Winning Voices: Bruce Smith, CFO at Tatum

Winning Voices: Bruce Smith, CFO at Tatum

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.

Bruce Smith

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I work for Tatum, an executive staffing firm that provides C-Suite executives to companies on a temporary and permanent basis. My current assignment is acting CFO for a manufacturing company recently acquired by a private equity firm. In addition to this full-time appointment, I also serve as an adjunct professor of finance and accounting here at JWMI.

Why did you want to get an MBA?

Having risen to executive ranks somewhat early in my career, my reasons for entering the JWMI program were perhaps not as traditional as many others. The program’s appeal was the emphasis on leadership, and of course, the opportunity to learn from an individual I had great respect for; after all, how often does one get the opportunity to learn from Jack Welch himself! So, in the Summer of 2015, I enrolled and started classes in the Fall 2015 semester.


What have you learned about yourself during your time at JWMI?

As I progressed through the JWMI program, I could feel myself transforming into a much more effective leader with every course, every assignment, and each week in the DQ forums. During the first class, JWI510—Leadership, the testing and DiSC profiles revealed many positive attributes but one alarming aspect. The statement was that while I feel empathy towards employees and others, I had a difficult time showing it, which would lead others to form an opinion of myself as dry and perhaps uncaring. That was a wake-up call for me, and I have strived to improve in that area ever since.


What strategies did you implement to manage job, family, life and an MBA?

Sure, working full time, managing family commitments, and attending a top-ranked MBA program is not easy, but you can do this. Will you have some late nights, working weekends, missed functions, and owe your family big time for their understanding and support, sure; but the rewards of accomplishment, career advancement, and personal growth are worth it.

What advice can you share with anyone considering getting their MBA with JWMI?

The program provides resources such as tutors and advisors so that you succeed! My only regret is I did not start with the Jack Welch program sooner; it is that effective.


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