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Leading the Pack: Russell Thornton

Russell Thornton is a 2018 Jenkins MBA alumnus. Thornton is now senior corporate council for Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. He says that, one key element of choosing NC State for his MBA was the opportunity to complete a dual degree program with Campbell Law School. The program merges the fields of business administration with careers in law and public service, enabling students to earn both degrees in four years of full-time study, rather than the usual five.

In the following Q & A, Thornton goes into more detail about why he decided earning an MBA was the right fit for him, advice for prospective students, and the highlights of his student experience during his time at NC State.

Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?

A: The dual degree program with Campbell Law is what appealed to me the most.

Q: What did you enjoy most about your time in the Jenkins MBA program?

A: I enjoyed working with Dr. Kuzenski as his Graduate Assistant. Of course the job helped pay for tuition and other expenses, but it was more important to me that I was able to work closely with a fellow attorney.

Q: What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?

A: Network, network, network.

Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?

A: As an attorney by training and by heart, NC State’s MBA program enabled me to better understand my business colleagues. For example, I am able to speak the language of finance, comprehend the concepts of marketing, and appreciate the importance of supply chain.

Q: What do you miss most now that you have graduated?

A: The thing I miss most is being in an collegiate atmosphere. One day, I would like to be a professor of law, specifically business law.

Q: What are a few of the most impactful classes/lessons you learned during your time at NC State?

A: Corporate Finance, Investment Theory, International Finance, Data Privacy & Security

Q: Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work and how COVID-19 has impacted it? As well as how the MBA has helped prepare you navigate during these times?

A: I am Senior Corporate Counsel for Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. My company develops point-of-sale solutions for retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Kohls, etc. My focus is on contract negotiation and intellectual property.