Leadership Development Program-Supply Chain
Supply Chain and Analytics
How did receiving a Tippie MBA prepare you for your career?
As a career changer, the Tippie MBA program was vital. I knew I was interested in process improvement and wanted to work for a manufacturer. With a degree in finance and coming from the financial services industry, I felt going back to school was my best option but still had my doubts. Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. Though I did not have much operations experience or a broad network, the structure of the program allowed me to quickly develop the skills and network necessary to obtain an internship with a prominent manufacturer. And now I could not be more pleased to have successfully landed a full-time leadership development position within supply chain management with my first choice of manufacturers.
What type of impact did the program have on you both socially and academically?
I loved being a part of a smaller program and could not imagine it any other way. I was able to quickly bond with nearly all of my classmates, MBA Career Services, as well as faculty and staff. It is comforting to know (not to mention extremely helpful) that there are so many people to provide assistance if needed. Additionally, the Pomerantz Center became a second home. It has a very welcoming environment, and there is always a friendly, familiar face. Furthermore, the Exchange offers a kitchenette, a place to study, and is nice place relax with fellow classmates/friends.
How did the consulting opportunities (Business Solutions Center) prepare you for future success?
Tippie offers several opportunities for experiential learning, whether it is just an element of the course or its premise. With an interest in process improvement, it’s no surprise that I was very excited for the Rapid Continuous Improvement class, in which I co-led a team through a Kaizen event at a local manufacturing plant. It was through this successful event that I received an offer for summer employment. It was that employment that ultimately opened the door to interview with several full-time employers and provide the stories necessary to get that important offer. This and the other experiential courses have allowed me to quickly learn how to step in and lead projects with a team of people I only just met and will work with on a limited basis. This skill will be vital as I begin a rotational leadership development program position.
What was the environment like both on and off campus, in and out of the classroom?
The Iowa City/Coralville area is a very convenient place to live. There is plenty of public transportation, many events, several parks, and a good mix of rural versus urban life. Campus is beautiful and located downtown, making it easy to get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants just off campus. It is often the case that I arrive on campus first thing in the morning and feel no need or desire to go home in the evening except to get some sleep.
Classes are very interactive. The instructors all seem very interested in teaching and thoroughly enjoy working with MBA students. They have all made themselves available outside of class to assist students with little to no use of TAs. Classes have a great mix of theory vs. practice and contain plenty of lively discussion and debate. Additionally, instructors are open to criticism and conflicting ideas as it helps them to improve their courses; continuous improvement runs throughout the program.
How did your participation in extra activities enhance your experience or prepare you for success?
I was an officer within the MBAA. This was extremely rewarding, as I was able to help plan events that brought all my classmates together. My position ensured that I was thoroughly involved in the program, for I was partially responsible for its success. Furthermore, it helped to build team and leadership skills. We often worked with various teams from project to project within a class, or even perhaps with the same team for an entire semester, but it was nice to work with a diverse team over a year’s time and see how we developed and the roles we took at various times. The role was very demanding at times, but I quickly learned how to extensively coordinate my schedule and always maintain a positive outlook—important qualities for any leader.
What do you feel sets Tippie apart and above other similar MBA programs? In short, what makes Tippie special?
As trite as it might sound, Tippie feels like a family. Classmates look out for each other doing what they can to ensure everyone succeeds. Faculty members truly care about our learning. MBA Career Services staff go out of their way to ensure we connect with the right people and do not miss any golden opportunities. There may be some benefits to a larger program, but I feel the smaller size of the Tippie program is optimal to for personal and professional development and for building long-lasting relationships.