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Heather Pownall

Degree earned: Professional Evening MBA
Graduation: 2011
Current title/organization: Chief Development Officer/Association for Women in Science
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Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?

Reputation and ranking, Part-Time, In-Person, Real-world, Other students from leading organizations, Entrepreneurship concentration

How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?

Built my knowledge, leadership abilities and confidence. Opened doors to new opportunities. I still refer to case studies and other things I learned in my MBA program.

What did you enjoy most about your time in the Jenkins MBA program?

The high standards for learning and the team work. Ted Baker and the entrepreneurship concentration — very tough, but made me so much smarter and better at presenting business ideas.

What do you miss most now that you have graduated?

I loved my MBA experience but I don’t necessarily miss it (it was tough while working full-time!). But I miss the awesome cohort and instructors. I’ve continued my education through other credentials — the Certified Association Executive, and currently pursuing my professional coach certification.

What are your lasting impressions of the Jenkins MBA program?

Relevant, rigorous

What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?

Keep an open mind to possibilities. Create new opportunities for yourself instead of waiting for doors to open. Be bold.

Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?

I currently work for a global nonprofit. I’m in a role that I helped to create when I saw an opportunity for the organization to grow, and believed I could help make it a reality. I’m now working to form and rapidly scale up an international consultative sales team for our continuing education unit. I would never have predicted I’d be in this role, traveling to China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and all over the U.S. I’m also a Certified Association Executive and pursuing education and certification as a professional coach.