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Winning Voices: Jolene Williams

Winning Voices: Jolene Williams

Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices”. Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am the VP of Finance at Healogics, Inc. Healogics is the market leader in wound care and operates just under 700 wound care centers and employs over 300 wound care physicians. I have been with the company for almost ten years and have enjoyed progressing and being an instrumental team member in the company’s growth. I am responsible for our Financial Planning and Analysis group, our physician business and am a strategic partner with our operations team.

Why did you want to get an MBA?

Since I have been with the same company for a long time, I was worried about getting stale. I felt like an expert in wound care but realized that my professional world was tiny. I wanted to learn what right looked like and be able to bring that back to my department and company. I also wanted to broaden my expertise outside of accounting and finance. That included thinking more strategically and being more operational.

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What have you learned about yourself during your time at JWMI?

I learned two key lessons:

  1. The first thing is that I am not as smart as I think I am. The more I learned, the more I realized what I did not know. This made me incredibly thirsty for more knowledge and concepts that I could use in my professional life.
  2. The second key learning was that I am smarter than I realize. I know this sounds completely contradictory, but this program gave me confidence in my strengths and ability. Also, I firmly believe that as an effective leader, you should always be learning and improving.

What’s been your most rewarding experience in the program?

The most rewarding part of the program was the content and the people.

Every week provided relevant material that I could apply directly to what I was doing. The “Learn it on Monday, Apply it on Tuesday” philosophy absolutely holds true.

And, I do not even know where to start with the people. The professors and my classmates made this experience unique and truly rewarding. They were supportive, yet challenged my thinking and helped me improve. I was hesitant about an online program and felt I would miss the classroom experience. I was surprised at how well the format worked and the depth of the interaction.

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Jolene Williams FamilyWhat strategies did you implement to manage job, family, life and an MBA?

Juggling it all was tough; I completely underestimated the ability to find 10-20 hours in a week. My job is quite demanding, and I have always worked long hours and weekends. This program forced me to find efficiencies in work that I wish I learned a decade ago. When you are busy, it is easy to prioritize your life. My family also played a huge role in making this happen for me. My husband kept our house operating like clockwork and got the boys out of the house on many weekends to give me time to work on assignments. My children also got a kick out of the fact that I was in school too and they loved when we all sat down to do homework.

What advice can you share with new students embarking on the Jack Welch MBA journey?

You will get out of this MBA program what you put into it. Try not to look too far out. Focus on the assignment or reading in front of you to get the most out of each class. And, most importantly, remember to have fun!

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