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Winning Voices: Kevin Blanchard

Winning Voices: Kevin Blanchard

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.

Kevin BlanchardI serve as Vice President of Enterprise Systems with David’s Bridal located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. David’s Bridal, founded in 1950 as a neighborhood bridal salon—is now an international wedding and special occasion dress destination with more than 350 stores throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. I have responsibility for all consumer-facing and operational systems across the enterprise—including development, support, incident management, partner/vendor relationship management, etc. My role is multi-dimensional, requiring me to routinely engage in a plethora of initiatives and situations—as well as interacting with internal associates and external partners at varying levels on a daily basis.

How has the JWMI curriculum helped you in your career?

As a critical member of the Information Technology Sr. Leadership Team at David’s Bridal, I must intimately understand our business—applying that knowledge as we deliver technical solutions throughout the enterprise. The JWMI MBA curriculum and associated content are thoughtfully curated and executed, resulting in a fantastic educational experience. Towards the end of the JWMI program, I earned a promotion to my current role as Vice President of Enterprise Systems. The overall JWMI experience and my performance throughout has bolstered my knowledge and confidence around many business-oriented subject areas and will undoubtedly make me a stronger IT Executive for years to come.

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

Hands down, the most rewarding experience of the program was the final Capstone project. It is difficult to foreshadow how the entire program, in the end, comes together to allow students to showcase their educational journey and apply many of the concepts and strategies against real-world opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed the project and was extremely proud of the final product—it was my crowning MBA achievement.

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What strategies did you implement to manage job, family, life and an MBA?

From the very onset, I thought of and treated my two-year MBA journey as a secondary career/job—one which required a high degree of integration and coordination with other demands of work and life. I quickly established a routine and process that allowed me to stay ahead of (or at least on top of) weekly requirements and deliverables. When extraneous matters came up, I tackled them head-on—reaching out to highly supportive JWMI faculty when needed.

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

Few nuggets of advice I would share:

  • Think of the JWMI experience as a self-less investment in YOU!
  • Your family and employer are critical supporting actors in your JWMI MBA journey—communicate openly and frequently, seeking their support along the way.
  • From the very onset, establish an operating model and schedule that allows you to stay in front of weekly deliverables.
  • Set a high bar for your JWMI performance. Settle for nothing less than Honors level results. If you miss the mark on a deliverable—dust yourself off, take faculty feedback to heart, and try again. CELEBRATE your WINS along the way—soak them up, eat them for breakfast, rinse-and-repeat.
  • Stick your landing. There are going to be times when you want to give up or think that you cannot finish. Trust me; you can. It is going to be one of the hardest and most challenging things you will ever do, but the feeling of personal accomplishment at the end of the program is immeasurable. #Winning #JWMI #YouGotThis

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