considering going to graduate school with a full-time job, Donovan suggested, “Sleep. Sleep for a whole year before you go to school.” He added, “It’s definitely doable. Don’t let people who are afraid of the workload with their jobs scare you off. It’s a lot of work, but I feel like Capital’s program was designed to fit someone like me.”

Today, Donovan is a freelance writer for TechCrunch and a freelance Creative Lead for Abbott. You can read Donovan’s work and learn more about him at

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