Winning Voices:  Jessica Kuk, Director of Transformation at Lash Group

Winning Voices:  Jessica Kuk, Director of Transformation at Lash Group

Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.

Jessica Kuk
Director of Transformation
Lash Group

What do you do at Lash Group?

Lash Group is the premier provider of patient support services and partners with pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure patients can access affordable medications and adhere to therapy.

My role aligns with client delivery. I focus on transforming existing patient support programs into more efficient and effective programs for providers, patients, and pharmaceutical clients. I am currently managing the migration of two major programs from our legacy CRM to our new Fusion CRM. These projects are expected to take about 18 months to deliver and involve interfacing with our client, IT organization, transitions organization, and operations.

Why were you looking to get an MBA?

As I reflect on my JWMI journey, it is hard to believe the end is finally here. Twenty months ago, I set out to get my MBA—a 22-year-goal that I had put off until my daughter moved off to school. I began following Jack Welch in the ’90s when I obtained my Six Sigma Black Belt and worked in manufacturing. Everything about him inspired me, and his influence has truly shaped my career. I recall looking at various online MBA programs and found my “MBA family” when I decided to pursue my degree at JWMI.

Tell us about any promotions you have received or changes in jobs, responsibilities, etc.

During my JWMI journey, I was promoted to a director role. JWMI has genuinely changed my career perspectives, leadership style, improved my business skills and knowledge, and given me the confidence to pursue new opportunities.

Which JWMI courses did you find most impactful?

My JWMI experience has made me a well-rounded leader in the most critical aspects of business. I now have conversations with our finance and marketing teams with confidence. I can talk about competitive advantages, moats, and make strategic recommendations that provide value in many areas. Some of the most impactful courses were:

  • Leadership in the 21st Century was one of my favorite classes. It was invaluable to learn about my leadership style, my strengths, and my opportunities. My dog-eared, well-used copy of Winning is my prized possession from the program, and I am particularly fond of page 63—the 8 Rules of Leadership.
  • Marketing in a Global Environment, Strategy, and New Business Ventures & Entrepreneurship gave me the tools needed to plan for the launch of an electric bicycle business that my husband and I have been working on for several years.
  • The Financial Management, I, and II classes were HUGELY impactful for me. Using the “Learn today. Apply tomorrow.” philosophy, I had an opportunity to manage my program’s financials at work with confidence.
  • The Business Analytics portion of the Capstone course helped to sharpen my analytics skills. It taught me to dig deep for data and to be confident in communicating the story the data tells.

How have your learnings impacted your ability to lead?

I have always had a passion for people and appreciate opportunities to coach, mentor, and develop others. My Jack Welch MBA experience made me a well-rounded leader in the most critical aspects of business. I can confidently have conversations with our finance and marketing teams. I can speak about competitive advantages, moats, and make strategic recommendations that provide value.

What have been your most significant areas of growth?

I learned the importance of candor and how critical it is to those you lead. Now, I give candid, transparent, and timely feedback to my team whenever possible instead of waiting for mid-year or year-end reviews. As a result of my real-time, on-the-spot feedback, I have seen tremendous differences in my team’s performance. The team appreciates this feedback and is growing and performing because of it. Finally, we are quick to celebrate our successes.

Looking back at what you thought about an online program when you first embarked, what was your overall impression now?

My experience with the Jack Welch MBA program has been excellent and far exceeded my expectations. My initial concern with pursuing an online degree was the potential for disconnects between classmates and professors and the risk of not having sufficient interaction with my professors to succeed. From my first class through my Capstone course, all of those fears were relieved. Each professor is highly qualified and works tirelessly to connect with students. There are always opportunities to meet individually, and office hours are flexible based on your schedule and what you can accommodate.

What’s been your most rewarding experience in the Jack Welch MBA program?

My most rewarding experience has come from the self-reflection and self-evaluation that the program fosters. The ability to dig deep into leadership styles, emotional intelligence, and learn how to use those styles and tools to motivate teams to achieve high performance was critical. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Experts of Practice videos that were part of each weekly lesson and the ability to access knowledge and expertise from industry experts, including the opportunities to hear directly from Jack Welch.

My only regret is that I did not get to meet Jack before he passed. However, his legacy endures. I find the principles and words of wisdom in this book and the curriculum to ring true. Jack Welch and his MBA program have helped to hone my leadership skills and sharpen my saw.

How did you navigate school, family, and work? What strategies did you implement to get it done?

Time management is critical to a student’s success. It is imperative that you set aside time to read and study daily to manage the coursework and perform well in the courses. My goal was to graduate with a 4.0 and Welch Scholar of Distinction. I set that bar on day one and never lost sight of the goal. I tackled school first thing each morning from 6–8 am and worked to post my discussion questions, responses, and assignments, either early or on-time. I also was very fortunate to have the support of my terrific husband, who picked up the extra work around the house to allow me my weekends to study. It is possible! It takes discipline and commitment and a willingness to reach out to professors when things get tough for assistance.

Connect with Jessica Kuk on Linkedin

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