We recently had the pleasure of talking with Maura Durkin, MBA ’22 candidate, who was eloquent about the effect that KU’s online MBA program is already having on her working life. She emphasized career impact and professional development among other reasons to get an MBA. Excerpts of our conversation follow here.
Why did you decide to pursue your MBA?
“I wanted to get an MBA so I could push myself outside of my comfort zone, learn from the best of the best in the business world, and grow on a deeper level as a woman in the finance world.
I work in product management and applications/systems development—a predominantly male industry. My team is all male, [as is] my department, except for two other women. And I knew that, if I want to stand out, to be a leader in my team, I needed to get more skills and refine what it means to be a manager or a leader."
What value are you finding in the KU student experience?
“My first dream was getting my MBA. The KU online MBA program gave me the stepping stone to reaching my next dreams. I've forged some fantastic friendships, and that relates to my relationships with my professors, as well. I've spoken to a handful of them about career advice: How can I—as a female in product management/product development—stand out? How can I be better for my organization? And each one of my professors has provided valuable advice that I've taken to my organization to prove to them, ‘I am learning something, I want to be better, I want to be a leader, I want to be a director one day.’ And they can see that.”
How is your MBA program affecting your professional life?
“The KU online MBA program has already transformed my career. Communication, collaboration, and strategic thinking are the core foundations of my role and of creating successful products for my end-users. I have been able to apply aspects of learning from my accounting, finance, economics, and marketing classes to my current role at my company. I am on track for taking on more responsibility in my department, and in charge of two large corporate goals for my organization. Thanks to the skills I developed from my coursework and the relationships with my professors, I landed a promotion at my company after only the first two semesters.
My organization said they could see that I value higher education, I value improving myself, and applying that to the organization, as well. So I'm in a higher position now, where I have a stronger voice with management. I'm allowed to bring in new perspectives, information that I've learned from various classes, to help my organization continue to be innovative, flexible, and a leader in the regulatory sphere.”
What do you envision for your future?
“With the skills and knowledge bestowed on me from the KU online MBA program, I can be a strong voice at the company. If I didn't achieve or go through any of my classes thus far, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't have gotten that promotion. I can only imagine where it's going to lead me, and I'm only two semesters in; I have a year and a half left.
I strive and hope one day to be in senior leadership. And I know that having a KU MBA [is] going to set me apart from the pack. I cannot say it enough: You'll never get [another] experience like the KU online MBA program.”
Stand out. Advance your career from day one.
Give your career a competitive edge in KU’s online MBA program. Join the global network of Jayhawk business alumni who have studied with our expert faculty in small, immersive classes and gone on to thrive in successful careers. Advance on your path to KU by talking with an admissions advisor today.