I Would Do It All Over Again
Thursday, November 11, 2010 / Bookmark & Share
By LaShawna Freeman, MBA '11
If I had it to do all over again I would. I feel that the MBA has opened a world of opportunities that I never imagined would be possible. As a Hokie Alumnus, Virginia Tech was my first choice for an MBA program. I had an amazing undergraduate experience at this excellent institution. To this day I have not seen a campus that compares in spirit or in beauty. Not to mention the love for football.
I still remember receiving a phone call from Melanie to talk about my application and invite me in for an interview. After our conversation I remember thinking how nice and welcoming she was. I can also recall the interview I had with Dr. Skripak, or Steve as he insists you address him, where we talked about my plans for the future and how a Pamplin MBA would help me achieve those goals. It seems like just yesterday and now I am interviewing for jobs and preparing for graduation.
One of the hardest questions to answer is, Why Virginia Tech’s MBA program over others? My first thought is, Why not? I will admit that there is a hint of bias in my answer, but it is well warranted. In my short year-and-a-half in the program, my answer to that question has evolved daily. At first it was the pride and love that I had for my school gained during my undergraduate program. But as I progress in my studies, there are so many things I have experienced and learned. Some things that stick out to me the most are the opportunities to travel to national conference like NBMBAA, meeting other MBAs and gaining exposure to top companies.
I think what I will cherish the most about my MBA program are the people that I have had the opportunity to meet. The professors that have impacted the way I learn and view life. The classes which are so memorable, whether it’s Dr. Bonham and his unique way of turning lectures into a story, or Dr. Lang and his “hold no punches” approach to new business ideas. There’s Dr. Hatfield and the way he forces you to look at every theory in a critical manner, while teaching the importance of innovative and creative thinking. There is also Dr. Champion and his quotable teaching moments relating Marketing concepts and the popular Mad Men television show or describing a case study as a “Party with a purpose”.
I think about the students in my cohort who have helped me build my skills in working in group environments. There is also Jane who has given me a greater understanding of what a brand means and how your customers determine that. She has exposed me to an arena of Marketing I never thought about. The Alumni, like Mr. Cartwright, are always there to share advice from their MBA experience. There is also the MBA faculty, like Bear, who will give a lecture on behavioral interviews, and a week later I find myself in an interview seat replaying the lecture.
As an applicant I came to the Virginia Tech MBA program with the expectation of receiving an excellent education. I’m leaving the program with far more. The importance of networking is one of the many takeaways I will carry with me. Bear constantly instills in us that the resource are out there you just have to take advantage of them. I feel like the possibilities are endless.
originally published November 2010