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Grace Alumni SpotlightJim Banks, Indiana State Senator

Grace College Online alumnus Jim Banks is a Republican in the Indiana Senate. Banks represents District 17, which includes Wabash County and portions of Whitley, Huntington and Grant counties. He is also a commercial real estate broker and U.S. Navy Reserve Supply Corps Officer.

Jim Banks_GraceBanks decided to pursue his Master of Business Administration when he jointed the military. “I was pursuing my commission as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer, and it is highly recommended for military service members on this track to obtain a master’s degree,” Banks said.

“Having a master’s degree is a great asset when seeking advancement in the military, as it is in civilian life.”

Banks first heard about Grace College’s online MBA program through a recruitment mailer. “As I researched my options, it was clear Grace had the best, most affordable program which fit my education needs,” he said. Banks opted to take the program online at Grace. “The online program best aligned with my busy lifestyle as a state senator with a young family. The only way I was going to be able to obtain my MBA was through an online program.”

Banks credits his educational experience at Grace for helping him with his political and military career. “I have always had conservative instincts, but pursuing my MBA at Grace provided me with a well-rounded education with a strong scriptural foundation,” he said. “I was able to grasp a worldview and defend my political positions as a state senator, which I believe is a unique quality of a Grace MBA. Also the business component of my MBA was essential as a U.S. Navy logistics officer while handling billions of dollars of requests for equipment for the Afghan National Army government and police.”

As a result of his military leadership in Afghanistan during Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel, Banks received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. In order to serve in Afghanistan, Banks took a leave of absence from September 2014 to May 2015. His wife, Amanda Banks, was elected by prescient committee officials to serve as interim senator while Banks served in Afghanistan. Politics brought the couple together when both volunteered for a congressional campaign in 2000, Indystar reports.

The time spent at Grace has helped Banks advance in his career in public service. In May 2015, he announced his intention to run for Indiana’s Third Congressional District.

“Throughout my time studying at Grace, I gained so much more than just an affordable degree,” Banks said. “My MBA from Grace has given me the knowledge and understanding to defend my political positions and beliefs as a Christian and a conservative.”

Learn more about the online MBA from Grace College.

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