University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
“Embracing continuous professional and personal challenge-based growth with grit and a never stop improving mindset.”
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Fun fact about yourself: I have trekked to base camp of Mt. Everest.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Ph.D., Computational Genetics in Animal-Based Protein Production, University of Guelph, BSc, University of Guelph
Where are you currently working? I work at Genus PIC, a company that pioneers animal genetic improvement to help nourish the world. Throughout the Michigan Ross Online MBA program, I led the Americas Genetic Services division of our product development team. Post-MBA, I am transitioning to run our Canadian business as director of Genus PIC Canada.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While leading a North American team, my responsibilities were expanded to include our South American group as well. Each team was exposed to very different cultures, not only based on geography, but also based on our internal business units, our customers, and the markets. Successfully leveraging these differences to build a unified, high-performing team that is empowered and strengthened by its diversity is something that makes me very proud.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I am part of the inaugural cohort for the Michigan Ross Online MBA program. When Ross launched this new format for their top-tier MBA, it immediately increased my willingness to explore an online option for business school. When I realized that Ross was committed to delivering their same standards for academic rigor and action-based learning, the program choice became a no-brainer for me. As an additional motivating factor, our CEO at the time was a Ross alum. I had seen the education in action, witnessing firsthand that Ross prepares professionals to “Go Blue, Go Anywhere”.
In the short video here, I had the opportunity to show what it is like to be an online student at Ross. I would encourage anyone interested in an online program to check it out and see how Ross has done a world-class job of delivering an MBA in this new format.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of the online program was being able to explore Genus PIC by using information from our company and industry throughout the MBA. My company was incredibly supportive, and with each new course, I was able to develop a deeper understanding of our own strategy and operations as well as apply the course content to implementable projects for the business. It was incredibly rewarding and motivating to real-time apply my learning from the MBA.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised by the connections I was able to build with peers across the globe. The state-of-the-art studio used for live lectures created an incredibly engaging, virtual learning environment, which set the foundation for building relationships with classmates. Throughout the program, continuous discussions and project work with peers in completely different industries and company contexts prepared me to more flexibly apply course content in the future. The degree to which these connections enhanced my learning and established a strong network exceeded my expectations.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Relative to an in-classroom experience, online learning has tangible benefits for working professionals. A primary advantage is the ability to attend a live class from anywhere in the world. As my role involves quite a bit of international travel, this was a huge asset. With mixed-reality classroom technology, live sessions from a digital studio have no drawbacks. Furthermore, I found that the ability to break out into small groups efficiently for discussions made online lectures more engaging and enhanced peer-based learning.
What would you change about an online MBA Program? Ross approached our inaugural cohort for the Online MBA program as an opportunity to fine-tune based on student feedback. I had the opportunity to serve both on the Student Council and the Sanger Leadership Center Student and Alumni Board. I was completely impressed by Ross’ eagerness to optimize the online student experience. In the future, expanded access to on-campus programs and clubs through hybrid participation options at Ross are planned for students interested in taking advantage of these resources from anywhere in the world.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? Throughout the program, the MBA has helped me better align and integrate my team’s strategy into the broader business, expanding its positive impact. As I graduate, the MBA has enabled me to make the career pivot from product development to future responsibility for our Canadian P&L. By preparing me to lead in new functional areas within our company, the MBA has helped me take on new professional challenges that will ultimately make me a more well-rounded leader in the future.
Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 25
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I aim to leverage my technical, business, and leadership knowledge with my growing depth and breadth of hands-on experiences to develop and execute business strategy in a senior leadership role.