EMBA Elite Spotlight: Nathan Chilcutt

Nathan ChilcuttProgram: Tuscaloosa EMBA (Class of 2013)

Education: Georgia Institute of Technology, BS, Building Construction; University of Alabama, M.B.A.

Previous Occupations/Experience: President, Housing Inc.; Vice President, New Home Building Stores

Current Occupation: Culverhouse College of Commerce, University of Alabama, Instructor, Operations Management

Why did you decide to teach? I’ve always enjoyed teaching. I’ve always found myself in a position of being a trainer and leaning toward teaching, whether it was coaching or Sunday School or at work. I’ve always enjoyed mentoring others and just kept pursuing the decision to teach.

Did an EMBA professor help you decide to begin teaching or impact your teaching methods? As far as helping me decide to start teaching, I’d say Dr. King in his Leadership class helped tremendously, and Dr. Strickland in his Strategy class helped lay out the path. Others, like Drs. Dulek, Ellinger, Albright, and Gray, whose personalities, temperaments, and ways of handling difficult course content and making them easier, showed me I could do this and take industry experience and apply it to the classroom.

Why did you enroll in the Tuscaloosa EMBA program? They accepted me! Seriously, the cost and national reputation was part of it, and it’s close. We were here; my wife teaches at the University. I looked elsewhere, and I just wanted a campus experience instead of an online experience. I’m teaching an online Introduction to Operations Management class now and I don’t see how people do it!

What was your favorite experience in EMBA? Just the fellow students and being able to interact with peers. I was kind of the old guy, and it was nice to see that I had life and business experience that I could use to improve and to help others with some of their business and class problems. Age has its benefits and I can actually bring something to the table!

What has been the most interesting part of teaching? The volume of work required! It’s been a good thing, but I’ve been an adjunct before, and it’s always been one or two classes and I’ve been surprised at the volume of work that’s necessary to do it well. There’s a great deal that goes on in the background that you don’t even think of until you’re teaching. It’s great to do and it’s a tremendous and worthwhile experience. Dealing with the students is a lot of fun, even the tough ones!

According to former students of Nathan Chilcutt’s:

  • “Hands down one of the best teachers in the business school!”
  • “Like all good teachers, he was less focused on what the book had to say and more focused on what we needed to know for real life applications.”
  • “Professor Chilcutt is one of the most helpful professors I have had at this university.”

What advice would you give to current EMBA students? Get to know your professors on a personal level, don’t just deal with them in class. Personal interaction is key; it’s amazing what these people can present to you and provide and want to provide because they want to give something. Get to know and interact with your classmates, ask a lot of questions and just be be open to the experience, that’s the greatest thing-just be a part of it.

For more information on the Executive MBA Program at The University of Alabama, contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501.

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