Pivot from spinning plates to a strategic focus
Between an hour-long commute, volunteer work, and a tactical marketing role that included everything from strategy to content creation to graphic design, Jaime Miller knew it was time for a change.
“I was feeling stuck,” she explains. “I was commuting back and forth an hour. I was wearing too many hats. I wanted to move to a company where I could have real growth.”
Making it make sense
Even though she knew it was in the cards, Jaime put off earning an MBA until she had a few years of work experiences under her belt. Once the time was right, she sought a program that would allow her to build a broad network in a non-traditional format.
“I liked the flexibility of the Iowa MBA because you weren’t tied to a cohort of people, and they give you ten years to finish it,” she says. “It was nice to know that life could happen, and I wouldn’t be tied to this.”
After joining Iowa’s program, she was able to put what she learned into context immediately.
“In undergrad, you learn all this stuff, regurgitate it for the exam, but don’t understand if it’s useful information. As an MBA student, it was easier to solidify what I was learning, because I was able to relate it something I already knew,” she explains.
Meet your pom-pom squad
Within a few semesters, Jaime took an important step, tapping into Tippie’s resources to find a better career fit.
First, the Graduate Career Center supported Jaime through a mid-program career shift that included negotiating tuition reimbursement and interviewing for a higher-level opportunity.
“They were so helpful—like my cheerleaders,” Jaime laughs. “They made me feel so good about my experience and skills. I had a lot of ups and downs during my job search, and they were right there with me.”
Jaime also reached out to Iowa MBA alumni who had experience working with the healthcare company where she was interviewing.
“I had phone conversations with two people I met through the program who had worked there previously,” she says, “They helped me really understand the culture, the vibe, the direction of the company before I had the final interviews.
Support at every stage
From the Des Moines site staff to career services to faculty, Jaime found advocates through every phase of her journey.
“The Iowa MBA professors were real people – not just people who would stand at the lectern and talk at you. I felt really cared for.”
She also loved attending class in the downtown Des Moines building and interacting with on-site support staff, Francine and Angela. The two helped guide her toward professors and classes they thought she’d enjoy and advised her on adding a certificate to her degree.
“You really develop a relationship with people – which I wasn’t expecting.”
Ready to fly
While her network helped her land a job that utilizes all her strengths, the Iowa MBA curriculum prepared her to thrive.
“Now I’m in a role where I create the marketing strategy for two lines of business. We have a whole marketing team, and I serve as the touchpoint, she says, “The Iowa MBA gave me a better business sense, better business acumen. I was able to come in and ask the right questions to learn and understand the business very quickly.”