Longtime musician and tour manager Jim Mayo was in the process of earning an MBA and excited about potential new career options in 2019. Then a serious accident turned his entire future into a big question mark.
Mayo was the tour manager for country singer Josh Turner when one of Turner’s tour buses veered off a 50-foot cliff, killing one and injuring six. Mayo sustained multiple serious injuries, putting his life on hold for months.
When he was able, though he was physically unable to return to his job, he was determined to complete his MBA. His professors at Trevecca were willing to work with him to make sure he made it to the finish line.
“After the accident I missed a course in business law,” Mayo said. “Dr. Rick Mann and Dr. Dean Diehl helped me get credit for my real-world experience dealing with contracts and writing agreements to cover that topic. Then I was able to take a different class and finish right behind my original cohort.”
The disabilities from the accident have continued to impact his life, so he decided to forge a new career path: teaching in higher education.
“I would like to teach music business,” Mayo said. “ I spent years managing artists, touring and helping them make records. That's my background and I think it’s something I could teach.”
With that goal in mind, he realized that most colleges and universities prefer an additional level of education for their professors. He decided to expand his options for future teaching opportunities, and he returned to Trevecca to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration degree, which he completed in 2023.
The most important skills Mayo took away from his two degrees was the ability to do research and write at a high level, expounding on complex subjects and summarizing research in a way that could be shared widely.
The flexibility of Trevecca’s advanced degree programs allowed Mayo to work toward something different, even when his busy career was taking him around the world.
“At one point, I was working full time as a touring musician internationally. So if I was in Switzerland and had assignments to turn in, I could still do my homework,” he said. “Even at my age, if you want to do it, with the technology, the help that you have and the experience of your instructors, you can do it.”