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Winning Voices: Chris Robinson

Winning Voices: Chris Robinson

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.


Chris Robinson
Electrical Design Engineer/Project Manager
Advanced Cable Bus Inc.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My employer is a multi-million dollar family-owned business entity who is a well-positioned player in the design, manufacture, and delivery of power distribution systems market of the oil & energy industry. I keep the global power grid functioning without significant disruption by helping major industrial, technological, and power utility companies reroute energy to new or reconfigured equipment efficiently. Specifically, I am responsible for the end-to-end design, manufacturing scheduling, and project delivery of our power distribution systems to our ever-growing list of customers. This challenging role keeps me traveling both domestically and globally to ensure sub-vendor quality and customer satisfaction is maintained to Advanced Cable Bus’s standard.

Why did you want to get an MBA?

Before I took the plunge to pursue my online MBA at JWMI, I was well into in my tenth year in the retail industry and my fifth year of retail management. I was stagnant and bored. From a very early age, my parents taught my siblings and me that knowledge is power. They always relayed to us that if you ever got bored doing something to seek more knowledge about the things you are passionate about undertaking. In 2015, I was building and developing high achieving teams as a retail operations manager, but I was continually implementing executive plans. So for me, seeking an MBA, was more about obtaining the insight that the proverbial higher-ups had that predicated the initiatives that I was implementing. Understanding the WHY things are being done along with developing the courage to spread the WHY throughout the organization in an empowering and authentic way is what I gained throughout my JWMI journey. And, it has gotten me to where I am today.

How has the JWMI curriculum helped you in your career?

I received an $8,000 increase in salary, simply by implementing JWMI learnings within my corporation in my first year working for them. 

Thanks to the LEAN and Six Sigma methodologies that I learned during the Operations Management course, I was able to pitch, win approval, and lead the implementation of a Kanban-inspired inventory management system at Advanced Cable Bus. The direct application of concepts taught to me during my JWMI journey coupled with my initiative to establish and simplify a process for Advanced Cable Bus’s engineering drawing standards led to me receiving an $8,000 increase in salary in just six months time in 2017. Mind you, this was my first year with Advanced Cable Bus and shortly before I finished my JWMI journey.

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Did you find the curriculum was immediately applicable, please explain?

Absolutely, from the very first leadership course! Before delving into to the leadership concept of voice & dignity, I had lead in a very authoritative, do-as-I-say culture. When I incorporated voice & dignity into my dominate leadership style, I immediately saw more ownership being taken by my team. Nowadays, I find myself using more influence than position authority to get things done with my team.

Looking back at what you thought about an online program when you first embarked, what was your overall impression now? Did it meet your expectations, via DQ boards, EOP videos, Jack calls, faculty etc.

When I was going through the admissions process and signing up for my first class at JWMI, I scoffed at Terra Sye‘s (my advisor’s) proclamation that my JWMI experience would change my life. Terra, I am sorry for doubting you and doubting that my graduate school experience at JWMI would not be an enriching one. I was WRONG! I have never felt more connected and locked into an educational community than I have felt while attending JWMI.

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

Without a doubt, the Washington, D.C. graduation along with the local networking events were my most rewarding experiences in the program. Being in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and having the opportunity to meet and engage with all the JWMI professors and JWMI support staff brings the online MBA experience full circle. Also, the local networking events give current students and alumni an opportunity to share experiences, encourage each other, and build lasting relationships. Ultimately, I think that’s what an advanced degree program is all about, the meaningful relationships gained.

What advice can you share with new students embarking on the Jack Welch online MBA journey?

My advice to new students would be to commit to the grind, embrace the struggle, and relish every opportunity to learn.

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