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About Me

Hometown: North Andover, Massachusetts
Current Position: Future Offer Marketing for LV MV Drives, Schneider Electric
Previous University: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Undergraduate Degree: Electrical Engineering
Q: You’ve built a rewarding career in a male-dominated industry. Have you ever felt you were at a disadvantage as a woman in tech?

A: I’m a leader of global teams for Schneider Electric, an energy management and automation company. I can report that my experience has been extremely positive, and I’m optimistic about opportunities for women in business. Fortunately, Schneider has been very forward-thinking in that regard—right now, three out of five of our operations executives are women.

Q: Why did you decide to go for your MBA degree after 13 years in the workplace?

A: I had played roles in both sales and marketing up to that point, but I really wanted to expand my experience and knowledge and challenge myself in new areas. I chose to study international business because I’ve always considered myself a citizen of the world—I was born in Jordan, and I worked with people in many different countries as part of my job. And then I chose finance as well because I wanted to dig into the business side of things and understand growth from a financial perspective.

If you’re thinking about this from the perspective of a woman in a traditionally male industry, an MBA helps even the playing field. The people who have a chance to grow in a company are those who cultivate a business mindset and look at the overall picture, rather than focusing just on their individual situations. I knew that if I grew my business capability, I could grow into the right roles.

Q: What was the most memorable part of the Part-Time MBA program for you?

A: I chose Northeastern because of its great reputation—I’d always heard good things about its co-op programs—and I’m so happy I got my degree here. The people I met were incredible, and they continue to be a resource for me even 10 years later. Just recently, I reached out to one of my classmates who specialized in human resources for her expertise on a specific problem I had.

I remember a class I took on innovation as especially eye-opening. The professor made the concept of innovation make sense not just for products, but for processes, for things like finance. I really, really enjoyed that class—that perspective has been very valuable to me. I also distinctly remember the time I took seven classes in one year while working full time. That was crazy. But the outcome was all worth it.

Q: In your career, how do you use the skills you learned while in the program?

A: Everything I learned about international business at Northeastern is part of my daily life. For example, I still use a tool I learned in class, Hofstede Insights, which compares countries according to different parameters regarding customary power relationships—hierarchy, masculinity, individualism, and so on. Even though I’ve been working with some cultures a long time, I still turn to it as a resource, especially when I need to collaborate with somebody in a new country I’m unfamiliar with.

Q: What opportunities opened up for you after earning your MBA degree?

A: My company has a strong international presence, so after I got my MBA, I presented that to leadership and said, why not move me to another country where I can do more? I’d love a new challenge. So they asked me to deploy software as a service in more than 30 countries. That’s how I landed in Paris, which is an amazing place to live and work.

Q: What advice would you give prospective students—especially women who are considering getting an MBA?

A: Go for it. The program will challenge you, and it can be tough to achieve balance when you’re trying to work and get your MBA. But if you love what you’re studying—as I did—the time will pass very quickly. You’re making an investment in yourself, and you’ll see the results of that investment probably even sooner than you think. I graduated in 2010, and by 2012 I had moved to France with brand-new and exciting responsibilities.

Keep Exploring

“If having a strong relationship with your advisors is important to you, D’Amore-McKim is a clear choice,” says Tan.

“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.”

“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. “

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