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.
Owner and Lead Event Designer/Coordinator
What do you do at YOUevents?
YOUevents is a full-service boutique event planning, design, and management company based in South Jersey. YOUevents’s mission is to exceed client expectations by providing each and every event we service with a level of unmatched dedication, professionalism, and innovation.
How has JWMI’s curriculum helped you in your career?
During my eighteen months at JWMI, each of my classes allowed me to grow my career and grow my business. I learned the importance of data-driven decisions, the use of Kaizen practices to create synergy and to foster new ideas amongst my employees, developing an idea, and bringing it to market, to name a few. However, the most important and valuable take away from my MBA experience is valuing the voice of the employee and creating a company culture that truly values this philosophy.
In my first week of class, I recall reading in Winning, and what stood out to me as a small business owner, was that a company’s values and mission statement must be more than just platitudes on a wall, but the very heartbeat the company. I strive every day to value that heartbeat at YOUevents.
Why were you looking to get an MBA, and why did you choose JWMI?
I started my educational journey to show my children (particularly my oldest child who was struggling with the transition from high school to college) anything you put your mind to, you can accomplish. I never imagined I would earn an MBA. It wasn’t until the last week of my last class in my bachelor’s program that I even considered getting an MBA… and now I’m an MBA graduate with honors!
I chose to attend JWMI for several reasons:
- The program was a perfect fit because I knew that if I buckled down and applied myself, taking two classes at a time, I could finish in eighteen months.
- The Princeton Review and other top-rankings were truly impressive and unique in the online space.
- No other program could provide the business wisdom shared by the late great Jack Welch.
But what I was most impressed with was the JWMI staff. From the admissions office to the business office and, of course, the faculty—everyone was awesome! I truly felt like JWMI was a family whose main goal was to make sure that I succeed. I hope I made them all proud.
Did you find the curriculum immediately applicable, please explain?
The curriculum was relevant from the very start of the program. In fact, the first two classes Leadership in the 21st Century and Business Communication & Executive Presence were instrumental as I looked to grow my business.
I learned the principles of true leadership and how to become an effective leader and what my employees needed. I learned the difference between a leader and a manager, conflict resolution techniques, and how to make quick but smart decisions that could benefit not only myself but also my employees and my business as well.
What was your overall impression of the online experience?
I was very familiar with the online environment, having earned my bachelor’s degree in an online environment. Because of my career and family commitments, I would have never been able to continue my education without the convenience and flexibility of an online format.
What’s been your most rewarding experience in the program?
Every element of the Jack WelcMBA program was a rewarding experience. I leave this program with business acumen that I did not previously possess. I now have an education and a skill set that I can use to help my family, my company, and my employees grow.
Every element of the Jack Welch MBA program was a rewarding experience. I leave this program with the business acumen that I did not previously possess. I now have an education and a skill set that I can use to help my family, my company, and my employees grow.
How did you navigate school, family, and work? What strategies did you implement to get it done?
I am married to the love of my life, Quincy, who encouraged me to step out on faith and jump off the ledge to earn my MBA. He has been my rock and major cheerleader during my most stressful times. Also, my three beautiful children, Cristofer, Giovanni, and Hope, inspired me every day to never give up and keep reaching and growing to become my best self and live my best life. By applying many of Jack’s principles and other classroom learnings, I started to see a difference in myself. Those differences translated into increased confidence when leading and building teams in my workplace, and in the most important team of my life—my family.
Since starting this program, my family has been inspired. My oldest son (the one I referenced earlier) is now a college graduate. My middle son is now a college freshman and a scholar. And now, even my husband has started on his journey to get his MBA. I am excited for what the future holds for myself, my family, and my company.
Please share any advice for new students embarking on the Jack Welch MBA journey.
This program will be a lot of hard work. You will have your up and down days. You will have times when you high-fived yourself and jumped for joy and times when you feel overwhelmed and consider giving up, but no matter what, DO NOT STOP! Allow yourself to feel every emotion, then exhale, push through, and get it done. I promise you in the end when you walk across that stage on graduation day and hear your family and the JWMI community cheering you on; it will all be well worth it.
Connect with Monique Conner on Linkedin
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