UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Patrick McGowan

Patrick McGowan

Class:

Evening MBA Class of 2011

Title:

Product Manager

Company:

IBM LotusLive - Research Triangle Park, NC

"Every time you have the chance to apply an assignment to your work, take it! When you apply what you learn to your job, it benefits everyone. "

Why did you pursue an MBA?

“I love finding creative solutions for whatever I’m trying to accomplish, including my own career advancement. I knew I wanted to affect a broader audience, and I recognized that an MBA would prepare me for the next stage in my career.”

What else did you do to achieve your career goals?

“Once I started the program, I took advantage of every opportunity to move toward my goals. Ultimately, it’s my career. It’s up to me to make it happen. I figured, why wait until graduation when I can start moving toward my goals now!”

Advice for new students?

  • Use the program's professional management services: “The MBA program offers a wealth of tools and services, from personal assessments to career workshops and networking events. You can even talk with a career coach. There’s value in every tool, service, and workshop. Do it all!”
  • Apply your coursework: “Every time you have the chance to apply an assignment to your work, take it! When you apply what you learn to your job, it benefits everyone. You’re solving problems for your company, getting recognition, testing your new skills, and completing your course requirements.”
  • Reach out, and up: “Use the MBA program to initiate conversations with influential people in your company. Tell them you are pursuing an MBA and would like to talk to them about what you’re learning. It’s a great foot in the door to start a conversation and keep it going. For me, the result was an exciting shift to increased product management responsibility - now that’s a return on investment!”
  • Network with your classmates: “These are lasting relationships that will continue long after the program is over. You never know when one of your peers might become your future business partner, your employee, or even your boss!”

Career Impact

  • Management Opportunities: “The MBA program gave me the business skills to transition into a broader business role. I was only half way through the MBA program when I was offered a new product management opportunity within my company – it was the perfect next step for me and it shows that the company is confident in my ability to take on increased responsibilities.”

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