Benjamin Shu poses for a photo in his US Air Force uniform in front of a military plane.

Why this US Air Force officer joined the Master of Science in Management program

Benjamin Shu is a current Master of Science in Management (MSM) student and member of the U.S. Air Force. Read more about Shu, his role in the Air Force and why he chose to pursue his Master of Science in Management.

Benjamin Shu takes a selfie giving a thumbs up while flying in a military plane.

Q: Tell us about your background.

Shu: “I’m from Newton, MA, and attended the United States Air Force Academy (Class of 2020), where I majored in Mechanical Engineering along with a minor in Japanese. While I was at the Air Force Academy, I got my first exposure to airmanship to include flying a glider, an airplane, and parachuting out of an aircraft 5 times all by myself. I also had the opportunity of traveling to Kanazawa, Japan, to study Japanese for 1.5 months and stay with a host family. My hobbies include playing basketball, watching basketball and football, as well as investing.”

Q: Why did you join the MSM program?

Shu: “I joined the MSM program because I wanted to pursue a master’s degree and always had an interest in business and finance since college. I was fortunate to be stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa for my casual job last year before I started pilot training, so I was qualified for in-state tuition, and also took the classes remotely from home after work and on the weekends.”

Q: What do you enjoy the most in the MSM program?

Shu: “What I enjoy most about this program is the flexibility it allows me to finish this program. If I’m busy with my job or have other priorities to take care of, I can register for just one course a semester, or skip a semester and resume taking courses within a full year in order to retain my eligibility as a part-time student.”

Benjamin Shu poses for a photo while skiing on a mountain next to a ski run trail sign that reads "Ben's Face"

Q: What advice do you have for undergraduate students who are thinking of doing the MSM program?

Shu: “My advice to undergraduate students thinking about this program is if you have a passion for leading others, leading change in organizations, or developing an entrepreneurial mindset, then this is the right program for you. Also, if you have work or other commitments during the week like me, the online program is the way to go since courses are asynchronous and you turn in your assignments by the end of each week.”

Q: Tell us about your service in the military.

Shu: “I’ve been an active-duty Air Force officer for over a year now. I moved to Oklahoma this past May and am currently in the midst of the yearlong pilot training program. Being in the military can be a demanding job at times, but it has opened up many opportunities for me such as funding my master’s, further advancement of my Japanese proficiency, and the sense of camaraderie I feel with those around me makes this job special, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else!”

Q: Tell us 3 cool things about you.

Shu: “I speak 4 languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese). I’ve pulled 6 G’s in a plane. I’m scared of heights but somehow, I decided to jump out of planes and fly planes (crazy, am I right?).”