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The Impact Zone

Barrett Thomas

A faculty member who helps MBA students understand how to apply Lean concepts to a variety of industries. Read more...

The Impact Zone

Current Student Spotlight

Jodie PM student and author Jodie Toohey puts the skills she's learned in her MBA courses to work.

MBA-PM student Jodie Toohey is already applying what she has learned in MBA courses to her professional writing and editing business, Wordsy Woman Word Sales and Service, as well as her new novel and forthcoming book of poetry.

Though Jodie embarked into the freelance world at the beginning of 2010, she was initially unsure of her choice and questioned her decision. It was not until she took her first MBA course, Management in Organizations, in spring 2012 that she knew her strengths were aligned with what she wanted to do: write. Her resolve and commitment to her business were strengthened further in summer 2012 when she took Ginny Wilson-Peters’s Leadership and Personal Development class.

“Finding out what my personality type is and how I could take the best advantage of it to accomplish what I want really opened my eyes,” Jodie said. “I’m still working on my ‘confidence’ problem, but thanks to Ginny’s class and the work we did in it, I know it is just a personal challenge I have to face and is not a fatal flaw that will doom me to failure.”

The confidence Jodie has gained through Ginny’s classes, as well as the other MBA classes she’s taken so far have helped her to proudly say, “I’m the Wordsy Woman,” when asked about her profession. The financial classes she’s taken, along with her current Managerial Economics class, are helping her to effectively manage the financial side of Wordsy Woman Word Sales and Service. Marketing Management not only helped Jodie to effectively manage marketing her own business but also provided insight for when she writes web copy or articles to help other businesses market their services. Developing the Professional Service Business, in which she is currently enrolled, is directly tied to the “writer for hire” arm of her professional and editing business. “I’ll probably see that I’ve made some mistakes along the way, but through what I learn in this course, I should be able to correct them and make healthier choices for my business going forward.”

The correlation between a writing and editing service business and an MBA degree are clear, but the program has also helped her in writing her fiction novel. Jodie began to think about writing her book Missing Emily: Croatian Life Letters, after meeting her friend from Croatia several years ago. Her friend, coincidentally, is also currently enrolled in the MBA-PM program. The story is about two teen girls, one in the United States and the other in Croatia, who deal with their own turmoil, one of deep depression and the other of civil war, by writing letters to each other in the early 1990s.

The story is largely autobiographical, based on her own tumultuous teenage years. “I cannot begin to articulate the empowerment I’ve received from being in the MBA-PM program,” Jodie said. “All of my teachers and classmates so far have been helpful, understanding, and encouraging, not just in my classes, but in general. After a severe blow to my confidence after I first went out on my own, the MBA-PM program has probably literally saved my life. Without the encouragement to be real, authentic, and vulnerable I received by being in the MBA-PM program, I’m not sure I’d have ever had the courage to publish a book even fictionally based on my own teenaged life.”

Jodie’s book of poetry for pre-teen and teen girls, Crush and Other Love Poems for Girls, was released in 2008. Her next poetry collection, The Other Side of Crazy, which includes her prize-winning poem, “Out of the Blue,” is planned for release by 918studio in September 2013.

Jodie volunteers for the Midwest Writing Center (MWC), a local non-profit devoted to writers. Her current big project for MWC involves leading a seven-session series of creative writing classes for seniors via a partnership between MWC and the Center for Active Seniors, Inc. (CASI). And she’s looking forward to completing her remaining MBA-PM classes, anticipating receiving her degree in the spring of 2014.

To learn more about Jodie, please visit her website at To download the first three chapters of her novel, click on the picture of the Missing Emily: Croatian Life Letters cover when you get there.