Jason Weimer: transforming with the times

Anna Johnston
17.04.2020·4 min read

Graphic designer Jason Weimer’s passion for business and entrepreneurship has led him to the other side of the world

When American Jason Weimer founded his company, Simple Group, he didn’t imagine that one day he’d be running it from Thailand. But then, he didn’t imagine he’d be doing an MBA either. Now, he’s getting himself a master’s degree to round off 20 years at the top.

“Business leaders have got to transform with the times.”

As a designer, Jason’s flair for business had always put him in a minority among workmates who were only interested in being artists. When he graduated in the nineties, graphic design as an industry didn’t really exist in the same way it does now. He saw an opportunity: commercial graphic design that connected the dots between art and business.

In the years between then and the beginning of his journey with Nexford, Jason started and owned several graphic design businesses, immersing himself in design thinking and design implementation. He saw how design and business not only could, but should, go hand in hand.

An MBA for busy business leaders

It was time to dig deeper. Jason decided that an MBA was the most powerful way to drive his career – and his business skills – to the next level.

“I couldn’t find an affordable MBA program,” says Jason. “I wanted an American University, but even the ones that were purely online wanted around $30,000 for the entire program. I don’t want to go into that type of debt, owning my own company and living overseas.”

He put the idea on hold until he saw an ad for Nexford pop up on LinkedIn. His graphic design eye liked what it saw: “The ad stood out because it was a very simple design just using yellow and black. Nexford does a great job communicating their products!”

Jason got to work researching the Nexford MBA, looking at the costs, how learning would happen and the structure of the degree.

“For me, the fact it was all online with no campus whatsoever, but with the ability to interact with other learners from all over the world, made it the perfect platform."

“I don’t know of another MBA that has a flat monthly fee, and that can save the learner money based on how quickly they complete their studies. The financial model is an example of great innovation. I just thought to myself ‘here are some really smart people thinking really differently.’”

Learning that’s dynamic, not dusty

When Jason completed his first course, he knew he’d made the right choice. “I just loved the content,” he says. “It was all so relevant. How it was put together – it’s just a great mashup! As we – all the learners together – find problems or try to learn things, we have a lot of different sources: online books, friends, mentors, coaches. It feels like the content has been put together in a way that reveals itself as we learn and seek it out. It’s not going to an old, dusty library.”

At university, Jason took a minor in business alongside his major in graphic design, but he feels that a lot was missed out of the degree. He says he learned nothing about the leadership and strategy side: how to take a business from one level to the next. Simple Group is seven years old and he’s keen use the knowledge he’s gaining from his MBA now to lead the “really good, talented people” he’s brought on over the years.

“I have a lot of responsibility,” he says. “We’re in three countries now: Thailand, Vietnam and the US and we’re trying to grow and do innovative things. The things I’m learning with Nexford are so relevant to where we’re at as a company.

"With what’s happening now with COVID-19, I’ve had the opportunity to lead through crisis, so my current MBA course – Leadership and Organizational Development – has been very helpful."

Innovation comes as standard

“The people I’ve employed think the same way: about collaborative leadership and continuous learning. How do I take an organization and make sure it’s organic? I don’t want to stay traditional and stuck in my ways. How do we attract good talent who believe in the vision and mission and don’t just come on board for the experience or the pay check?”

It was this sense of intrepid curiosity that led Jason to Nexford. “What was exciting for me, was that Nexford was trying something new,” he says. “There are a lot of people out there like me, who are looking for innovation, especially in education.”

After he started talking about Nexford in and out of work, two of Jason’s colleagues and a friend of his joined the MBA. “I think Nexford is the avenue to the future,” he says. “It’s just really, really exciting to be on board right now.”

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About the Author

Anna Johnston

Anna Johnston is an award-winning Head of Content, who tells galvanizing stories with a creative team at Nexford.

Anna was the overall Award 2020 winner for the business case: Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a Growth Mindset, with Professor Herminia Ibarra and Aneeta Rattan. She is formerly a writer at London Business School, consistently ranked among the world’s best its MBA.

Anna’s work has been published in Forbes, Thomson Reuters, Huffington Post, HR Magazine, the Financial Times, and thought-leading firms such as Accenture and McKinsey & Company.

Anna is a speaker, coach, and presenter. More information about her can be found on LinkedIn.

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