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Darla Moore School of Business

International MBA alumnus uses multinational experience to tackle diverse business challenges

Feb. 22, 2019

Brennan Dobbins (IMBA ’18), strategy project manager, Lenovo

What do you do now?
I’m currently a strategy project manager at Lenovo, working in the Data Center Group (DCG) in Morrisville, North Carolina. I work on developing our business strategies across product lines and functional areas in the DCG business group for more nascent technologies like Hybrid cloud, augmented intelligence, the internet of things and blockchain-enabled applications.

Why did you choose to attend the Moore School?
The Moore School gave me a unique opportunity to build business acumen, hard skills in data analytics and soft skills including Chinese language, all while learning from a competitive cohort of classmates and well-established faculty.

Who at the Moore School most impacted you?
I was a graduate assistant for Jeff Rehling, the director of the Center for Marketing Solutions (CMS). He introduced me to the internal workings of the Moore School via the CMS, as well as provided mentorship during my time at the university. I’d say we had a great working relationship, as well as a personal rapport that benefited us both through trust and mutual respect. He gave me opportunities to impact the graduate programs at the Moore School for a long time to come and also to develop some executive-level engagement skills through his personal connections. He is an awesome faculty member and really cares for the success of the students at the Moore School.

What's your favorite thing that you learned?
My favorite thing about the program was the opportunity to shape my own experience and the flexibility of the program directors to enable me to do so. I studied Chinese in Beijing, took engineering-level analytics classes, built a graduate speaker program with some classmates, and also had the chance to participate in numerous campus events and summits across multifunction topics from marketing to women in business.

What's the most valuable thing you learned through the program?
Working at Lenovo, a multinational company with headquarters in Beijing and in North Carolina has allowed me to use my language skills to advance my development and career opportunities. Learning a language exposes you to culture, alternative thought processes, governing systems, institutions and socio-economic norms. My language skills are much more than a translation capability — they’re two years’ worth of perspective that has helped me almost every day since joining the company.

What are your career goals?
In three to five years, I want to run a business or a function within the company. I really like strategy as a function, but I’m also interested in running a P&L where we build solutions or services to support our customers in their endeavors. I come from a sales background, so I have experience in (and enjoy) solving problems for customers, working face to face as they build up their businesses.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I want to say thank you to the folks at the Moore School who made my experience as enjoyable as it was — the faculty, our directors and most importantly the classmates I had the pleasure of learning from during my time on campus. I also want to say thank you to the alumni of the Moore School for their support of our development as International MBA candidates. I hope to pay it forward to future classes of the program, and I’m always available to chat via LinkedIn or email for the students working toward achieving their next set of goals.

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