Hometown: Mendocino, California
Previous University: Endicott College
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Management
Q: While on active duty with the Coast Guard, what made you decide to pursue graduate business school at D’Amore-McKim?
A: I served in U.S. Coast Guard for five years. I spent my first three years on two different ships—a 210-foot ship in Galveston, Texas and an 87-foot ship in Virginia Beach, Virginia. When I switched careers and became a logistics officer, I reported to a base in Boston. As my enlistment contract ended, it was the perfect time for me to pursue an MBA because I had just become an active-duty veteran qualified to use assistance from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department.
I’ve always liked business and I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind. I wanted to expand my general business acumen and become more competitive in the job market. After researching what degrees best aligned with my goals, I realized that the MBA perfectly aligned with my ambitions. I was excited about the classes, especially those focusing on entrepreneurship and data analysis.
I chose Northeastern University’s strong MBA program, because I knew it would expose me to various different industries, companies, and projects so that I could gain a wide understanding of business as a whole. I qualified for Northeastern’s Yellow Ribbon program, and it covered all of my expenses after the VA assistance. Northeastern will take an unlimited number of students and provide unlimited funding, which is pretty rare.
Q: How have your classes prepared you to launch your career?
A: The MBA program has allowed me to strengthen my data skills and gain more experience with team collaboration. I’ve learned a lot by giving presentations, participating in group projects, and just the personal interactions with my classmates.
I’m also learning to process both quantitative or qualitative data. This data-driven learning really helps me prepare for my future career. I’m able to take a business case, break down the data, analyze the numbers, and expand on my conclusions in a paper or present it with my team. I’m doing that in all my classes, no matter what the subject is, and no matter what the class is.
I’m learning to apply data analytics to business decision-making while developing inter-personal skills—the ability to interact with other professionals. It’s the best of both worlds.
Q: You currently work at Textron systems. What has that experience been like for you?
A: After the Coast Guard, I was hired at Textron system—a defense and aerospace federal defense contractor based out of Wilmington, Massachusetts. I’m a senior production control analyst, which means I’m wearing a lot of hats right now! The majority of what I do is manage our inventory. Our inventory includes items going into production for our main programs, government property, or contracts for the government property assets.
I’m grateful for the MBA program because I’ve been able to ask my professors career-oriented questions and advice on the work problems I’m facing. During these conversations, I can ask them specific questions about the challenges I’m facing, and then I can apply what I learn the very next day.
These professors have decades of leadership experience in supply chain. They’ve already overcome many of the challenges that I’m taking on now. I appreciate that I can apply their insights to my work.
Q: As a veteran, where have you found community at Northeastern?
A: I often rely on the Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers (CAVS). This networking group has especially been great and they offer clubs and other resources, too. The Veterans Affairs Office has also been useful, in terms of clubs and resources, and I really appreciate my academic advisor.
Q: What advice do you have for future MBA students interested in supply chain management?
A: Supply chain is a great career path. I really enjoy it—I’m not behind a desk all day. I’m up on my feet, and I’m moving around. It’s dynamic, and you’re always working with a bunch of different people. It’s fast-moving; no two days are the same.
The MBA is very doable. It’s mainly centered on a lot of volume-based work and concentrating on a lot of deliverables. In my group assignments, everyone makes sure that you finish what you need to get done and you’re able to form great professional relationships. The program teaches you how to collaborate with your peers and helps you build leadership skills.
“This program offers a wide variety of concentrations that I did not find with other MBA programs. That flexibility made it possible for me to have concentrations in both healthcare management and entrepreneurship; a crucial component of pursuing my career goals.”
“I chose Northeastern because I wanted a program that would break me out of my shell…As a result, I’ve become much more confident, and I’m proud of that. “
“Academics have always worked best for me when I can apply what I learn immediately. The day after a class, I can almost always apply what I’ve learned to something I’m doing at work.”