Going for an Executive MBA challenging yet rewarding

One of the driving forces for obtaining my MBA at Emory was to sharpen and improve my business acumen by improving my analytical and math skills. For much of my career, I operated on gut instincts and emotional intelligence in my role as a journalist.

As my career progressed, I started to have managerial oversight of P&Ls, and each new job meant that I needed to use and understand Excel more, crunch numbers and more deeply understand the budgeting process.

Getting through corporate finance was one of the most challenging courses for me at Goizueta. However, I was lucky to have the support of several faculty including Doug Bowman, Wendy Tsung and J.B. Kurish. When I worked with Professor Kurish in corporate finance, I felt myself learning and truly being taught. He gave me practice problems, formula sheets and lots of homework. But I think what he really gave me was patience, which ultimately led to confidence which then turned into understanding. I am beyond grateful for the time he invested in my learning. I now understand NPV, FV and IRR equations which is astounding!

A few tips if your skills are not quant-heavy prior to the program. You should enroll in Emory’s pre-school boot camp where they teach you Excel and prep you for your upcoming quantitative classes. You also have the opportunity to ask for a tutor while you are in the program. I worked closely with a BBA student in accounting and aced that class.

As I went through the program at Emory, it was intense. I had to give up so many things I’d enjoyed pre-MBA like exercise, Netflix, time with my fiancé and family, and even had to miss a few of my son’s soccer games. Several of my classmates had family deaths, births and healthcare issues to contend with. Through every challenge, all the students I talked to mentioned how supportive Emory was in terms of their individual situations. One student had a family death while we were in Argentina, and another student, who is in the military, helped get her an escorted ride to the airport to fly back to the U.S.

But, as they say, there’s no growth without change and no change without growth, and this to me is the essence of life at Emory and going after your MBA in such a challenging environment.

Mandy Carranza

Mandy Carranza

Mandy Carranza 18WEMBA is a senior group leader for the Weather Company, a division of IBM. She is responsible for securing digital content and leading breaking news coverage for Weather.com, a top-20 U.S. website. She is passionate about applying new technology to today's business problems at IBM. Her background is in journalism, and prior to joining IBM, she worked for CNN.com for over a decade and was a producer on the Dr. Drew TV show. Mandy began her career in Columbus, GA as a line producer at WTVM-News Leader 9. She has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University and is earning her Executive MBA from Emory University. When Mandy is not studying for school, she's plotting a way to get to the beach.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply