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.
Marketing Services Manager
Financial Statement Services, Inc. (FSSI)
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
FSSI is a print-mail outsourcing and technology company that services highly-regulated industries such as financial services, government, and utilities. I report directly to the CEO and am responsible for designing and implementing marketing strategies for both our company and our clients. We leverage both print and digital strategies and rely heavily on data to achieve our goals. I enjoy helping to design end-to-end solutions that optimize our proprietary technologies and delivers differentiated outcomes for our clients. However, my favorite part of my position is the ability to build and grow my team as we continually raise the bar and offer more sophisticated products and services. I frequently lead cross-functional projects that require leadership and influence across departments.
Why did you want to get an MBA?
While I believe that I possess a natural inclination to lead, as demonstrated by my quick growth path at FSSI, I felt that there was so much more I could learn and do to be an effective leader in business. And I was right. I decided to get an MBA at JWMI because I believed in its application-based philosophy: “learn today, apply tomorrow.” It is entirely accurate, and I regularly implemented concepts and frameworks from my discussion posts and assignments from week-to-week in my position. I wanted to strengthen my confidence in my abilities, widen my perspectives and knowledge base, and build upon my toolbox of proven concepts and theories. I just wanted to be a better more effective “Me.” JWMI helped me do that and much more.
How has the JWMI curriculum helped you in your career?
In the past three years, I have received three raises, and I am on the path for a promotion to director of marketing. But more importantly, the executive leadership team has galvanized around the successful implementation of my JWMI curriculum. They see opportunity as I identify talent, performance gaps, execute to completion, and provide creative ideas and energy for the company. Reward comes in many forms, and I am often included in projects that help build my knowledge about the company as a whole and position me to contribute to high-level strategic initiatives. JWMI has helped me become more “promotable” because of my depth of knowledge in many areas of business—not just my area of expertise, marketing. I utilize all my JWMI training to over-deliver at every opportunity.
What have you learned about yourself during your time at JWMI?
The three most impactful concepts that have made me a better leader include:
- Welch’s Eight Rules of Leadership: the importance of aligning people strategically to a shared goal, and making it all about your people—not yourself. Through this process of learning more about leadership, I discovered my natural leadership style—authoritative—and other leadership styles that can be applied in different situations.
- An understanding that every person is unique: by understanding an individual’s personality and motivation, you can work with people 1-on-1 which achieves more favorable results than treating everyone the same.
- Differentiation is fair and is the only way to upgrade your team relentlessly.
What’s been your most rewarding experience in the program?
The most significant growth I have experienced is in the amount of comprehensive knowledge I have gained which has made me a better leader.
It is not just one thing that makes a leader successful—it is the deliberate culmination of education, mentors, experience, and the ability to not only create but describe a future in so much detail that others can easily visualize it too. To me, it’s all the pieces working together that leads to success, and JWMI gave me more than the broad brushstrokes of each of these components. My favorite areas of growth were leadership styles and principles, creating a business plan, strategy development, and people management and decisions. Due to the rigorous nature of the program, I am impressed by the quantity of high-quality work that I have turned out in the past three years. My ability to read, write, synthesize information and express ideas have been an exciting ancillary benefit to this program.
What was your perception of the JWMI faculty?
JWMI professors are fantastic and feel more like mentors than professors. To receive feedback and insightful contributions from such experienced, high-quality professors, made me want to perform at a higher level with each assignment. They helped bring out the best in my abilities and application of our coursework.
What advice can you share with anyone researching the Jack Welch MBA or for anyone newly embarking on the MBA journey?
To those of you who are on the fence—just do it! This experience has been one of the most challenging but most rewarding events of my life.
To those just starting, if you haven’t been in school for a while, spend some time getting acquainted with Blackboard (JWMI’s online classroom platform), coursework, and academic expectations. It takes a few assignments to really get the hang of the format and amount of writing required. However, it soon becomes routine as your skills quickly grow. And most importantly— you get out what you put in. When you are tired, stressed, and juggling work, life, and school, always remember why you started your MBA journey in the first place and push through. The worst feeling is knowing you didn’t do your best (for whatever reason) because you know you wasted an opportunity to grow. Every assignment serves a purpose and helps build a strong foundation. JWMI’s curriculum builds upon itself in a way that ensures the most significant learning and retention outcomes. It’s a lot of hard work but also a ton of fun! You will enjoy all the interaction between professors and classmates. Plus, you can’t beat the JWMI value! The JWMI program significantly over-delivers on the investment.
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