"Since 2010, I had been progressing through the MBA admissions ranks at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM). We are lucky at the GSM as the school is supportive of staff development, and I was able to pursue the UC Davis MBA while also working full time.
"I learned so much about doing business well, how organizations function, and developing strategic, data-, and market-driven decisions. I made some incredible friendships among alumni, students, and faculty in that process. I not only knew the product, I was the product, and this gave me a huge edge in being in able to deliver. My career took off. In the three years while I pursued the MBA, I applied what I learned and even welcomed my daughter (huge thanks to my wonderfully supportive husband). I saw three different titles with increasing responsibilities.
"After graduating, I moved into a deputy director role where I was a middle manager in charge of the admissions team and strategy across our three MBA programs. My director at the time was preparing for retirement. Everything I did was geared toward that opening. Then out of nowhere, our leadership approached to see if I would be interested in running a brand new Master of Science in Business Analytics program. They needed an executive director. I was hugely flattered, and it also threw me for a loop. I might have suggested some other candidate instead that first conversation. There was so much that I would be giving up–including knowing exactly how to do my job and that I could do it well.
"Fortunately, I had some great mentors, including our school dean, who spent time to help me see the opportunity that existed. While there have been challenging moments as we built a new program, it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences. We are now ranked No. 10 in the U.S. overall by QS and No. 6 worldwide for value for money. Demand is high, and in the last year we successfully more than doubled the cohort and are one of the larger top-ranked programs nationwide. The alumni are in high demand, and are at great companies, Adobe included. More importantly, I get to work with some of the most delightful human beings who selflessly help each other out. In working with our students and team, there are times that we laugh so hard we cry. Knowing we’re part of this larger network and doing work that helps people achieve their professional goals and companies do business better has been richly rewarding."