Natalie Friel
“Friday speaker events were absolutely valuable—great learning experiences, and also an unexpected gift. I did not realize we would have the chance to interact with so many industry leaders throughout the MBA.”
Head of Business Support, Quality
Roche

Weekend Executive MBA

Class of 2015
Industry:
Pharmaceuticals

Prior Education:

United States Military Academy, West Point
Environmental Engineering / Spanish / French, 2001
Hometown:
Kaiseraugst, Switzerland
Nationality:
USA

Reflections

I liked the variety of experienced professionals in the Weekend MBA program. The Friday/Saturday format was most supported by my employers. I chose Fuqua because of its reputation and location, and because of the focus on leaders of character. Like most MBA students, I hoped to achieve a change in level of responsibility and believed the learnings and experience would help me prepare for a more substantial role. While this has certainly been the case, the most immediate change has been in my personal perspective. I have developed a greater understanding and appreciation for all the elements that support a successful business, as well as an affinity for strategy.

Before Fuqua

I was in a leadership role for a smaller Roche manufacturing site in the U.S. My focus was restricted to processes within that site.

After Fuqua

I am now working in a larger Roche manufacturing site on an international assignment in Switzerland, with an opportunity to use my business school skills and influence a broader network.

 

Advice

Before the program, create a written agreement with your employer that describes how they will support you (e.g., using business time versus vacation time for residencies) and how you will support them (e.g., utilize a relevant business school course to improve a process or perform a teach-back to a group on a relevant topic from school). A personal support system is also critical. My husband, who also works, supported me fully, and he planned lots of camping trips with our children while I was away. I took vacation days to catch up on work or school, support one of my children’s school events, or just take care of myself.

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%

Student Network


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Rashida Hodge

Class of 2013