Alumni Spotlight: Gregory A. Beck '88

Greg Beck gives Drury a lot of credit for the success he’s seen in his career. It was Drury’s well-rounded program of study that gave Greg the opportunity to learn about other subjects and establish a wide variety of professional skills.  

Greg Beck credits a great deal of his success to his Masters in Business Administration degree from Drury.  It hangs proudly on his office wall, alongside his Bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University, where he graduated with a degree in Computer Information Science.  Unsure of what path his career would take, he went to work for Keltner Enterprises after college where he worked for several Drury alumni. They recommended Drury to continue his education and the flexible evening schedule was the perfect fit. After ten years at Keltner, Greg felt it was time for a change. 

In 1994, Greg bought a popular bakery in Springfield called Julie’s Chewies.  After five years of growth and success, he sold the business and joined the Information Technology team at O’Reilly Auto Parts Corporate Offices in 1999. Because of his Drury MBA, his mentor at O’Reilly’s asked him to do a business analysis on the Purchasing Department.  This moment made Greg very grateful for the “well rounded” Drury education he received.  He could have studied information technology specifically, since that was his field, but Drury did not offer that.  What Drury offered, Greg said, allowed him the capability to understand broader subject matter and hone different skills.  “The MBA program is so well-rounded that it gives you the opportunity to move wherever you want to go. You’re not locked in to one thing.”  From there, he accepted a position in the purchasing department at O’Reilly Corporate and is now the Vice President of Purchasing. 

Greg’s steady rise throughout his career is no coincidence.  Through his education and work, Greg has developed three guiding principles that he feels has helped aid in his success. The first is hard work. There is no substitute for it. Show up on time and go the extra mile.  Next, continue to learn.  Whether it’s maintaining current regulations for your industry or just keeping up with economic trends, always seeking out new information is key.  Finally, speak your mind and offer ideas. Not every idea is good, and that’s okay. Failure is part of growing. 

The small class sizes and professors like Dr. Curt Strube helped him create life-long friendships and connections that he maintains still today. Greg is an active member of the United Way and Rotary and encourages students that are considering Drury for the MBA program to “take advantage of mentorship opportunities and to get connected. It’s who you know that can make all the difference.” Greg is married and has a son. The Becks enjoy traveling, and cite Australia, New Zealand, and Greece as a few of their favorite destinations.