Vicky Weaver: A Growing Family and Career in the Jenkins Online MBA
As the longtime Assistant Director of Technology for GP Strategies, Vicky Weaver considered herself a “triathlete” of the learning and development software world.
“I worked in pre-sales and customer engagement, participated in requirements gathering, solution design and business process improvement, and led workstreams for data migrations, integrations and reporting,” she says.
But even with this extensive background and a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Weaver still felt something was missing –– business acumen. So in order to cultivate business skills and round out her professional expertise, she enrolled in the Jenkins Professional Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) at NC State.
Weaver was drawn to the MBA’s good reputation, fair cost and flexible scheduling, which proved to be helpful as she encountered a number of life changes during her time in the program.
“When I started the program, I was recently divorced and looking to fill my time as I furthered my education. As I progressed in the program, I met my current husband, married into a family with three teenagers, and we had a baby girl. On top of working full time, I was also working part time as a Les Mills® Body Pump and yoga instructor, teaching a few classes per week. The flexibility of the Jenkins MBA program became even more critical as I progressed through those life changes, and I love that it is now designated as a STEM program, adding to its already great reputation.”
During her time in the program, Weaver met a number of great professors and fellow students. The Raleigh Residencies, two three-day events where online MBA students gather on NC State’s campus, allowed her to network with peers and take interesting leadership courses. In addition to these benefits, the program’s digital format played to Weaver’s strengths.
“I’ve been working from home for more than eight years, and I love that classes were recorded so that I could work on them during my work breaks or on weekends,” she says. “I admit it was hard at times, especially when I went from being single to having four kids and a husband. Time management was critical –– I had designated times to study, and my husband was a huge help in protecting that time.
“Working with larger groups was especially hard since then there were even more schedules to coordinate,” she adds. “In those instances, I tried to be as flexible as possible, stress individual contributions where we could, and communicate often. At this point, I’ve gotten so used to managing my time that I don’t know what I will do with all this extra time!”
Weaver found career enrichment as a result of her hard work. With her new knowledge and skills from the program, she landed a new position as Manager of Technology-Based Learning at KPMG, located in Charlotte. In her new role, she is nurturing her professional interests. These include inspiring teams to work collaboratively and effectively, improving processes, designing solutions and consulting on Learning and Development software implementations.
“I enjoyed my time in the MBA program. I do believe it contributed to my recent job offer, where I have the opportunity to participate in strategic planning and roadmap development.”
As an online student, Weaver took advantage of the Jenkins MBA’s unique resources, including the Career Center.
“Lisa Batts and Ed Kato at the Career Center made a huge impact in helping me strengthen my resume, sharpen my interviewing skills and think through offer negotiation. I thank them wholeheartedly for their time and effort.”
Her advice to others considering continuing their education? “Develop your time management skills, but also be flexible.”
“I would absolutely encourage others to take an online program. The recent pandemic has shifted the way we look at working remotely, and the Jenkins MBA program offers plenty of opportunities to connect with teams and professors. It also lets you manage the professional work/school/life balance to the greatest extent possible. Decide where your priorities are, and don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help from family and friends along the way.”
Are you interested in advancing your career? Explore the Jenkins Professional Online Master of Business Administration.
This post was originally published in Online and Distance Education News.