Recent MBA graduates already excelling
Congratulations to recent graduates of the International MBA, One-Year MBA and Professional MBA programs!
The Moore School prepares graduates for success with hands-on learning and a rigorous curriculum, which leads to some of the highest job placement rates and salaries among peer institutions. Read on to learn about recent graduates’ experiences in their Moore School program and what’s next for them.
Matthew “Matt” Gwinn (’17 management and marketing, ’23 IMBA, Business Analytics Graduate Certificate) began in June as a project manager with RTX: Pratt & Whitney, an aviation and aerospace component manufacturer. Gwinn is also a former military veteran who served for six years with the Army National Guard and U.S. Army.
What were you doing before you began the IMBA program? Before I began the IMBA program, I was an officer in the U.S. Army and stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
What made you decide to pursue your IMBA? What soft skills and technical skills were you looking to learn through the IMBA program? I decided to pursue my IMBA because I learned from my time in the military that I thoroughly enjoyed working with people from around the world. Earning an IMBA was the best route for me to pursue a career with a company that was worldwide. The number one technical skill I was looking for from the IMBA program was the opportunity to get a business analytics certification. Prior to the program I had little experience with analytics so knew that was a weak point of mine. As far as soft skills, it really was the opportunity to learn from my classmates. I learned a lot in the courses offered by the program, but it was really from working alongside the phenomenal people in my class that I learned the most.
What made you decide to attend the Moore School to get your IMBA? I had a little bias being a Moore School alumnus already but the Moore School IMBA program having consistently been the No. 1-ranked IMBA program was the deciding factor for me.
How will you apply the skills that you learned at the Moore School in your current position? How will you combine your military background and skills with those you learned at the Moore School in future roles? The skills I learned in the Moore School will help me in my current role as I go about training the personnel assigned to me. As a leader, it is important to ensure your people have the skills they need to succeed. I think the military does a great job at teaching leadership, and I think by combining that with the hard skills I learned at the Moore School will help make me into a valuable asset for any future roles as well.
What are your duties/responsibilities in your current role with RTX: Pratt & Whitney? As a project manager at a greenfield site, my responsibilities are constantly changing. Ultimately though, my duty is to help the operations director with any special projects required to ensure the facility runs as efficiently as possible.
Where/when did you go abroad during the IMBA program? How did that experience help prepare you for your career?
I went to ESCP in Paris for my study abroad and loved it. I met a lot of great people over there and got to travel around Europe during my time abroad. I think that experience abroad helped me to continue to learn about the various business practices around the world and how cultures influence those practices
Anything else about your experience at the Moore School?
Nothing more to add except Go Gamecocks!
Shelley Janssen, M.D., (’23 PMBA) is the chief medical officer and president of Doctors Care of South Carolina.
What made you decide to pursue your MBA? I’ve been a physician for 25 years and have served in health care leadership roles for more than 15 years. I’ve always wanted to pursue an MBA to improve my ability to understand the business aspects of medicine and communicate more effectively with physicians, managers and administrators. I started taking courses through a remote MBA program in the mid-2000s but had to postpone completion due to work and family demands. The leadership opportunities provided by Doctors Care inspired me to develop my administrative skills by enrolling in a professional MBA program.
What made you decide to attend the Moore School to get your PMBA? I resided in Columbia and wanted to attend classes in person when possible. However, the Moore School has a reputation for being one of the top business educators of leaders worldwide. So, I would have applied to the Darla Moore School of Business Professional MBA Program, even if it meant having to attend classes remotely.
What was your experience like at the Moore School in the program? I thoroughly enjoyed being in the PMBA program! It was an excellent opportunity to network with health care and other industries’ up-and-coming business leaders. Working with professionals from different sectors with knowledge and skills vastly different from mine taught me much about teamwork and trust. In addition, the Moore School professors and PMBA support staff go out of their way to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Any obstacle or challenge I took to the program directors or professors was professionally and courteously addressed. I always felt supported during my enrollment.
How did you juggle working full-time while also going to school full-time? One must be organized and prepared to make sacrifices to complete the PMBA program successfully. Fortunately, I had fewer work demands on the weekends, so those were typically devoted to studying and meeting with class-project teammates. I minimized my weekly social media and television-watching time to focus on reading and completing projects. I did miss reading for leisure while in the program, so I’m catching up on that and my Continuing Medical Education credits now that I’ve graduated.
What tips do you have for current students who are now balancing the PMBA program, their jobs, and family responsibilities? You can’t do everything perfectly but always take pride in doing your best. Rely on your team members to do their part and ask for help from classmates and professors when you don’t understand something. With discipline, you can earn your MBA while still succeeding at work and meeting your family responsibilities. The sacrifices are worth the rewards.
What did a typical day look like for you while working and enrolled in the PMBA program? Fortunately, I’ve always been an early riser. I usually worked out from 5-6 a.m. Then, I got ready for work and was generally in the office by 7 a.m. On the nights I didn’t have class, I would spend some time relaxing and walking with my dog after work. I would then do homework or meet virtually with my classmates until 9:30 or 10 p.m. On the nights I had lectures, I would leave work and go straight to class. Sometimes I would meet with classmates to work on a project after these sessions, but most nights, I went home and straight to bed after school.
How will you apply the skills that you learned at the Moore School in your position as a chief medical officer? Currently, my duties revolve around ensuring the clinics’ expenses stay within budget, hiring and training all physicians and advanced practitioners, keeping our staff current on changing health regulations and keeping our facilities safe for all employees, patients and visitors. I will use my MBA skills to support the development of new business opportunities that will allow my organization to grow in the urgent care market and align our business strategy with the ever-changing challenges of competing in the health care industry.
Has your MBA assisted you in your position? If so, how, or how do you anticipate having your MBA will assist you in your current role? The MBA journey has helped me build my leadership skills and expand my professional network. My job entails assisting health care providers to become more aware of the role they play in managing expenses and maximizing profits. As health care providers, we cannot only focus on the quality of care we deliver, but we must also be conscious of the cost to patients and the profitability of the organizations we serve. The professional MBA degree has given me the knowledge and skills to convey that message.
What are your duties/responsibilities in your current role with Doctors Care of SC? Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10 years? I hope to be in the same role with Doctors Care of SC in five years. I love the structure of this organization and the passion of its employees. In 10 years, I anticipate being close to retiring. I’ve volunteered with the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County for more than 15 years, so my post-retirement plans will include increasing the time I spend seeing patients there.
Anything else about your experience at the Moore School, what you hope to do with your MBA and your role with Doctors Care of SC? My experience at the Moore School has inspired other physician leaders in my organization to pursue an MBA. I’m very proud of being able to support others’ professional growth and success.
Sydney Kinard (’23 IMBA, Business Analytics Graduate Certificate) is spending her summer after graduation as a marketing strategy intern with Disney Sports. Before enrolling in the IMBA program, Kinard was a social media coordinator for multinational digital agency Comes with Fries.
What were you doing before you began the IMBA program? Before I began the IMBA program, I was working remotely as a social media coordinator for a multinational digital agency with offices in Australia and the UK, helping artists and nonprofits navigate the digital landscape. While my title was social media coordinator, I was responsible for auditing new clients during their onboarding process, developing and executing strategies to broaden their reach and engagement, creating graphics and visuals and conducting reports after campaigns to evaluate and strengthen our suggestions and recommendations.
What made you decide to pursue your IMBA? What soft skills and technical skills were you looking to learn through the IMBA program? During my time at a multinational digital agency, I became fascinated by international business as well as the analytics of digital marketing, and given the connectedness of the modern world, I knew that I would need to sharpen my global fluency to be successful. I wanted to gain more expertise in my specialization area (marketing) and in business analytics, as well as in communications and collaboration within a multinational organization.
What made you decide to attend the Moore School to get your IMBA? I grew up about 30 minutes away from the Darla Moore School of Business, and both my mom and sister were graduates of the Moore School. Despite the fact that I attended a different business school for my undergraduate degree, I knew that the Moore School had an incredibly strong reputation for producing versatile and successful business leaders, especially within the international market, and that was exactly what I was looking for.
What was your overall experience like at the Moore School in the program? My two years at the Moore School felt like a whirlwind in the best way possible. It truly is a greenhouse for growth, and when you dedicate yourself to learning and challenging yourself, you will find that it has the possibility to change the trajectory of your career for the better. I personally found the most value in consulting opportunities where I was able to apply my learnings from the classroom to the real world and have an actual impact on various entities.
How will you apply the skills that you learned at the Moore School in your current position? In my new role as a marketing strategy intern for Disney Sports, I know that I will apply the skills that I learned both in my marketing courses as well as in my consulting projects. From the basics of using the 4 Ps and how to develop integrated marketing plans with the more complicated and specific techniques, I believe that my time at the Moore School has equipped me to be able to exceed expectations in my current and future roles.
What are your duties/responsibilities in your current role? In my current role, I support the marketing strategy and execution for ESPN Wide World of Sports, runDisney and Disney Water Parks. My duties include integrated communication planning, website and microsite support, social marketing support, assistance in content creation and curation, strategic input support, long-term calendar planning and integration efforts, among others.
Where/when did you go abroad during the IMBA program? How did that experience help prepare you for your career? In January 2023, I lived in Paris for 6 weeks as a part of my IMBA program and took a few classes at ESCP Business School, which is considered to be one of the most selective business schools and the world’s oldest business school. While I experienced a bit of culture shock upon my arrival, I quickly acclimated and grew to love the city and its people, as well as had the opportunity to learn from professors who are some of the best in their fields globally. It broadened my horizons culturally as well as generally in my knowledge of new topics, which has also provided me with increased global fluency and have made me more well-rounded.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10 years? In 5 years, I hope to be influencing the marketing strategy for a multinational corporation who has a strong culture and is people-centric, either as an individual contributor or manager. Similarly, in 10 years, I would love to be doing the same but at a higher level and leading a team of talented individuals who have the same strategic-mindset and passion for people and marketing that I do!
Anything else about your experience at the Moore School? I have full confidence in leaving the Moore School that I have what it takes to be successful in this constantly changing business environment, and I am incredibly grateful to the Moore School faculty for investing in me and believing in me.