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.
Rosalind Clax Davis
Senior Accounts Payable/Payroll Lead
Township of Aberdeen
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT Township of Aberdeen.
I’m the senior team leader in accounts payable and payroll, where I oversee routine activities of all check processing for accounts payable, payroll, and ACH payments. I am responsible for researching, reconciling all payments, and serve as a liaison with other government agencies, vendors, lenders, and employees. I’m always looking for ways to improve vendor payments processes while reducing errors and enhancing vendor relations.
Why were you looking to get an MBA?
I wanted to increase my knowledge and find ways to improve processes. The increased learnings, I hoped, would set me up for higher-level management positions. I didn’t want to be just any manager; my goal was to create an environment where strategy is used to achieve operational goals.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
I am more confident in myself when presenting to management. I received new job responsibilities and the position of ACH payments department head. This confidence allowed me to research and present the need for ACH payments to my supervisor. I researched banks and compared ACH processing procedures, processing fees, payment turnaround time, ease of set-up, and systems compatibility. As of April 2020, more than 35% of vendors elected to have their funds sent via ACH payments.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
Yes, the curriculum was immediately applicable. I learned from Winning by Jack Welch that getting every brain in the game helps the team’s overall success. Previously, team members never were asked to contribute their ideas. However, by implementing Jack’s concept and having each member explain his or her vision, the department selected a team member’s plan that reduced two steps, thus saving time and money in processing payables. Having every brain in the game allowed members to discuss their ideas in an environment that welcomed them freely. The reduction of these two steps allowed checks to be processed quicker, resulting in quicker times for our vendors to receive payment.
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, FACULTY ETC?:
I didn’t think online learning could compare to being in a classroom and incorrectly assumed I would be short-changed with the quality of teaching and information provided. However, this program far exceeded my expectations. Weekly Discussion Question Boards were always both engaging and challenging. The Experts of Practice Videos provided first-hand knowledge and great wisdom from business icons like Jack Welch and other high-level executives. And I can’t say enough about the faculty who are there to challenge you while offering you every opportunity to succeed. Online learning may present some challenges, but with all these tools at one’s disposal from the Jack Welch MBA program, success is around the corner.
How did you navigate school, family, and work? What strategies did you implement to get it done?
At first, it was challenging to navigate school-home-work life balance due to scheduling conflicts. During certain times of the year, the demands from my job complicated an already stressful period and packed schedule. This program forced me to prioritize how I studied, completed assignments, and spent time with family. My son was the glue to my success in that he helped with chores and allowed me time to complete my homework.
Strategies that I used to help are as follows:
- I left work at my designated time and decompressed on the way home.
- I set a schedule for what days to read, study, and complete projects.
- I never waited until the last minute to complete and submit a project.
- Sunday was designated family day with my son. We cooked and planned for the upcoming week.
- I took time to rest and recharge for the coming week.
- I made it competitive. My son and I had a friendly competition to see who would achieve better grades.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?:
My most rewarding experience in the program was learning from my peers and applying what I was learning the very next day at work. To see Jack’s concepts evolve in front of my eyes with my team was impressive. The vast industry knowledge that my peers possessed made it fascinating to learn from them while providing a healthy difference of opinion in weekly discussions.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.:
Professor Bruce Smith of Capstone and Business Analytics was instrumental in helping me excel in my final course. He challenged me to go beyond the traditional weekly DQ responses and respond through the lens of a board member. Stretching my writing and thinking from the board’s perspective proved to be a challenge in certain weeks. Professor Smith provided constructive critiques along with my peers, which allowed me to develop responses that garnered healthy exchanges. Professor Smith was available at all times to administer assistance or listen to ideas. He went the extra mile and helped me cross the finish line and complete my final course.
Please share any advice for new students embarking on the MBA journey.
This MBA journey is not an easy one, but you are worth this investment!
Don’t doubt or compare yourself to your classmates; remain focused. Allow yourself to be stretched mentally while learning from the weekly readings, DQs, Expert of Practice Videos, and especially your peers. Apply time management skills when completing weekly assignments and projects; while creating a work-life balance with your family and other obligations.
Utilize your professors as they are here to help you along this journey; they care about you and your success in this program. Set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. Celebrate after completing each class to keep motivated.
Enjoy the journey; it will be over before you know it!
Connect with Rosalind Clax Davis on Linkedin
For more information on the Jack Welch Management Institute, visit us.