What degree are you pursuing and why?
I am pursuing an MBA for several reasons:
- I believe in continuous learning throughout one’s career and that you learn the most when you can combine practical experience with theory to understand the “whys”.
- I enjoy meeting others outside of my organization, learning what they do and how they do it.
- I was interested in a career change from detailed and focused work to big-picture thinking.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business over others?
There were several personal reasons that led to my decision:
- A strong university, local, and connected to the Charlotte area.
- A very high value per dollar spent on the program (good value for the tuition cost).
- The flexibility of the program, both in the number of credits taken per semester, as well as a variety of courses and concentrations (which I didn’t see in other local programs).
What lessons have you learned in your courses that you were able to apply on the job?
My current role is mostly strategy, mixed in with economics, policy, and business development within the renewable energy space. In a job, you tend to learn how your organization looks at and solves problems. When you take courses and interact with others outside of your organization, you learn how others have tackled issues, and ultimately where your organization is strong or can be improved. Once you start identifying solutions to your organization’s problems, you become invaluable.
What activities are you involved in when not working/studying?
I attend events or festivals in the Charlotte area, try new restaurants, walk to the park, and take a couple of vacations each year to a different state or country.
What has been the best part of your academic experience so far? Is there a particular “a-ha moment” that will stay with you after you graduate?
At orientation, our guest speaker spoke about finding that “sweet spot” in your career – the intersection between doing what you love, what you’re good at, and what compensates you well. I think this is a really important message for your entire career.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone considering a master’s program?
The programs are flexible enough where it is up to you to make your own experience. There are plenty of career and networking opportunities, speakers, and other events available and communicated to students. You can attend and enrich your experience, or you can just attend class and go home. It is up to you.
How has the Belk College of Business assisted in your career growth?
I've changed jobs since starting the program and I believe that the MBA played a big role in landing the position. From the business coursese, to an elective in energy, to career services helping with my resume - it came together.
What is your most important piece of advice to an incoming graduate student?
Don’t pursue an MBA to fill a couple of lines on your resume and expect that it will get you a job or a promotion. Pursue it to really learn something that you’re interested in and can add value to an organization. Be open-minded and try to ignore the instinct of looking at things solely through your own experiences and industry.