Working full time and pursuing two master’s degrees are not easy tasks, but graduate student Cordell Covington is not one to balk at a challenge.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2011, Covington enlisted in the Army, completed basic training and was deployed to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. There, he served as an operations and supply chain manager until 2016.
That’s when Covington jumped into a role with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Later, he took on management positions at Oracle and the Colorado Athletic Club. In 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic came into full swing and he landed a new job at a startup, he saw the transition to remote work and school as an opportunity to continue his education. “COVID hit, and I was like ‘Hey, perfect, I’ll go get my master’s degree,’” Covington says.
Attracted by University College’s hybrid and online classes, he decided to pursue a master of science in organizational leadership, with a concentration in strategic innovation and change. “I started that in June 2020,” he says, “and then it just turned into a double master’s.” A year into his studies, Covington was accepted into the professional MBA program at the Daniels College of Business. Optimizing his coursework around his passions, he added a custom concentration in sustainability.
When he graduates in June, Covington aims to put his DU education to work, but perhaps not on day one. He’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife and their two dogs, a Weimaraner named Storm and a German Shepard-Belgian Malinois mix named Atlas. He also plans to head for the mountains, return to the basketball court and perhaps take a vacation.
But before long, he says, “I want to dive into a new career.” He hopes for a position focused on diversity, equity and inclusion or management consulting. And with his passion for environmental and social sustainability, Covington has set his sights on making a substantial difference.
“I’m here to implement some of the positive change that we need in the world.”