Chair of Business Administration Department; Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Michael Oyster, a 1977 Olivet College alumnus, led a storied career before returning to his alma mater to serve as professor of business administration. Oyster is responsible for teaching courses, leading the Phi Beta Lambda honor society for business majors and minors, and working to increase experiential learning opportunities for Olivet’s business students.
As a former CEO of publicly traded and private companies, a multinational corporate executive and entrepreneur, Oyster brings a wealth of experience to the college’s Business Administration Department. Oyster sums it up like this: “I was a business guy.” He worked for AT&T, the world’s largest corporation at the time, for 20 years, and has worked for mid-size businesses, both established and start-ups, and experienced all facets of the business world including helping them through IPOs and significant financing transactions. He went on to build and run a small software company and became the CEO of a public corporation, becoming experienced in mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate restructuring. Finally, he started his own company as an entrepreneur, making use of the learning and relationships gained throughout his career.
It’s that corporate and entrepreneurial experience that prepared Oyster for his most recent venture: teaching. He thrives on seeing others achieve their goals, passions and dreams. Oyster believes investing in others’ achievements is key to individual fulfillment and hones your own skills and abilities as a leader. Oyster says that part of his investment includes sharing with students the important skills of becoming an effective and successful business leader. In return, he says, students must be willing to work hard toward their goals.
To students hoping to pursue a business major at Olivet College, Oyster’s advice is simple: “Work hard with me, be confident, ask questions, discuss and share with others, and engage. It might not always be apparent how the pieces connect, but they all do lead to a better understanding of the topic or skills of any given course.”
Oyster earned his Master of Science in management at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Business and completed the Executive Program for International Management at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, as well as the AT&T Leadership Development Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.