Poole Graduates: Ready to Apply Their Skills, Achieve the Extraordinary

The NC State Poole College of Management is celebrating the graduation of 475 students on December 19. Twelve are receiving doctoral degrees; 167, masters’ degrees; and 296, bachelor’s degrees. The Poole College ceremony takes place at the PNC Arena, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., immediately following the NC State University commencement ceremony

“Our Poole College graduates are launching their new careers armed with a world-class education, including critical and analytical thinking skills and an entrepreneurial approach to addressing business problems,” says Frank Buckless, interim dean of the college and professor of accounting.

“They also are bringing valuable on-the-ground experience to their new roles – experience gained through global immersions, company projects, internships, student leadership positions and more,” he says.

“Having seen our students present at our Leadership and Innovation Showcase and at meetings with university leadership teams, and hearing accolades from our corporate partners on their practicum projects, I know that through them, we as an extended NC State community, can achieve the extraordinary,” he says.

Read feedback from a few of our new graduates.

Madisen Andersen, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Cum Laude; Human Resources Concentration

Madisen Anderson, B.S., B.A., 2018
Madisen Anderson, B.S., B.A., 2018

Madisen Andersen, from Apex, N.C., is Poole College’s student commencement speaker this fall. In her prepared remarks, she draws parallels between the changes she saw in herself and the physical renovations and construction that were under way for most of her cohort’s time on campus – the renovation of Hillsborough Street and the Reynolds Coliseum, construction of the new Talley Student Union, and several improvements in Poole College’s home in Nelson Hall.

Citing the construction signs that carried the message, “Please excuse our progress”, Andersen equates the physical changes with the changes and challenges students face as they prepare for their future careers. “NC State was thinking about what was coming next and doing what was needed to keep up,” she says, and equates that to the need for students to also “push ourselves and allow for change.”

She also cites the value she gained from Poole College’s recently added business analytics program, noting that she is launching her career with Cisco Systems in the company’s New Graduate Program in Research Triangle Park, working in its digital marketing department with a focus on data analysis.

“Thanks to the college’s initiative in exploring data, I am able to confidently enter full-time employment in the data analysis field next month,” she said. “Changing our program to meet the demands of a business culture that relies on data has given us an advantage as we launch into our careers.”

Patrick Downie, Jenkins MBA

Patrick Downie, MBA, 2018
Patrick Downie, MBA, 2018

Patrick Downie said that he “selected the NC State Jenkins MBA program because of its highly rated online program option and the flexibility to take main campus and evening classes. I also chose this program because NC State just feels like home, as this will be my third degree from this great university.” He previously received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at NC State’s College of Engineering.

While noting that the exact contributions of a degree to professional achievements can be difficult to quantify, Downie said, “This MBA has certainly given me the opportunity to continue to expand my career into a more business and technical leadership role. The foundational courses and the depth area options – bioscience management for me – as well as the additional certificates, such as in Decision Analytics, have certainly provided a whole portfolio of new skills to be used for these new opportunities.”

He added, “I really enjoy the process and challenge of learning new skills and figuring out how to use them on new opportunities in my job. But what I enjoyed the most was getting to meet and learn from so many new people, both students and professors, all coming from such diverse and interesting professional backgrounds. The friends and connections will certainly last long past when some of the class details have faded.”

Saleh Tabaileh, Jenkins MBA

Saleh Tabaileh, NC State Jenkins MBA, 2018
Saleh Tabaileh, NC State Jenkins MBA, 2018

Saleh Tabaileh reflected on “one of the most influential courses I took.” That was Marketing Research, part of his marketing concentration in the Jenkins MBA program. Taught by Dr. Stefanie Robinson, he said the course “really captured my overall MBA experience and connected the various courses taken through my tenure at the program.

“It really connected the analytics portion of the program, and complemented other courses, such a consumer behavior, marketing strategy, and the basic requirements of the program,” he said.

“Although the course was very intensive in terms of the semester-long project and the coursework, Dr. Robinson made the class very flexible to maximize the learning outcome and ensure consistent support during our project work. If I had more time, I would certainly stay to take another course with Dr. Robinson,” he said.

“The MBA program as a whole was a great challenge, as the course structure was well put together and every course builds on, or complements, the others. The MBA also was very ‘group collaborative’ heavy and enhanced our learning outcome with other teammates, especially in a virtual setting. I have no doubt that this MBA will enhance my future prospect in terms of career growth or further learning.” Tabaileh said he plans to apply to a doctoral program in executive leadership.

Steven White, Jenkins MBA

Steven White, MBA, 2018
Steven White, MBA, 2018

“The MBA program at NC State helped me improve my leadership skills in countless ways,” said Steven White, who is associate vice provost for enrollment systems and operations at NC State University.

“In addition to developing a strong foundation in management, I now have the knowledge and mindsets that allow me to develop innovative solutions to difficult challenges. My professors taught me to think in creative ways to go beyond the analytical analysis and get down to the human element when making data-driven decisions.”

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