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.
VP of Commercial Greatness
Univar, a global chemical distributor
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Commercial Greatness is one of our three key growth strategies that focuses on building the most effective and skilled salesforce in the industry. My team focuses on all aspects of sales: training, onboarding, developing sales channels, customer service, and pricing optimization.
Why did you want to get an MBA?
To be honest, it was a “bucket list” item for me. I had worked in my field for over 20 years and thought it might be fun to challenge myself later in my career.
How has the JWMI curriculum helped you in your career?
JWMI has had a significant impact on my career.
When I started the program, I was a sales manager in Philadelphia. Within three months, I was promoted to General Manager, before my recent promotion to Vice President. All of these changes took place while I was in the program. The curriculum was perfectly timed for our organization transformation, and I was able to integrate everything I learned in every aspect of my work.
What have you learned about yourself during your time at JWMI?
That I can balance my time!!! In all seriousness, if anyone would have told me at the beginning of my MBA journey that I would be promoted twice, go through a company transformation, relocate to Chicago AND complete my MBA all within two years, I would have said, not possible. I have transformed not only my way of thinking when it comes to leadership, but the impact I have on others has been amplified. I have always focused on people, but this program has reinforced the power in leading by example, communicating with candor and developing talent. Additionally, as a “data-junkie” before the program, I graduate with a better perspective on how to frame my analysis for my audience.
What’s been your most rewarding experience in the program?
The networking opportunities. The dialogue with other students, cohorts, and professors helps to build confidence and teaches you how to approach difficult and challenging situations. Learning from so many different perspectives is a bonus of JWMI’s program.
What strategies did you implement to manage job, family, life and an MBA?
It wasn’t easy at first. But, once you settle into the program and find a routine that works for you, it becomes easier. My work schedule is demanding, with travel and customer/supplier dinners throughout the week. I found outlining the assignments made it easier to complete and meet deadlines. (Pro Tip: Use the tools in WORD to help reference–life saver.)
What advice can you share with new students embarking on the Jack Welch MBA journey?
Stick with it. It may be overwhelming at first, but once you settle into a routine and develop a few partnerships with other students or cohorts, you will find it less overwhelming. The first five quarters are a sprint, and you will feel it, but don’t give up as the last three quarters make it all worthwhile and they fly by.
For more information on the Jack Welch Management Institute visit us.