Current title/organization: CEO, Oak City Labs
Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?
A: Convenient part-time evening program located near my office (downtown Raleigh) plus an entrepreneurship/technology focused program (HiTEC)
Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
A: I’m currently the CEO and cofounder of a custom software solutions company. Our clients are in the Life Sciences and Engineering markets and the process we use is similar to what I learned through the HiTEC program. Most often our clients are trying to commercialize technology and the NC State MBA program provided a great framework for me to help our clients.
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time in the Jenkins MBA program?
A: The entrepreneurship classes and team based approached.
Q: What do you miss most now that you have graduated?
A: Meeting with my teammates and receiving valuable feedback plus resources from the instructors.
Q: What are a few of the most impactful classes/lessons you learned during your time at NC State?
A: The final year of the HiTEC program was rigorous while working full time in a tough on-call systems engineer position. Learning how to balance the demands of school and work were critical to my career success and now my ability to manage family and a company.
Q: What are your lasting impressions of the Jenkins MBA program?
A: It was a great program for busy working professionals and I think highly of the people I met during the program. The part-time MBA program deserves more attention from the university, especially the HiTEC classes!
Q: What advice do you have for prospective Jenkins MBA students?
A: Often times it’s the time management of navigating work and school that will be the most valuable down the road. Pay attention to time management and the foundation that you’re getting from the program, it may help you in the future. Also try to keep in touch with your colleagues.
Q: Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?
A: I’m currently the CEO and cofounder of a custom software solutions company. While at NC State in the part-time MBA program, I was a Linux Systems Engineer and then progressed to Manager and then Director of Software Engineering after the program. I started the company in 2014 when my previous employer wasn’t in the position to handle custom software requests. We primarily partner with clients in life science, healthcare and engineering that are trying to build a software product to commercialize their technology, whether a device, IP or an idea.
Q: What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?
A: Founding Oak City Labs in 2014 and being a mom of 3 kids under the age of 9! Not many women software company founders, let alone moms!
Q: What are your goals and plans for the future?
A: Continue serving our clients by building out our team and services. We also have a product in the works to reduce the barrier to entry in machine learning for scientists and researchers.