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UT Public Safety’s Newest Grad: Corporal John Platt

UTPD Corporal John PlattCongratulations to our most recent Public Safety graduates! We are proud of your hard work and accomplishments.

UTPD Corporal John Platt earned a Master of Business Administration from UT Chattanooga.

What interested you in your degree? Several other officers at UTPD had gone through the same MBA program. I spoke with them about how the education helped their current job as well as created more outlook for advancement in their careers. At that point I was convinced the degree would be best for my career even if it meant exploring career options outside law enforcement.

 How does it help you in your work? The MBA program teaches you how to be a better leader and follower. In one of my classes I had to assess myself as a leader and allow myself time to self-reflect on my strengths and weaknesses. The coursework helped me understand the critical points that I needed to improve upon, as well as behaviors that I am proficient in. Another highlight of my classes was figuring out the right time to counsel or coach and how to do it with role-playing scenarios within a small group. This included tips on how to motivate others.

How has it expanded your worldview? One of the articles that caused a paradigm shift came from Amy Edmondson at Harvard Business Review. She explained how high accountability needs to be balanced with high psychological safety. I feel that this simple concept is often misunderstood or neglected in law enforcement and its practice can have significant benefits to managers who incorporate the principles of psychological safety.

How did you manage the work-life-school balance? With a two-year-old daughter, I found it tough to balance my schedule. I often felt discouraged to spend so much time on the computer working. So I tried to spend as much time with the family before I had to retreat to my office space (often late at night) to work on school assignments.

What tips do you have for UT employees interested in pursuing a degree? Do not delay your learning. A quote that comes to mind is from Warren Buffet: “The very best investment you can make is one that you cannot beat, cannot be taxed, and not even inflation can take away from you…Ultimately, there is one investment that supersedes all others: invest in yourself.”

 Now that school is done, what is a fun to-do on your list? There will be more family trips to Dollywood as well as vacations for my daughter to see Opa, Memaw, Papaw, and Lola (her grandparents).