Graduation: MBA 2010
Current title/organization: Squad Leader, Fidelity Investments
Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?
A: It easily presented the best value in the Raleigh-Durham area to enhance my technology career while continuing to work full-time.
Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
A: I was able to parlay the degree into a more lucrative customer-facing role.
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time in the Jenkins MBA program?
A: The professors’ various knowledge areas and styles were an excellent representation of customer and stakeholder management.
Q: What do you miss most now that you have graduated?
A: Researching and expanding my knowledge tangentially to my career goals, instead of directly in line with my career, was more challenging and fun.
Q: What are a few of the most impactful classes/lessons you learned during your time at NC State?
A: From Jon Bohlmann: Give the customer what they want; not more, not less. From David Henard: Brand Management requires excellence and decisiveness. From Richard Warr: Don’t listen to analysts or read headlines that claim to know why the market is up or down.
Q: What are your lasting impressions of the Jenkins MBA program?
A: It was a phenomenal decision, and it has proven to serve me well even a decade since graduation.
Q: What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?
A: It’s not about pride or title or base pay. It’s about finding a way that you can uniquely add value to a a business model and organization worthy of your time. Everything else will come.
Q: Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?
A: I am a Squad Leader (Agile Product Owner) for a Kanban team of database technologists that enables key functionality for our institutional investment firms, advisors, and customers. My career went through various permutations of project, program, and person management before this internal opportunity became available.
Q: What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?
A: We integrated a log collection tool into our CRM. It might sound boring, but it was a true end to end challenge. The politics involved with attempting to determine business value, the technology involved with seamlessly integrating, and the understanding of sunk costs and situational management gained when it became clear it was best for our business to back it out was indeed interesting.
Q: What are your goals and plans for the future?
A: I plan to continue to determine how I can increase my value to my company while maintaining or improving my work/life balance and raising my beautiful daughters.
Q: Please tell us about anything you would like to tell us that wasn’t listed in the pro!le questions.
A: Your experience in this MBA program, in your career, and in your life is exactly what you make it.