Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class Of 2020

Megan Hucek

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

“Results-oriented leader passionate about driving strategy through clear communication to influence cost-effective, customer-centric solutions.”

Hometown: Bloomington, IL

Fun Fact About Yourself: While in college, I was selected to play on a Bring It Promotions USA Volleyball Team, which was 10 girls from various schools throughout the country. During this trip, I got the opportunity to train and play volleyball against the Swiss National Team, and what was even cooler was that we won!

Undergraduate School and Major: Bradley University, Marketing

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Product Adoption Manager at State Farm Insurance Companies

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2013, State Farm moved from an owned real estate strategy to a leased strategy. As it began to consolidate its real estate footprint, it developed three multi-functional hub facilities to house 8,000-10,000 employees. Although new to the organization, I had the opportunity to develop and execute the communication strategy to move 8,000+ employees from 28 different business areas into these facilities. It was a very exciting time for the company and I had a front row seat. It was such a great experience for me, as I learned so much about the overarching business strategy and how all of the functional areas work together to make State Farm the #1 auto insurer in the country!

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Giving – there are so many wonderful words that could describe my classmates, but giving jumps to the top for this class. Whether it is offering up notes or conducting a whole stats review session for 70+ classmates, people are always willing to help out, share knowledge and experiences, and support one another through all the challenges we overcome. This was something I was told about the culture at ASU when I was applying. However, when I got to campus and began classes, people were way more helpful and supportive than I could have imagined. It really does foster an inclusive and supportive environment for learning and development.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The values of W. P. Carey and the MBA program were what drew me to ASU. They promote innovation and collaboration, which aligns with who I am as a person and professional. It was apparent in my interactions with the staff and current students that my personality, goals, and motivation would be a good fit for ASU. Additionally, W. P. Carey is trying to move the program up in rankings and I wanted to be part of that movement. I wanted an opportunity to create new, desirable programs and experiences for incoming students, so we can continue to not only enhance the MBA program, but also the overall workforce. Now after being here for a few months, I see all of the programs and clubs previous students put in place and I am excited to carry on that legacy.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am very excited about the global experiences offered at ASU. I have only traveled out of North America once and want to experience more of the world. I value the opportunities to not only grow from a cultural perspective, but also look at business from a global lens.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have had several great roles and leadership experiences in my previous career, but I have long-term aspirations to lead at a very high, strategic level. I felt in order to position myself to be a great transformational leader in the future, I needed to challenge myself and obtain my MBA. I am a firm believer in constant growth and development and I knew my MBA would not only set me apart from other candidates, but also provide me the skills, abilities, and mindsets to be the best leader for my future organizations I can be.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I analyzed my current experiences up until this point. I felt that by rounding out some of my functional acumen, specifically the financial components (in additional to gaining the knowledge and experiences to develop from a leadership perspective) an MBA would exceed my perceived ROI. When looking at the longevity of my career, this will only enhance and break down barriers for my growth after the program.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Kellogg at Northwestern and Marshall at University of Southern California

How did you determine your fit at various schools? When looking for schools, I considered a variety of factors. I considered rankings from U.S. News and Bloomberg Businessweek, as I was looking at top 30 MBA programs. I also wanted a program that aligned with my core values and leadership philosophies, so trying to understand culture was important. I read various articles on school websites, as well as a few forums. Some schools had videos with students sharing their experiences. I thought those were very helpful in understanding the culture.

It was important for me to attend a school that aligned and promoted my strengths and would offer me diverse development experiences. My goal is to leave a more well-rounded and diverse leader, so looking for programs that promoted diversity of thought was important. I did look at class distributions for male-female ratios and geographic distribution.

Being married, it was important to me that the school was located in a place with good work opportunities for my husband. I also wanted to be in a place that was relatively easy for my family to visit. It wasn’t a huge factor, but it was something that gave ASU a boost since there is a direct flight to and from my hometown.

In regard to my career goals, ASU is predominantly known for supply chain, but they offer a marketing concentration. In learning more about the different concentrations and how hard career services works to help position their students for success, I knew ASU would be a great school to help me accomplish my goals. They dedicate so much time to getting to know their students and helping them pursue their goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I have played volleyball my whole life and I was fortunate enough to earn a Division 1 scholarship to play in college. My sophomore year, for various reasons, I was questioning my love for the game, which put me in a very troubling place. I had to honestly ask myself, “re you really willing to give it all up?” I had sacrificed so much to get there and knew deep down how much I loved the game. After lots of self-reflection and confiding in mentors, I chose to continue with my collegiate career and finish out my four years. In addition, I also changed my mindset, positioning any future obstacles as challenges to overcome.

In the moment, the decision didn’t seem very impactful. However, as I look back and think about how different my life would be, I am so proud of myself for completing my four years of collegiate volleyball. The experience taught me teamwork, leadership, courage, and perseverance. Any time I come across a challenge now, I know I can overcome it and succeed. I know I have to work hard and get my mind right, but my confidence in myself is much stronger because of that experience so many years ago.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? My goal is to join a CPG firm in a marketing role, specifically brand marketing. In regard to location, I am open to any location within the United States currently but would love to stay out west!

Where do you see yourself in five years? With an ever-changing environment, it is hard to say exactly where I see myself in five years. I hope to be a marketing leader driving national marketing campaigns for a large consumer products company.

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