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.
Small Business Sales Manager
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT VERIZON.
I lead a team of six small business specialists in the Seattle, Washington territory. We specialize in helping small businesses integrate technology in their operations to run their businesses more efficiently and securely.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
I’ve completed four courses for my MBA program so far, and I enjoyed every single one of them. The program starts with Leadership in the 21st Century; in that class, I learned and applied Jack Welch’s leadership philosophy to my day-to-day job function. I admire the authenticity and high standards of Jack’s leadership style. All three subsequent courses, including Communications & Executive Presence, Marketing, and Managerial Economics, built upon the leadership principles we learned and provided new skills that I was able to apply directly in the real world in my job at Verizon.
During my Managerial Economics course, I took a leap and applied for what is my now current role. My instructor at the time, Dr. Terrie Pellitteri, was very kind to accommodate me during the multiple weeks of preparation and interview stages. She was so happy when I told her that I got the new position that she shared the news of my accomplishment with JWMI’s faculty and staff.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?
I came from Vietnam when I was just 19 years old. I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s Degree and started with Verizon shortly after graduating. I’ve stayed with Verizon for over eight years. I didn’t want to leave Verizon, but it has always been my personal goal to pursue an MBA degree.
I believe education builds a strong foundation for future success. Now that I have two kids, I want to be their role model and show them that it’s never too late to chase after your dreams. If something is important to them, they should find ways to make it happen!
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?
I have a little obsession with coffee. Caffeine helps!
It’s challenging at times to balance being a mom of two young children with a full-time job and school. I believe the years I spent working at Verizon made me more and more competitive, which translates into how I handle my school as well. I want to make sure I achieve Honors in all of my classes. I generally dedicate 1-2 hours each day to school. I know discussion posts are due on Wednesday; thus, I make sure to finish my weekly materials by Wednesday. Then on Thursday through Sunday, I dedicate my time to responding to peers and my quizzes, learning journals, or assignments.
Another tool that I have found extremely helpful is the audio version of lectures and readings. I have long commutes, so I listen to them, sometimes over and over again to ensure I understand the materials.
Lastly, all of my professors have been incredibly supportive. Utilize the materials that the professors post and take advantage of their office hours if you have questions. They send weekly messages but often go beyond that and continually check-in.
Connect with Tien Phan on Linkedin
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