Home Experience KU KU Online MBA Blog Aiming high: Vanessa Cowdin, MBA ‘24 candidate

Aiming high: Vanessa Cowdin, MBA ‘24 candidate

24 Aug
Student Spotlight: Vanessa Cowdin MBA '24 Candidate

The world of aerospace manufacturing is not one for the faint-hearted. It's a realm where precise execution meets innovative solutions, and Vanessa Cowdin is at the heart of this intersection.

As an Executive Compensation and Stock Administrator at Spirit AeroSystems, Vanessa is well-versed in the nuances of her role. But what sets her apart is her commitment to continual learning and self-improvement, especially in the realm of business. This led her to the University of Kansas online MBA program. She expects to graduate in 2024.

Today, we dive deep into Vanessa's journey through this top-tier program and see how it’s shaping her into an agile business leader.

KU's online MBA: Vanessa's launching pad to the aerospace apex

"I wanted to grow my skills in business and enhance my career prospects. This program has provided me with a range of business skills that I’ve already used in my career." —Vanessa C., MBA '24

Navigating the intricate world of aerospace demands more than just an understanding of flight mechanics. This industry, characterized by its blend of engineering precision and rapid technological advancements, also hinges on strategic management, financial planning, and global marketing. And who understands this better than Vanessa Cowdin, an adept professional steering her way through the labyrinth of aerospace logistics?

"I chose the University of Kansas MBA program because… ROCK CHALK!” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

Beyond her infectious enthusiasm for KU, which goes deeper than alma mater pride, Vanessa’s decision finds its roots in the perfect synergy between her professional aspirations in aerospace and her ambition for top-tier business acumen.

For her, the University of Kansas, a revered institution with a 150-year legacy of comprehensive education, offered the ideal balance of connection and academic immersion. Its promise of flexibility and quality, combined with her inherent respect for the institution, solidified her choice.

“When I researched where to get an MBA, I realized that KU has an amazing business school with an efficient and flexible schedule, making this choice a no-brainer.” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

As Vanessa propels her career in aerospace, KU's online MBA is serving as her compass, guiding her through the complexities of both business and flight.

Bridging the gap: From classroom insights to global networks

In the aerospace sector, where projects and partnerships cross borders and bridge cultures, effective networking is indispensable.

Through her journey at KU’s online MBA, Vanessa found herself surrounded by a diverse group of peers, leading KU business school faculty, and industry stalwarts. This blend of interactions not only enriched her knowledge but ensured she could confidently steer international projects.

She emphasizes the approachability and genuine investment of the faculty in student success. Moreover, the bonds formed with fellow students have expanded her business network.

"Networking with my peers has been one of my highlights in this program so far." —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

An MBA journey goes beyond textbook learning; it's about fostering valuable connections.

Vanessa speaks highly of her interactions with her KU MBA faculty and her peers. "I have met a lot of people with very diverse backgrounds that were willing to tell their story and journey.”

“I’ve not only been able to understand their point of view and tips for business, but I’ve also learned about them as people and been able to form genuine friendships. I’ve been to seminars, worked with other students, and even had the chance to travel to Lawrence, Kansas, for their MBA Summit Event,” she says.

Unlocking potential: Inside KU's MBA Leadership Development Summit

In addition to facilitating online connections, The KU School of Business also offers an important opportunity for online students to engage in an in-person leadership event. Vanessa took part in the first summit.

I was glad I was able to join the first KU MBA Leadership Summit. I enjoyed networking with peers and getting to meet professors and leaders who presented at it.” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

In June 2023, The University of Kansas hosted its inaugural MBA Leadership Development Summit at Capitol Federal Hall, a unique event designed to foster collaboration, leadership, and professional growth among KU's MBA students and alumni.

For attendees, the day delivered a series of enriching activities:

  • Networking opportunities: From the outset, participants can connect with peers and alumni, sharing experiences, and insights, and even exploring future collaborations.
  • Educational workshops: The summit will delve into relevant topics with workshops on job search strategies, understanding employment trends, and even guiding attendees on how to transform an idea into a viable small business.
  • Professional headshots: Recognizing the importance of a strong online presence in the modern job market, the event offers attendees the chance to update their professional headshots—a valuable asset for LinkedIn profiles or business portfolios.
  • Networking mixer: Concluding the day, an optional networking mixer allows participants to engage in more informal conversations, strengthening the ties within the KU MBA community.

In essence, the MBA Leadership Development Summit is more than a one-day event; it's an investment in one's professional journey.

For KU online MBA students, in-person attendance offers the tangible benefit of face-to-face interactions, deepening connections, and accessing resources that can help accelerate career trajectories and round out an online master’s degree experience.

Harnessing KU's MBA courses to meet aerospace challenges

“I’ve expanded my strategic thinking and problem-solving skills with the courses from this program and have put them to good use.” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

In the aerospace realm, challenges are not just about the skies above but also the myriad intricacies on the ground—be it managing an elaborate supply chain, adhering to international regulations, or strategizing financial outlays.

As Vanessa scales the heights of this industry, it's not only her grounding in aerospace that sets her trajectory but also her enriched business prowess from the KU online MBA.

She says, “I’ve been able to have seamless transitions into new positions in my career with a good background of aspects learned from the KU online MBA program.”

Navigating the aerospace industry with KU's capstone mastery

“My favorite class so far is the Capstone Course. It wrapped up a great portion of what I’ve learned, and it solidified my mastery in business administration.” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

For Vanessa, KU’s Capstone Course provided her with a comprehensive wrap-up of her business education.

It wasn't just about academic insights but translating them into actionable strategies for the demanding aerospace sector. A testament to this synergy between her KU education and its practical application shines through in her career trajectory.

“I was able to work with peers on case studies and interact with them through discussion boards. The professor, Senior Assistance Dean Steve Leonard, made sure the students were following through the modules and took time to help anytime there was a question or concern.”

In the aerospace industry's ever-evolving landscape, professionals like Vanessa require not just technical know-how but a solid grasp of business dynamics. With KU's MBA, especially the invaluable Capstone Course, Vanessa is not just flying but soaring with clarity, conviction, and competence.

Soaring through professional, personal, and academic skies with online flexibility

“I was very pleased that this program was so flexible. While progressing through KU’s MBA program, I was still able to work full time, while doing other extracurriculars.” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

In the fast-paced aerospace sector, the ability to merge professional duties, academic growth, and personal dreams is crucial. Vanessa shines as an exemplar of this balance, thanks in large part to the support and flexibility she found in KU's online MBA program.

During her deep dive into the online MBA coursework, Vanessa also pursued her aspirations of flying, obtaining her private pilot license. Even with these lofty goals, her feet remained firmly planted in her professional duties. KU's accommodating online format made this possible.

“KU was very accommodating with my schedule and let me decide how and when I wanted to complete my program,” she adds.

For professionals, especially in the dynamic aerospace field, such flexibility isn't just an added benefit; it's vital. Vanessa's story showcases the advantage of harnessing this flexibility to enhance one's career without sidelining personal dreams or academic endeavors.

Straight talk: Vanessa's tips for future MBA students

When asked about her advice for prospective students, Vanessa’s message is clear: Go for it.

Go for it. Time passes quickly and KU is there to help lay out an efficient foundation for those considering getting their Master’s in Business Administration.” —Vanessa C., MBA '24 Candidate

She emphasizes the importance of voicing concerns and seeking guidance, emphasizing that the initial steps, though seemingly challenging, are manageable with the right support.

“My initial advisor helped walk me through the process for joining. Getting started, applying, and taking the acceptance exam seemed challenging, but I received amazing help,” she says.

KU's value proposition: Offering more than just academic elevation

In the ever-evolving world of aerospace, professionals like Vanessa are setting new benchmarks. By integrating the strategic insights of KU’s online MBA with the technical nuances of aerospace, they're not just taking to the skies, but are also shaping its future. With KU, the horizons of opportunity stretch far and wide.

With the tools and knowledge acquired from KU, Vanessa is well-prepared to navigate the multifaceted aerospace industry. For her, KU wasn’t just an educational stint—it was a pivotal stage that strengthened her skills and broadened her perspective.

For those considering a similar journey, whether in aerospace or another sector, Vanessa's experience at KU offers a tangible testament. It underscores the program's value, not just in terms of academic growth, but in its real-world application.

With a price tag under $40,000, KU’s online MBA promises affordability without compromising on quality. But it's not just about cost. It's about the transformative value it brings to professionals, especially in sectors as demanding as aerospace.

KU MBA alumni report an average post-graduation salary increase of 27%; the program promises not only knowledge and connections but also tangible career growth.1

It's not just about cost. It's about the transformative value it brings to professionals, especially in sectors as demanding as aerospace.

Value and versatility: Join KU's online MBA

The University of Kansas School of Business offers a competitively priced top-tier education. Students can study on their schedule, irrespective of their geographical location.

This value proposition is further cemented by their top rankings: KU delivers the No. 7 Best Online MBA and the No. 5 Best Online MBA for Veterans, according to U.S. News & World Report.2

In an environment where business landscapes are ever-evolving, the KU online MBA stands as a beacon for ambitious professionals. Vanessa's experience is a testament to the program's quality, flexibility, and commitment to students' success.

At KU, you're not just enrolling for an MBA; you're joining a community that champions your career growth.

Contact a KU admissions outreach advisor today.

    1. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from 2022 graduates of the University of Kansas School of Business online MBA program.
    2. Retrieved on August 23, 2023, from usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-kansas-OBUS0696/mba