Pivot from growth opportunity to growing a community
As a self-described “over-achiever,” Aleisha Stevens wasn’t one to settle into a comfortable career in logistics. While she enjoyed improving processes and efficiency within her organization, a couple of years in, she felt her self-improvement stalling.
“I went for my MBA because I never wanted to stop learning and growing and getting better,” she says.
Planting the seed
While researching programs close to home, she saw that Tippie had a campus in downtown Des Moines, just blocks away from her office.
“I chose Tippie because it was highly ranked and right down the street” she explains, “Plus you get to choose the classes that make the most sense for you. I took the math classes first, then shifted over to the management, leadership, and operational side of things.”
Not only that, she could earn an MBA part-time while also adding a master’s degree in business analytics and a leadership certificate, two subjects close to her heart.
Watching it grow
It didn’t take long for Aleisha to see a return on her investment. Almost immediately, she started applying her new skills to her current role.
In her analytics experience class, she brought in data from her own company, Ruan Transportation Management Systems. Her team analyzed the growing lack of new drivers in the trucking industry and presented real-time suggestions for how to attract young people to the business.
“I was excited to help build a sustainable future for a 90-year-old company,” Aleisha notes. “Let’s see that it makes it to 100!”
To take advantage of every opportunity the Iowa MBA offers, Aleisha joined the Student Association Board where she served in many roles, including as President.
During her time on the board, she worked with a team of analysts to promote incentives for homeowners in marginalized neighborhoods in Des Moines. She also helped organize an event to plant trees in historically neglected areas. Through both in-class projects and volunteer efforts, she formed lifelong bonds with her peers.
“I now have a group I can reach out to and say ‘hey, I’m running into a problem, what do you guys know about it?’” she explains.
Emerging as a leader
When she decided on the Iowa MBA, Aleisha had no doubt she would grow professionally. But what she didn’t foresee was how the program would expand her community, friendships, and networks along the way.
Now this first-generation college graduate is committed to paying it forward.
“I want to take care of people and make sure they’re getting the same opportunities,” she says. “Even if you grew up in a neighborhood where not a lot of people go to college, like I did. You can come back and give back.”
She hopes to continue her trajectory in a future leadership role, giving others the tools to reach their potential.
“Because of what I learned during the program, I want to be in a place where I’m helping others grow and building them,” she says. “I want to teach people how to ask the right questions, to solve their own problems, and to get comfortable with things that seem daunting, like SQL. If they get these tools explained in the right way, then all of a sudden, they can use them to move forward and do great things.”