Q: What brought you to Jabian?

A: I spent nearly ten years in the federal space and wanted to branch out and learn more about non-public business while capitalizing on skills I learned in business school. I wanted to finally work for a for-profit firm, and I’d heard great things about Jabian from folks with whom I went to business school. Jabian’s size and local focus appealed to me, as when I worked for huge firms with a national focus, it was easy to get lost in the shuffle — both personally and from a wider perspective. Jabian’s emphasis on service and giving back to Atlanta were also very important, as during the last few years it was hard to find time for service while working full time and going to school at night.

Q: Tell us about your MBA journey while working full-time.

A: I’d initially heard about the Georgia Institute of Technology MBA program from a family friend who’d graduated in the late 2000s. I investigated local options and decided I wanted to attend an in-person program. It turns out that applying to the Scheller College of Business was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I think people imagine working full time while attending school to be a monumentally difficult task but really it just boils down to the ability to balance a multitude of things—work, home life, studying, and weekends doing projects.

When I first got a tour of the business building, the tour guide (who was also a student) said it was like getting a Master’s of Time Management, and she was right on the money. I was one of the lucky ones because my only real concern at home was ensuring my dog got walked now and then. I remember being in awe of my classmates who had significant others and/or children and counting my lucky stars that all I had was a very understanding Labrador at home.

I had one challenge that many of my classmates also experienced: switching companies while still attending classes. Luckily, I ended up working for Georgia Tech, so the transition couldn’t have been smoother, and then I could walk from one end of campus to the other for class after work. I adored the vast majority of my classes and met extraordinary people I never would’ve encountered anywhere else. The program is tailored to fit busy lifestyles and focuses on real-world problems with scientific evidence to back everything up. It was certainly tough, but I never once regretted my decision to attend, and now I’m a proud Jacket MBA. The program showed me I could do something I initially thought insurmountable, and I’ve never been prouder than I was when I walked across that stage last year.

Q: What does your role entail?

A: Currently, I’m in a bit of a personal platform transition. My main expertise in the past was P3M, healthcare, and defense, but I’m learning more about M&A and strategy after focusing on them in school, and thankfully Jabian has allowed me to pivot towards them.

Q: What are your favorite parts of your job?

A: I think the ability to learn more about different sectors of the industry is my favorite part of the job. As I said, I spent nearly a decade doing federal contracting, and after a few years, the monotony takes its toll. The government does perform a myriad of tasks, but the firms I worked for had me a bit pigeonholed. I’ve only been at Jabian for about seven months and in that time, I’ve helped firms with industrial signage, food service, insurance, healthcare, automotive, logistics, and industrial engineering. That’s a ton of fascinating material and I’ve always liked learning about new areas I’ve never investigated before.