Double duty: In addition to working as team manager for Alex Tagliani’s No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins Dallara/Honda/Firestone, Rob Edwards is also in the process of earning his Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He began obtaining his MBA in 2008 while still employed at Walker
Racing. Since then, he’s worked as team manager at FAZZT Racing, which was purchased by Sam Schmidt Motorsports just before the 2011 season. “I think one of the important things, for all of us, is to sort of reinvent ourselves as we go forward through life,” Edwards said. “Racing forces us to keep doing that because every season there are new challenges. I think tackling the MBA is sort of the same view. It’s a chance to reinvent myself, if you like. I did all my schooling in the U.K. (United Kingdom) and so as I’ve been doing the coursework, it’s been a challenge to understand how the education system in America works. It’s been a great chance to meet a very diverse group of people outside of racing. So, it’s all about reinventing yourself and I think you get more experiences and you can then draw into what you do in racing. At the end of the day, running a race team is running a business and hopefully it makes one more effective running a business.”
Obtaining an MBA is challenging for anyone, let alone someone like Edwards who works in racing, which is notorious for its long hours.
“First, I don’t think you can do it without a lot of support from your family, so that’s been the number one thing that’s helped me achieve it. There have been a lot of sacrifices from my wife and my girls. It’s actually provided a good foil. As someone who’s not very good at switching off, I find it actually helps what I’m doing in racing being able to have something to keep my mind working away from the racetrack. And, likewise, doing the school work and the course work and being so intense at the racetrack with what we do, I find that it helps to actually provide focus in both areas. When you’re in Sao Paulo (Brazil) for example and you go back to the hotel at night, it’s a good way to keep your mind active, but in a different manner. I find it helps to keep me focused in both areas.”
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