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Darla Moore School of Business

Professional MBA alumna enhances communication skills through program

Aug. 23, 2018

Paula Sabbagha, CFP®, (PMBA ’17), Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor

What did the Professional MBA program do for you and your career?
The Professional MBA program has been a great tool for enhancing my overall business acumen as well as a great networking boost.

What was your most influential experience in the program?
For me, the best part of the program has been the relationships I’ve developed and maintained with people in different industries. I still keep in touch with many professors and fellow students from the program.

How did the program prepare you for success?
The program was great for giving me overall business knowledge and developing critical thinking skills in a group setting.

How do you use your degree day-to-day in your job now?
I’m a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, and I use my MBA degree every day as I’m speaking to clients about the markets and financial planning. The degree provided me with the knowledge to better explain finance to my clients. I view myself as a teacher — I love teaching my clients about topics that can help them live more fulfilled lives.

What was the most useful thing you learned though the program?
The most valuable skill I learned was how to maximize success in a team setting.

What is your fondest memory of the Moore School?
My fondest memory from the Professional MBA program was the study abroad program to Argentina with my classmates. We really got to know each other and learn from each other, more so than in the classroom.

What company did you study there, and what aspect of its business did you find most fascinating?
While there, I studied Globant, a tech company that had just been listed in the U.S. stock exchange a couple years before. I enjoyed learning about their open office environment, which is said to encourage creativity. I also noticed that the use of credit was very different. Credit was not used widely in Argentina. You either have money or you don’t, which has led to big economic differences between the lower and upper classes.

How did the Professional MBA program change the way you do business?
I now have a broader appreciation for cultural differences, which helps me be more open-minded with my clients on a day-to-day basis.

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