Alumni: Chip Morris

Name:  Chip Morris
Degree(s) Earned:  BA in Economics, BA in Business Administration
Graduation Year(s): 2001
Current Profession: Airline Pilot

We’d love to share more about your professional success with our current and future students – please describe your career path to this point as well as your current profession:

I started my aviation career flying traffic patrol for a local radio station, and later began flying skydivers and flight instructing.  After graduating from Drury, I continued gaining experience by assisting in operating and managing a corporate jet for a locally owned company until 2003.  At that time I began flying for a regional airline and in 2006 began a career as a First Officer at a major airline.  Currently I’m employed by United Airlines as a Captain on the Boeing 737 operating both domestically and internationally.

How did your experiences in the Breech School of Business prepare you for your professional career?
As a Captain, management and leadership skills are essential in maintaining safety.  Many of the classes at Breech involve group exercises and projects that helped me to develop confidence in assuming a leadership role, while still being open to the input and ideas of others.  In addition, the open door policy and social involvement of many of the professors provided an excellent template to follow in developing my own leadership style.  

Were there any specific courses or areas of study that were especially useful to you?
One course that stands out in my mind as being particularly useful was Organizational Behavior.  I still apply many of the concepts presented in that course in my aviation career.  Crew Resource Management and Threat and Error Management are the tools that I use to Identify, Prepare, and Repair the challenges that are presented to me each day while flying.  These specific strategies build on the general ideas that were presented in that course.

Do you have any favorite memories inside the Breech building?
I enjoyed telling jokes and laughing before and after class with the professors and other students.  I also liked the occasional tangent from traditional academics that took place when a real-world current event applied to the material we were covering.  Many professors spent time studying and discussing the situation. 

What advice would you offer to a new student beginning their course of study in the Breech School of Business?
Don’t be afraid to take a tough course if the content seems interesting.  I took several Economics courses as electives even as a Business major, and found my enthusiasm and interest in the subject matter overshadowed the inherent challenge.