Poole College Celebrates Jenkins Graduate Programs Class of 2023
Meet eight remarkable students who will be hooded at the college's May 4 graduate commencement ceremony.
Before they cross the stage at Poole College’s graduate commencement ceremony in Reynolds Coliseum, eight master’s degree candidates share their stories of perseverance, opportunity and achievement.
They are part of an impressive class of graduating students who will participate in the college’s traditional hooding ceremony, surrounded by a crowd of family, friends, faculty and staff.
Meet Our Graduates
Noor Bokhari, Master of Management, Marketing Analytics (MMA)
An NC State Poole alumna with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Noor Bokhari says her favorite part of her Jenkins Master of Management, Marketing Analytics program experience was working with her classmates.
“It was interesting to see how we all were starting from different places and perspectives and what everyone was aspiring to do with their MMA degrees after graduating. There were so many various pathways I learned about that I hadn’t even heard of before.”
Bokhari says she appreciates the flexibility of the program, which afforded her the opportunity to take online classes.
“I also appreciated learning how each class topic applied in real-life scenarios whether that was through projects or case studies.”
I appreciated learning how each class topic applied in real-life scenarios.
Through the program, she gained new technical skills, such as learning how to use Tableau and SAS programming. And she says the application lessons were also very useful.
“For example, in my job currently I use Salesforce a lot for data management, and just this semester I took a class about customer relationship management, which is what Salesforce is used for. It was interesting to see how the data I am inputting is being used by the sales team as well as other teams that I am not a part of.”
Bokhari recently landed a new role with Premier Research and hopes to become certified in the technologies she uses most often.
Dharmika Choudhary, Full-time Jenkins MBA, Concentration in Supply Chain Management With Business Analytics Certification
One of the highlights of Dharmika Choudhary’s experience in Poole College was interning with Tesla as a global supply manager.
“This internship provided me with valuable hands-on experience in my field of interest and allowed me to develop new skills while working alongside industry professionals.”
She says the college’s emphasis on “the holistic development of its students” played a big role in her success.
“In addition to providing various resources and support services to assist students in achieving their academic and career objectives, such as career development programs, networking events and mentorship opportunities, the college prioritizes the overall growth of its students.
“This approach aims to equip students with not only the necessary knowledge and skills but also the practical experiences and soft skills needed to thrive in the professional world.”
This internship provided me with valuable hands-on experience in my field of interest and allowed me to develop new skills while working alongside industry professionals.
After graduation, Choudhary plans to move to another city to start a fresh chapter in her career.
“I’m geared up and ready to take on the role of product manager for a renowned automotive company. I can’t wait to shift gears and rev up my career!”
Brandon Frederick, Online Jenkins MBA
Brandon Frederick pursued his online MBA while working full-time, first as an engineer with Pella Corporation, then later as a project engineer with plastics manufacturer Core Technology Molding Corporation.
“Being in the MBA program has helped me understand that you can’t do what you need to do production-wise unless you develop a bond with each person … people respect you a lot more.”
As a former Army National Guard member, Frederick chose the Jenkins MBA program in part because it’s veteran-friendly. He regularly shares his career and graduate school experiences with a wide range of active-duty military members and vets.
Along with those connections, Frederick says his relationships with Poole’s Career Center coaching staff were instrumental to his success.
“It’s not people you have just a professional relationship with. It’s personal. It’s a family.”
Another highlight of Frederick’s MBA journey came during summer 2022, when he traveled to Munich, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic, for a study abroad experience that focused on innovation and marketing systems.
Frederick recently accepted a promotion to engineering manager with Core Technology Molding Corporation in Greensboro, North Carolina.
As part of his company’s Molding Kids for Success initiative — and in testament to his passion for supporting his community — he visits local middle schools to talk with students about all the possibilities of a STEM career.
“I’m so excited to be working closely with Jeremiah Foster on STEM education with Guilford County Schools,” he wrote in a recent LinkedIn post. The initiative is designed to “expose our underprivileged and underrepresented communities that STEM career fields have plenty of room for them and there’s a place for them at the table.”
Luke Hale, Full-time Jenkins MBA, Concentrations in Supply Chain and Technology, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization
To say Luke Hale embraced opportunities in Poole College during his time as a full-time Jenkins MBA student is an understatement. He was president of the MBA Student Association, a Jenkins MBA Admissions student ambassador, a Jenkins CMC employer student ambassador and a member of the Supply Chain Club.
“I was also fortunate to participate in the NC State I-Corps program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and I was a two-year participant in the IBM Pathfinder mentorship program at NC State.
“I liked the multiple opportunities to experience hands-on learning through practicums and extracurricular programs. Poole College truly embraces the ‘Think and Do’ attitude of NC State.”
A U.S. Army veteran, Hale earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Virginia Military Institute. He spent most of his 21-year military career in intelligence — a background that came in useful when IBM assigned him to research competitors to its automation business.
“I was able to use some of my previous experience as an intelligence officer to help understand key competitors in the software automation market and highlight areas where IBM could better compete,” he says. Hale spent summer 2022 as an intern at IBM — one of just eight Extreme Blue interns focused on strategy out of a total summer intern cohort of more than 1,700.
After graduation, Hale will work as a product manager with IBM, based out of their Research Triangle Park campus.
Morgan Holcomb, Online Jenkins MBA
As Poole College’s associate director of marketing strategy for graduate programs, Morgan Holcomb helps to drive and execute customer-focused marketing strategy and communications. As a Jenkins MBA graduate, she is excited to cross the stage at Thursday’s commencement ceremony and celebrate the tremendous accomplishment of earning her MBA while working full time.
“My favorite part about Poole College is the engagement and interactions with faculty and staff. Everyone at Poole is interested in seeing you succeed and making sure you get the most out of your classes and your degree. There are so many opportunities that Poole provides to get in front of potential employers and engage with experts in your particular field.”
Having also earned her undergraduate degree from NC State in 2015, Holcomb served as an online communication coordinator for the NC State Alumni Association before joining Poole College in 2019.
Everyone at Poole is interested in seeing you succeed and making sure you get the most out of your classes and your degree.
One of her most memorable experiences in her current position at Poole was attending the Wells Fargo Leadership Series event that featured Sepi Saidi, founder and CEO of SEPI.
“That event always sticks out in my mind because I had the opportunity to learn from a successful woman who was the founder and CEO of her own business. As an MBA student and an NC State alumna, it made an impact on me to see someone that I admire and learn from her experiences.”
London Hu, Full-time Jenkins MBA, Concentration in Marketing and Innovation
London Hu joined Poole College of Management after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Hu was honored with a service award at NC State’s Lavender Graduation for founding and serving as president of the Queer Unity, Equity and Empowerment Network (QUEEN).
Hu also serves as a graduate research assistant for Poole College’s Business Analytics Initiative.
In addition to his work advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at NC State, Hu says international travel was another highlight of his Poole College experience.
“I visited Japan during spring break. My BA was in East Asian studies, I speak fluent Japanese, and I think travel is an important part of self-development. The summer before my MBA program started, I studied abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.”
After graduating with a Jenkins MBA degree, Hu says he plans to pursue full-time work with San Francisco Pride, or other job opportunities in Korea or Japan. He also is considering pursuing an additional master’s degree in East Asian studies.
Catherine Tegeler, Online Jenkins MBA, Innovation Management and Leadership Certificate
When Catherine Tegeler started the Jenkins MBA program, her goal was to complete it in less than three years. But a car accident in her second year derailed those plans. With support from the college’s faculty and staff, Tegeler pivoted to pursue a new path to graduation.
“Everyone wants you to succeed and knows you are managing school with other obligations. Not once did I feel external pressure to keep up, or added stress from the school to finish faster. The flexibility of the program and platform allowed me to work on my MBA from anywhere.”
As a primarily online student, Tegeler was intentional about taking in-person elective classes and finding ways to engage with faculty and students. To that end, she served as a student ambassador for the MBA program, as well as a PMBA Delegate, through which she represented her fellow online and evening students and organized social events, including virtual happy hours and Durham Bulls baseball games.
The flexibility of the program and platform allowed me to work on my MBA from anywhere.
Tegeler also earned a McLauchlan Fellowship, as part of the 2021 cohort.
“This series of workshops and career development activities was incredible. I met peers in the program, had professional coaching, and worked on a personal leadership challenge. I tell every student I speak with to consider this unique and rewarding opportunity.”
Although the pandemic prevented her from studying abroad, Tegeler was able to participate in the Paris Negotiation program with David Henard.
“My experience with the class was excellent. I strongly recommend that other students build at least one study abroad into their course of study. Working with peers in person for a week was wonderful. Having the classroom feel and practicing negotiation scenarios made me a better negotiator and increased my confidence.”
After graduation, Tegeler plans to remain in her current position as a clinical research manager at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.
“It will be exciting to apply the new concepts I learned to make my team better and more effective to reach several long-held goals. The skills learned will then position me for greater responsibility with future opportunities.”
Terrell Williams, Master of Accounting
Terrell Williams had never considered going to college — much less pursuing a master’s degree — until after he survived a near-death experience at the age of 21. As a victim in an attempted carjacking in Louisville, Kentucky, he lay outside a convenience store, sure that he would die from his bullet wounds.
Just six months after the incident, which left him paraplegic, Williams started college. He later transferred to the University of Louisville and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business. Today, he is a Master of Accounting graduate preparing to participate in Poole’s commencement ceremony.
He was drawn to accounting because math was his favorite subject in high school, and his career choice has evolved into a personal mission.
“When I’m a CPA, I can give back with it. I can be a resource to others … if I can help people by being a resource, that’s what I want to do.”
Poole’s MAC program seemed like a good fit to Williams — a hunch that was validated by the college’s immediate response to his initial inquiry.
“It does truly seem like they want the best for their students. It feels like a family. I feel like I belong.”
His sense of belonging is magnified by the firm-sponsored, merit-based MAC fellowship he received, which pays full tuition. “The financial aspect of it is huge,” Williams says. “If I didn’t have the fellowship, I wouldn’t be able to attend NC State.”
The sponsoring firm, accounting company RSM, has offered him full-time employment in its Raleigh office after he graduates. He’ll start working there as an audit associate this summer while he studies for the CPA exam.
This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.