Keli Holmes
“I credit the Fuqua network with much of my career success since graduation. My connections helped me improve my resume, advocated for me in attaining career opportunities, and significantly expanded my network.”
Manager, Connected Operations
Cisco Systems, Inc.

Weekend Executive MBA

Class of 2013
Industry:
Technology

Prior Education:

University of Michigan-Lurie College of Engineering
MS, Industrial and Operations Engineering, 2003

Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering
Industrial Engineering, 2000
Hometown:
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Nationality:
USA

Reflections

The most profound element of the experience is the teaming aspect of the program. The project negotiations and accommodations for virtual interaction that allow each team member to contribute in his or her own way to reach the finish line as a team are extremely transferable to the workplace. It is of utmost importance that you learn to have tough conversations and simultaneously keep the relationships intact, to allow the team to both survive and remain productive. While I was able to apply learnings from the classroom directly to my job, the overall growth that I experienced in teaming has been as impactful as the actual classes in achieving leadership positions following graduation.

Before Fuqua

My career was in Continuous Improvement/Lean Six Sigma working across the automotive, wire & cable, and hi-tech industries. I supported manufacturing in the U.S., China, and Mexico and then transitioned to leading process-improvement initiatives in Sales Operations and E-commerce.

 

After Fuqua

I lead a team that’s responsible for the operations, compliance, and strategic transformation of corporate policy for a company of 70,000+ employees.

Advice

We were advised to minimize life changes during the program—job transitions, weddings, new family additions, and deaths (if possible!), as examples. As life would have it, I experienced many of these things during my MBA program (I was already married with a toddler and a newborn when I entered the program). The key to simultaneously navigating the program and the life experiences above was heeding the advice I received before applying: “Outsource everything.” This means to relinquish control of everything in your life that can exist without you. Housecleaning, lawn care, childcare, and non-essential work duties all fall within this list. My lesson learned is that while achievement of any outcome is possible, it is entirely dependent upon the sacrifice that you—and your support circle—are willing to make to achieve it. I will always be grateful to my own circle (including my husband, children, parents, grandparents, extended family, and friends) that supported me through this program.

Weekend Executive MBA

Top Areas of Career Focus

IT (16%)
Financial Services (14%)
Health Care/Health Services (10%)
Manufacturing/Operations (9%)
Sales/Business Development (8%)
Consulting (8%)

Typical Class Demographics
Weekend Executive MBA

Age Range

36

Work Experience

11 years

Students with Advanced Degrees

32%

Women

27%

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