Rebecca Blaine chose an Executive MBA to build her confidence in senior management disciplines. She talks to Dawn Bournand about life in the EMBA classroom and what she's achieved since graduation.
It was the chance to interact with and learn from a diverse group of experienced profe sionals and accomplished professors that attracted Rebecca Blaine to Fordham University's Executive MBA program.
A senior marketing manager at LDI Color ToolBox, a US$50+ million digital office technology company representing Canon, HP, and Sharp product portfolios, Rebecca was also looking to foster the development of her management skills that could immediately be applied to her role. The structure of the program allowed me to pursue a curriculum in general management that not only supported my short - term goal of expanding my understanding of business theory and practice beyond what I learned at college and in the workplace, but also proved invaluable in helping me to immediately and substantively impact my role at LDI, Rebecca says.
EMBA and her career
The impact her EMBA degree made on her career - and her organization - was immediate. Just before graduating in 2009, after two years on the EMBA program, Rebecca received a promotion to the position of senior marketing manager, and a raise. My boss acknowledged the time and effort I had put into balancing my career and going to school and was impressed with the knowledge and skills that I had gained from the program, she says.
However, as a woman studying for her EMBA degree, balancing her career and going to school were just two of the three balls Rebecca had to juggle; she also had to juggle family life. It can be a tough balancing act at times but having a good support system really helps, Rebecca says. I had so much support from my husband and family which helped me tremendously.
In her role at LDI as a senior marketing manager, Rebecca is responsible for developing and executing marketing campaigns not only to increase LDI's customer base, but also to attract new business opportunities. Furthermore, she is responsible for creating targeted marketing strategies for the company's bi-monthly solution seminar series.
But it is what she has implemented in her organization since her EMBA that is currently having the most impact. Most recently, I co-founded LDI's Green Team which has not only implemented a process to check progress, and correct and record company operations that have an environmental and social impact, but has also helped LDI's clients reduce their carbon footprint and their operating costs. In addition, I am responsible for coordinating and overseeing all of LDI's green and sustainability events which engage customers and business partners in LDI's efforts.
It was thanks to her EMBA experience that Rebecca gained the confidence to pursue her Green Team idea. I have more confidence now leading teams and proposing ideas to senior management for company-wide initiatives, Rebecca says. Having a limited amount of experience in areas such as finance and accounting, taking these management courses has given me a multi-faceted perspective on projects and initiatives that I am responsible for.
Advantages of an EMBA
Rebecca also says the social network she created within the EMBA program has proven to be extremely beneficial. Especially in these tougher economic times, we all try to support each other in any way that we can and I know this network will continue to last for a very long time, she says. But those aren't the only advantages of Rebecca's EMBA experience: the diverse group of people that you meet and learn from; learning from accomplished professors, being able to apply what you learn in the classroom immediately to your job and strengthening your time management skills are the greatest advantages of having an EMBA degree, she says.
Would I encourage others to pursue an EMBA? Yes. It is truly an invaluable experience that takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but is definitely worth it.