Image of Nadia Mata
“This experience has taught me that it is much better to ask for and accept help than to try to tough it out.”
Senior Water Resources Engineer
Atkins Global

Weekend Executive MBA

Class of 2018
Industry:
Engineering, Consulting

Prior Education:

North Carolina State University
Civil Engineering, 2010
Hometown:
Raleigh, NC
Nationality:
USA

Reflections

When I first joined this program, I would say I felt somewhat confident in myself and my abilities, and I have always loved a good challenge. As I went through the first two terms, my confidence level dropped significantly because I was comparing my progress to that of my classmates rather than focusing on my own journey. As soon as I recognized this, I started consciously avoiding comparison and sought help from a professor. Not only has my confidence now recovered, but it’s reached a healthier level than before. I am more fearless in my approach and trust my own abilities. This experience has helped me genuinely believe I am fully capable of handling anything that comes my way.

Before Fuqua

I was mainly providing support to project managers in delivering engineering designs or disaster recovery assistance to clients across the country. I was pretty much a utility player, plugging in to fill a need within water resources or emergency management. I was involved in many different types of projects, which I found very exciting.

After Fuqua

I plan to continue the transition from a technical role toward a general management path where I can continue my project management work while embracing new experiences in program management, business development, and strategy. The soft skills I've sharpened during my program have already opened up new opportunities.

My Favorite Professor

Early on I approached Dr. Jeremy Petranka after our Strategy class and asked for advice on how to improve my ability to advocate, debate, and speak confidently in front of audiences. By the next residency, he had already formed and facilitated a mini Toastmasters program to help three of us who voiced similar concerns regarding public speaking. We developed trust within our small group, which allowed us to explore our anxiety triggers surrounding public speaking. I learned that I had been taught the opposite of what I should be doing, which is why public speaking made me so nervous. Dr. Petranka helped me realize that all I needed to do was simply be myself and stop trying to be something I was not.

Weeks after starting this group, I successfully made my first presentation at a conference, served as a panel speaker, and presented nationally on a webinar at work. The extra time that Dr. Petranka took with us and his advice has made a world of difference, enabling me to bring out the authenticity and confidence I was previously holding back when presenting.

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

28-45

Work Experience

5-20 years

Students with Advanced Degrees

32%

Countries Represented

19

Women

27%
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