Current title/organization: Solutions Product Marketing, CloudBees
Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?
A: It was the perfect combination of physical location (I knew I wanted to be in the RTP area post-MBA) + in-state tuition pre-scholarship opportunities made it a very “doable” business program from a financial perspective. NC State is well networked in the local area, so I also knew that my job prospects in the tech industry would be on-par with the likes of a UNC or Duke from a local networking standpoint. NC State was also well known for an experiential learning environment and the opportunity to work on and collaborate in a more practicum-focused curriculum was highly appealing.
Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
A: I was able to codify the knowledge I already had regarding business practices, especially from a marketing standpoint. The program allowed me to transition industries and also gave me a huge salary boost compared to what I was making beforehand.
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time in the Jenkins MBA program?
A: I really enjoyed working with the Business Sustainability Collaborative, which really helps students analyze business problems/ cases from a sustainability lens, something that i feel is becoming evermore important in the coming years/ decades. I also very much enjoyed the Consumer Behavior Collaborative – I got the most “hands-on” time with the CBC and I attribute it to my ability to effectively communicate within the marketing organization I’m in currently.
Q: What are a few of the most impactful classes/lessons you learned during your time at NC State?
A: Consumer Behavior – Dr. Wood is awesome and provides incredible insight to any future marketer. Any of the accounting classes established a fantastic baseline for understanding business fundamentals. The equity valuation classes also help identify the triggers for how corporate :nance and analyst valuation is practiced in the real world; i.e. now that i work at a publicly-traded company, what do I need to be aware of when it comes to how our company stock value is performing.
Q: What are your lasting impressions of the Jenkins MBA program?
A: An incredibly tight-knit and collaborative program experience. I feel that the Jenkins MBA program punches way above its weight as far as what students are able to experience and the value they provide to their future employers post-graduation. It’s also a good reality check and enforces the importance of being down-to-earth in any situation.
Q: What advice do you have for prospective Jenkins MBA students?
A: Network – take the career development classes to heart at the Jenkins MBA program. Say “yes” to as many opportunities as you possibly can, and also invest the time into learning about the tech industry through informational interviews.
Q: Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?
A: I am a product marketing manager in the tech industry. I manage the go-to-market strategies for our product offerings and work to establish a cohesive story that resonates among our internal stakeholders, sales people, and customers. I have a sales background in the sport goods industry which taught me a lot of lessons about what is important to different stakeholders.
Q: What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?
A: Landing my job and being recognized company-wide for the work I’ve did on a product launch.
Q: What are your goals and plans for the future?
A: Continue to hone my product marketing skills and eventually get into more segment/ portfolio management. I would also like to transition from a more hardware-focused company into a software focused organization at some point down the line.