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.
The Association of Corporate Counsel
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT THE ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATE COUNSEL
Working in the Washington, DC area, I help clients to streamline their business processes and implement change initiatives. My current work focuses on aligning the membership team at the Association of Corporate Counsel.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
The courses that have been instrumental in allowing me to grow in my career are Organizational Change and Culture and Operations Management. The Business Communications and Executive Presence class helped me shape how I engage with members across the organization, from those on the front-line to those in the C-suite. The ability to articulate the concepts that I have learned in my time at JWMI has helped me secure several of my recent consulting positions, even extending a few once the initial contract had expired.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?
When I started at JWMI, I was in a management training program at work. The program taught the specific industry knowledge but lacked the transferrable skills such as EQ and other soft skills that would allow me to grow. I have always had the drive to learn new things, and I thought that earning an MBA would teach me valuable skills that I could use whether I stayed in that position or decided to go elsewhere. As it turns out, I moved beyond that company using the skills that I had learned, even those from my first class, Leadership in the 21st Century.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE?
I was able to use much of the curriculum right away in my career. For example, I used an assignment from my Operations Management course as a template to submit a project proposal to an NPO to improve the accountability of their business practices and make it more streamlined. This project allowed the organization to use the software they were already paying for more effectively and also created a way for the organization to analyze their efforts and make any necessary improvements.
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?
JWMI communicates the program’s expectations effectively, and because of this, it allows students to maximize their learning experiences. I appreciate how accessible the instructors are; I have always been able to reach them by email, but there were several times when a quick phone call was more efficient. The instructors are clear about their availability, and the conversations were informative and instructive.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed and could learn from the Expert of Practice videos. I initially expected the program to involve a considerable amount of reading from textbooks. But, I have found a variety of different content vehicles, like videos or podcasts, that supplement the overall lessons. Learning from the best CEOs in the business was a huge benefit. But, the videos brought it all to life more than reading a textbook could have. It is a unique learning model.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?
The most rewarding experience, so far, has been the implementation of my learnings. I gained the confidence and knowledge that allowed me to communicate with the C-level members of my company and provide value to the organization. This implementation showcases not only the superior content of the classwork but the effectiveness of its delivery. The learnings are shared in an easily digestible way that allows you to implement it right away in your career.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?
Setting a consistent study schedule helped me. I would do my readings for class Monday, and Tuesday nights so I could do my initial discussion question post by Wednesday. I then had the rest of the week to focus on my assignment and wrap up the week with my peer responses. By implementing dedicated “school-work” evenings, I was able to prioritize the MBA but also find balance with personal family-time.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.
Never turn down an opportunity to network. Within the virtual environment, it’s critical to think of each student in your class as an extension of your network. Through this practice, it’s easy then to cultivate relationships and expand your network. I recommend connecting with classmates through LinkedIn. I also recommend attending the virtual webinar sessions held each quarter that are hosted by the Dean of Students, Suzy Welch, or even Jack Welch at times. It’s an excellent opportunity to listen to new ideas and hear real-life advice.
Connect with Zachary Aman on Linkedin
For more information on the Jack Welch Management Institute, visit us.