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Briefcase to Backpack: Five tips for leaving full-time work for a full-time MBA

I have always been the type of person who loved school. But when I considered entering the full-time Crosby MBA Program in January 2016, I was petrified. I had just spent four years working in the sport apparel industry and earned an education in exercise and sports science. My resume certainly contained meaningful educational and professional experiences, but I had no formal “business” exposure. Fast forward two years and two months, I am proud to say that I am nearing graduation from the Crosby MBA Program.

The decision to leave the workforce and pursue an MBA was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

In light of my previous apprehension about going back to school, here are five lessons that I hope will inspire others to confidently leave the workforce and enter a full-time MBA program.

  1. Do not let a non-business degree deter you from earning your MBA

I admittedly had some insecurities about making the transition from science to business. What I did not realize is how my scientific education refined universal critical thinking and analytical skills. Although my experience teaching human cadaver labs did not necessarily help me understand discounted cash flow models, it certainly fueled my inquisitive nature to master a concept. Truthfully, any form of formal education can translate to gains in the MBA realm. The trick is to make associations and utilize your unique background and skill sets. (more…)

Crosby MBA Elective Course Highlight: Turnaround Management

Turnaround Management with Scott McNair

Over the course of my last semester as an MBA student, I have been taking a Management elective course called Turnaround Management. Not only is it a wonderful course, but it also provides interesting insight into how a company undergoes a strategic turnaround. This course is taught by Professor Scott McNair, a professional turnaround expert with a specialty in the food industry. Every week, students are assigned a business case that we read and write a report on, which is then discussed with the help of discussion leaders in the class. The past two weeks, we have had a couple of guest speakers who helped us to gain a deeper understanding of this concept by discussing the various sides of turnaround management consulting.

One especially impactful speaker was Mike Juniper from CR3. CR3 is a turnaround management consulting firm that helps businesses and companies during crisis situations. To give a bit of a background on Mike Juniper, he has a BBA in finance from University of Arkansas and got his MBA from Washington University. He got into the turnaround business by accident, after witnessing his first restructuring in Pretium Packaging in St. Louis and his first bankruptcy in Southern Products Company, also in St. Louis. (more…)

Crack the Competition Code: 7 Helpful Tips for Surviving your First Case Competition

“Team C you’re up” were the last words I remember hearing before Shraddha, Lycus, Rebecca and I walked into the room to present our case recommendation.
Four judges, all industry professionals, waited patiently to hear our strategy. 24 hours of ideation and slide generation, all culminated at this very moment. Pitted against three other teams, the best team from each room would make it to finals and ultimately one step closer to victory.
Our arrival the night before as we stepped onto the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus for the Strategy Case Competition started with enthusiastic greetings from staff and students. After a night of networking, the competition started the next morning with the case distributed to all teams at 9:15 a.m. Each team was assigned its own private workroom and had 24 hours to finalize its slide deck for submission. The case involved coming up with a transformative profitability and growth strategy for a well-known insurance company.
There were two rounds in the competition that saw each team present to a panel of four to five judges. Four teams advanced to the final round, where each had 20 minutes to present to a panel of judges that consisted of senior management, industry professionals, and partners, in addition to all the teams that did not advance. Teams were evaluated on four different categories:
  • Overall content
  • Growth and product strategy recommendations
  • Strategic thinking and analysis
  • Presentation style

With the best team overall winning the money, the bragging rights and the Oprah-sized check – “and you get a check and you get a check!”


Coffee and Community: Consulting with Santa Julia

My Nicaraguan story started a year before I enrolled in the Crosby MBA.

In 2016, as I was doing research on MBA programs, I came across the Mizzou Crosby MBA blogs that featured the recent ‘Nicaragua International Consulting’ experience. As I read through the writers’ adventures, I hoped to have similar exciting opportunities in my future business school. One year later, I was a member of the Crosby MBA community making preparations for the ‘Nicaragua International Consulting’ of 2017. (more…)