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Winning Voices: Tim Silk, Senior Technical Manager at Cisco

Winning Voices: Tim Silk, Senior Technical Manager at Cisco

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.

Tim Silk
Senior Technical Manager
Cisco

Tell us a little bit about your company.

I lead a team of pre-sales specialists supporting the US Public Sector market. My team is responsible for helping federal, state, and local government and education customers modernize and automate their IT infrastructures, migrate mission-critical applications, and manage multi-cloud environments. We help our customers transform the way they protect, serve, and educate.

WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?

I was not looking to get an MBA specifically, but I’ve always appreciated the need to learn new skills and information. JWMI’s emphasis on leadership, its comprehensive approach to business, and the opportunity to learn the Welch Way intrigued me. The next thing I knew, I was nine classes in and there was no turning back!

JWMI’s focus on leadership and driving results has given me a framework for success that I will use throughout the rest of my career.

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DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE?

I applied the JWMI curriculum early and often during the program. I built a marketing plan, a product adoption plan, and a market strategy that I used in my work, to the benefit of my team. Every week I was thinking more and more about my work and how I could improve and help my team and my business. During the weekly discussions throughout the program, I developed and refined my perspectives on my work, my company, the industry, and business in general. The curriculum drove home a comprehensive view of the business and how to succeed as a company and as an individual.

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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.

I had taken online courses in the past, but not at this level. JWMI is very well structured and lends itself to high-quality interactions between the student and the professor and between students which increases one’s opportunity to learn. The mix of articles, Harvard business cases, texts, and interactive content from top CEOs was extremely informative and kept the concepts relevant. The classes were well executed and accelerated my learning tremendously.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?

JWMI opened my eyes to the true meaning of values. Values are actions and habits that define not only what you believe but how you live out your beliefs. Discovering those values is both rewarding and humbling.

The Welch Way principles are woven throughout the program and the foundation for it.

  • Mission and Values: As a leader, I must know what I am doing, who is with me, and how we will get there.
  • Candor: I must be open and honest with them and with myself.
  • Edge: I must be selective in my priorities and what will grow my business, my team, and me.
  • Voice and Dignity: I must respect the people around me and strive to get every brain in the game.

I am very grateful for JWMI and the impact it has had on me. I believe the most significant rewards are yet to come as I grow in my career and stay connected to JWMI and my classmates.

HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?

The program structure improved my organizational skills. I quickly learned to manage my time in preparation for more substantial assignments, but I also found a regular cadence with my studies so I could maximize time with my family. Because the program was so applicable to my career, I rarely felt as if I was behind at work. I was always thinking about my team and my job and how to improve both. Overall, structuring my time around the program’s weekly goals and not rushing to complete assignments was my primary strategy for success.

PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.

Dive in! Go at it to learn, not merely to get a degree. Take your time but persevere. Know that there will be times when you question yourself, and you want to quit. Stand firm and keep going. Plan your weeks and months, and make sure you include time for you and time for the most important people in your life. If you don’t already workout, start working out. You will need the time to clear your head and reduce your stress. Earning an MBA is possible, and it will propel you to new heights both personally and in your work. Go for it!

Connect with Tim Silk on Linkedin

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