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Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT Swing Staging?
My career in the United States started five years ago with Brand Safway, a Clayton Dubilier and Rice company. After completing my formal education in Ireland, I immigrated to the United States and started working with Swing Staging LLC in Long Island City, New York. I started in an entry-level role, working in our yard organizing equipment. I gradually progressed in the company, undertaking various roles, including junior sales representative, field support representative, project manager, and estimator.
I am now the General Manager of Swing Staging LLC, New York’s largest suspended scaffold rental and sale house. My role entails managing the business’s day-to-day operations, overseeing 110 individuals, and steering our business’s strategic direction. This includes designing and executing growth strategies and cost-saving measures, as well as identifying acquisition targets that will strengthen Swing Staging’s competitive advantage in the market.
Why were you looking to get an MBA?
I wanted to obtain an MBA so that I could compete with the highest performers in the market. I never wanted to be refused an opportunity because I didn’t have the education to complement my experience. This drive for excellence motivated me to undertake an MBA with the Jack Welch Management Institute.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER
Since embarking on my JWMI journey, I have been promoted twice, and I have taken on essential functions in our business. I have led the expansion of our Permanent Installation business nationally, and was recently promoted to General Manager of Swing Staging by Brand Safway. Swing Staging is a business that generates 20+ million in revenue annually and has 110 employees. These accomplishments can be directly attributed to the lessons, practices, and guidance JWMI has afforded me. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this program.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
Put simply, yes, JWMI’s curriculum immediately helped me advance my management and leadership skills. The most significant areas of growth were in thought leadership, strategic foresight, and personnel development. I am now comfortable discussing forward-thinking strategies and execution approaches with senior leadership, confidently communicating my ideas and views clearly and concisely. However, it is important to note that my skills were cultivated throughout the course, not just at the program’s culmination. Each class allowed students to “learn today and apply tomorrow”. This approach enabled me to become a better leader during and after the program, allowing me to build a talented team that works hard to execute key strategies together.
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?
When I embarked on my Jack Welch MBA journey, I had no idea what to expect. Given my formal education was in Ireland, I entered JWMI with an open mind. I am happy to report that the Discussion Boards, Exerts of Practice videos, and faculty made my experience very enjoyable. The lessons I learned from my professors, peers, and some of the business world’s prominent leaders like Jack Welch and Warren Buffett provided me with concepts and guidance that I will use throughout my career.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?
Balancing family, work, and social commitments during my time at JWMI was undoubtedly a challenge. However, I found that the best way to navigate these challenges was by waking up very early every morning. I would wake up at 4:30 am most mornings during the week to do as much coursework as possible before my workday day started at 7 am.
Although this approach won’t work for everyone, students need to find a quiet time in the day to focus on their weekly deliverables. I also found that designating time every weekend allowed me to stay on top of assignments and get ahead of the upcoming week’s deliverables. My mantra throughout the course was to do a little every day. Two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening, and some time on the weekends ensured I met every deadline and allowed me to get the most out of each class while balancing all other commitments.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.
I attribute much of my success in this program to Professor Kirstin Leighton-Lucas. Kirstin was my Business Communications professor and Communication Coach throughout my time in JWMI. Kirstin was a consummate professional and nurtured my concise writing style. Kirstin’s weekly suggestions and edits to my DQ posts improved my ability to clearly and concisely communicate with employees and senior leaders. I am now confident in my writing abilities and would like to thank Kirstin for all she did to help me.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?
The most rewarding experience in the program was when I received my Welch Scholar distinction. This honor is given to the top-performing individuals in our cohort. Obtaining this prestigious honor filled me with immense pride and made the early mornings and late nights worth it.
Please share any advice for new students embarking on the MBA journey.
My advice to new students embarking on their Jack Welch MBA journey is to do a little bit of your coursework every day. Don’t leave it all until the last day or the last weekend. I would recommend individuals continuously work on their deliverables daily. This approach will ensure you get the most out of the class and significantly reduce your stress levels. Just remember, when you have deadlines to hit, you must always find the time. At the end of your MBA journey, you’ll be proud of how much more you were able to achieve because you cut out distractions and got to work. And, at the end of each class, make sure you celebrate the hard work and achievement from finishing that course to the best of your ability.
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