Kylo Williams

A higher calling for higher education

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It’s said that the only constant in life is change, and for Kylo Williams (DBA ’18) that couldn’t be truer. The Texarkana, Texas-native spent his early life traveling around the nation as a military brat. The moving didn’t stop after he joined the United States Army in 1997 and later in his life in corporate America.

Amongst all of his moves, and current home base in Atlanta, Williams found a place where he felt he belonged – the University of Florida Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program.

“UF was a natural fit,” he said. “The school just ‘felt right’ when I came to visit and learn more about the program. Not only from the immersion on campus, but the faculty, the vibe, the culture, it just called me.”

With aspirations to continue in higher education as a researcher and faculty member when he finishes his time in corporate America, coupled with his love of learning, Williams felt the Doctor of Business Administration was his next best move.

“I’ve always felt a higher calling to do and achieve more on a personal level,” he said. “I studied the [DBA] program before actually making a visit, and met with Dr. Selcuk Erenguc [Senior Associate Dean, Director of the Hough Graduate School of Business, and George W. and Lisa O. Etheridge, Jr. Professor]. My sit-down with him was warm, friendly, energizing and enough to cement that I wanted to be there.

“I did look at competitive schools and programs, but the chance to study at a world-class business school like Warrington was too much to pass up on.”

When Williams started the Doctor of Business Administration Program, he felt prepared to take on its trying academic and research demands thanks to the seven years he spent as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army, including time as a Fire Support Officer, Platoon Leader, Adjutant, Attack Aviation Fire Support Officer and, most recently, Battery Commander in Iraq from 2003-2004.

“I chose artillery because it offered a chance at leadership in a combat arms branch of the Army, while also having a technical side that kept the job motivating and challenging,” he said. “When I think about some of the things that I have seen, experienced and achieved in the military, all other things seem relatively manageable in comparison. The DBA program is tough, rigorous, and time intensive, and the tough conditions that I faced in the military prepared me for this program.”

Since completing his Doctor of Business Administration in 2018, Williams has continued in his current role as Area Vice President for Field Service at Hillrom, a global medical technology company that supports patients and caregivers with proactive and reactive servicing of medical equipment, as well as dip his toes into a career in higher education, which he couldn’t be more excited about.

“I am not waiting to put my degree and experience to use!” he said. “In addition to my busy and travelling full-time role, I started as an Adjunct Professor at a four-year college not far from my residence. This is my first foray into higher education on the other side of the desk!

“This role is giving me valuable experience for my second career in 10 to 15 years.”