Senior Manager, Strategic Pricing, Target
After Lance Golinghorst (MBA 2001) earned an undergraduate degree in engineering, he worked at Archers Daniels Midland as a front line operations supervisor.
“It was a great experience in managing and motivating a team, and in recognizing that there was so much I didn’t know and could learn," he says. "I was good at engineering, but I didn’t have a passion for it. I realized that in order to broaden my opportunities outside of engineering, I needed to go back to school and better understand how the various pieces of the business puzzle fit together.”
“When I started at Tippie, I thought I would pursue finance and my internship was with Kraft in operations finance. That experience gave me exposure to brand management at a world-renowned brand management company. After completing the internship, I knew I wanted to pursue brand marketing. Fortunately, I had a few offers at graduation and was able to join Proctor & Gamble in category management and sales. I spent my first two years after graduation in Arkansas, focused on growing P&G’s baby care business at Wal-Mart.”
After a few promotions, Lance gained responsibility for P&G’s entire paper business with Safeway.
Lance was recruited away from P&G to work for DemandTec, where he used his consumer products and retail background to help the pricing analytics company expand its business. He led product implementations and consulted with several retailers, including Target. Eventually, Lance had the opportunity to join the Target team.
“My Tippie MBA has been invaluable," he says. "My experience and training at Tippie has helped me evaluate career opportunities and make sound decisions. Much of this experience comes from the classroom but even more is available from experiences outside the classroom. Many students enter business school in a career exploration phase. Having constant interaction with peers of varying levels of experience in work and life creates an incredible opportunity to learn.”
Lance not only sharpened his analytical skills at Tippie, but he also worked successfully with teams and developed his leadership skills.
“Business is very relational and you have to quickly become comfortable understanding how to be most effective working in a group," he says. "At Tippie, work groups change daily. The format, case studies and group projects, all helped me learn how to work as a team and contribute as an individual. That’s the kind of thing I have to do every day. Tippie also provides many opportunities for students to take on formal leadership roles, in projects or student associations. I took advantage of those.”
If he had to do it all over again, would he still choose Tippie?
“Absolutely. Tippie is a great school with a great reputation. I was able to develop the same core competencies I would have at a top-name school, but without a huge amount of debt. That has given me flexibility and freedom to take control of my career.”