Student Profile | Edward Ziembinski

Earning an MBA, even in a war zoneEdward Ziembinski

Six months ago Edward Ziembinski thought the chances of completing his coursework while serving his country halfway across the world were remote.

Shortly after being deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry captain in the U.S. Army, Ziembinski realized through technology and assistance from student services that he could continue pursuing his Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in international business at Baker University. He has completed one course online and has two more classes to finish before graduating in May 2010.

“I suspended my enrollment when I deployed because I did not believe I would be able to complete classes online while I was here,” Ziembinski said. “However, I decided that I would go for it and it’s been working out so far. It has been challenging, especially in a war zone. It is possible to keep up if you don’t mind giving up on sleep.”

Ziembinski, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international business in 2002 from Baker while being an active member of Zeta Chi fraternity, completes his coursework through Baker and Army email and the Moodle course management system.

In his first deployment to Afghanistan, Ziembinski is the current operations mentor to the regional headquarters for the Afghan National Police in Kandahar. The headquarters has the command and control responsibility for 15,000 Afghan National Police in six provinces that make up southern Afghanistan.

Dedicated to the military, Ziembinski has served seven years in the Army. His father, also a Baker alumnus, was in the U.S. Army for 30 years before retiring. Several of their relatives also have military backgrounds.

“I felt that it was my duty to protect my home, family and personally earn the freedom that we enjoy every day,” he said.

Ziembinski, originally from Kansas City, Mo., plans to return in late April to his home in Overland Park. If all goes well, he will receive his master’s degree the following month.

“The Baker program has been very accommodating to my current situation,” he said. “We barely have any access to email in Afghanistan, but I have been able to keep up. The faculty and teachers have been very understanding of how hard it is to communicate back home.”