Thriving in Willamette's professional program

by Mike Russell,

Most challenges are too big to tackle alone. That’s why Nicole Roth MBA'16 decided to earn her MBA.

  • Nicole Roth MBA'16

After meeting Nicole Roth, MBA’16, it comes as no surprise that she’s bubbling up through the ranks of her employer, Intel. Since joining the technology leader in 2010, this effervescent MBA candidate has held positions in supply chain management, and completed a sales and marketing rotation program: a two-year program that allows recent college grads to rotate into multiple positions in a short period of time.

Although she’s thriving at a multinational company renowned for bright employees, Nicole sought a more intimate setting to earn her MBA. “I didn’t want to be a number in a crowd. I wanted to be a member of a cohort.”

From the moment Nicole reached out to Willamette, she has been impressed by her personalized experience. “First impressions are crucial, and Willamette made a great one. I received a response within hours of submitting my application. My interaction with the Director of Recruitment and staff was positive from the beginning. I knew this was the right school for me.”

That experience held up over Nicole’s first year. “Professors take the time to understand our education and work backgrounds, and professional goals. They’re always available for feedback, to discuss business cases, or share ideas on questions that come up in my work.”

Nicole answers that service with her own contribution. She sits on the student board of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. As one of two student representatives, she offers insight from the student perspective. “The board listens well. It’s clear Willamette wants to remain an outstanding, competitive program. That makes me feel like I’m earning a valuable degree from a great institution.”

But Nicole’s education doesn’t just come from her professors; she’s benefiting from her cohort of fellow students, too. “In the beginning of the program, we spent time learning about ourselves; how we like to collaborate, lead, communicate, etc. Not everyone does things the same way. It’s really important to discuss our differences, and understand our various management styles. I don’t know if that discussion would be possible in a larger program.”

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