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.
Aircraft Sales Representative
Jerry Christian Aircraft Sales, Inc.
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA
PLEASE SHARE MORE ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE AND RESPONSIBLITIES.:
I am a licensed pilot, aviation insurance agent, and aircraft sales representative at Jerry Christian Aircraft Sales in Memphis, Tennessee. We broker and insure private aircraft, and my professional responsibilities include market analysis and research, customer communication and counsel, and legal agreements/aviation documentation.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?:
My position requires my team’s successful leadership and management, and I wanted to sharpen my professional skills and take the next step in my aviation business journey. I wanted to learn new concepts, refine my current skillset, and build my confidence through knowledge and experience.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
My most important takeaway from the program was effective communication. Communicating professionally and with conviction is essential in any leadership role. My communications across all channels, including presentations, reports, zoom calls, and LinkedIn, were fine-tuned throughout my time at JWMI. My confidence and executive presence rekindled a new passion for my work.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
Each course taught me valuable skills I could immediately apply in my profession. After JWI518 Marketing in a Global Environment, I had the skills and confidence to launch a small marketing initiative for our sales division, which ultimately resulted in my promotion. Our website, advertising, and social media platforms were given a fresh look, and we saw increased business inquiries. After JWI520 People Management and JWI550 Operations Management, I implemented subtle changes in our office that helped minimize waste, maximize resources, and create a new cultural environment. Our meetings were more productive, and people felt empowered to speak up and therefore felt more invested in the company. These examples were directly applicable to my current role, but the entire curriculum helped me improve my professional business presence.
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 chose JWMI because it was an online program, but I was nervous about figuring out a new portal system. I was very impressed with the overall program because all the classes have a uniform outline and class model. Each course consistently followed the same structure, so I could focus on learning the material instead of navigating each professor’s preferences each semester.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?:
I had several life-changing events during my two-year program at JWMI (I had a baby, relocated, lost my father and my two furbabies), and I could still maintain my schoolwork, career, family, and hobbies. The ten-week courses were structured around a very manageable workload, and a little foresight went a long way. The professors were understanding, and I could balance my personal life and school without being overwhelmed with clear, timely communication.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.:
I feel that all my professors helped me excel in this program because of their commitment to my success. I went through a lot while completing my MBA, and each instructor took the time to work with me as needed. This extra effort made all the difference in my success because the JWMI professors went above and beyond to help me as I reached my limits outside the program.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?:
My most rewarding experience was being named head of marketing and advertising after applying the skills I learned at JWMI in my current organization. I had a basic understanding of how to market our services successfully, but I was able to take my presentations to the next level after this program.
IN JUST A FEW WORDS, DESCRIBE WHAT “LEADERSHIP” MEANS TO YOU.:
Leadership means using your skills to bring out the strengths in your team and collectively work toward a common goal. Managing people successfully, creating connections and partnerships, communicating clearly and concisely, making tough calls for the business, and gathering and interpreting data for the company’s long-term success is all part of being a good leader.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.:
Come into the program with an open mind. Everyone starts with a base of knowledge and skills, but being willing to approach the courses with a fresh perspective opens the door to deeper learning and understanding. Each class will help you apply what you learn to your work, so approaching the courses without preconceived notions will help you see the bigger business picture and benefit you down the road.
Connect with Rhiannon Daugs on LinkedIn
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