What degree are you pursuing and why?
I am pursuing my MBA degree with a focus on Strategy and Innovation. I just accepted a position at Bank of America in part due to pursuing my MBA, along with my 8 years of experience fraud. I am a Senior Deposit Fraud Policy Analyst, which not only relates to how to mitigate losses for the bank related to fraud from normal business operations and new trends but also to go outside of the box to understand how new strategies and products will impact fraud. Banking is becoming more digital and will require a better understanding of innovation analytics, consumer behavior, and strategy, as well as innovation and change strategies.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business over others?
I chose the Belk College of Business because I know how good the quality of the education will be since I also got my Bachelor of Science in Economics at the Belk College of Business in 2005. I learned so much when I was in the school back then and knew being in Charlotte, it would be a perfect fit. I also love the flexibility since I work full-time and have two kids.
Tell us about your job. What lessons have you learned in your courses that you were able to apply to the job?
In my previous role at PNC, I forecasted their overall fraud losses, as well as looked at their benchmarks against peer banks. I have learned a lot more about forecasting in Operations Management and have been able to apply new techniques to develop a better forecasting model. I have also learned several communication techniques in Human Behavior in Organizations that will help me be a better employee.
What activities are you involved in when not working/studying?
I love to hike and run. I have run three half marathons and plan on doing another one early next year. I also love spending time with my friends and family.
What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?
I think the best part so far has been to overcome my fear of being out of school for so long and starting back after almost 15 years. I have also met some incredible people and it is so nice to be in class with so many people that have very different perspectives during discussions. I am also going to the International Banking Study Abroad in January thanks in part to the scholarship offered by the Belk College for graduate students.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone considering a master’s program?
The Belk College of Business is the best if you want to get a great education at a reasonable cost that will work with your schedule if you are not able to attend full time. The professors, as well as the advisors, are always available to answer any questions and the students in the classes are always willing to share their knowledge as well.
How valuable do you feel this degree will be to your career?
It has already added a lot of value. I applied for a position at Bank of America that I have been working towards for the majority of my time in fraud and I know pursuing my MBA helped me get the job.