Recent Posts

Author: Rachel Chapman

A Day in the Life of MELODY R., Account manager for an institutional investment management firm, Los Angeles area, California, U.S.

MBA FINANCE

What I Do

My firm manages fixed-income portfolios, such as retirement plans and endowments, on behalf of large institutional investors.

I work with clients, typically the chief financial officer or the chief information officer and their staff, to develop investment strategies within the fixed-income (bond) markets and to structure products that meet their goals.

I am constantly monitoring my clients’ investment portfolios against these goals and communicating performance results, changes in strategy, or new investment opportunities.

I am also a corporate bond specialist, so I help to develop and communicate our firmwide strategy related to investment-grade corporate bonds.

One of the surprises in this job was that I have used more accounting than I anticipated—interpreting financial statements on the bond side, tracking the impact of discount rates on pension plans, and things like that. I didn’t take the easy road, I quit high school too early and had to earn my GED diploma first. The rest is history.

I am also constantly challenged by the need to effectively and clearly communicate our strategy to clients. This is often harder than developing the strategy in the first place!

What I Enjoy Most

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A Day in the Life of KELLY N, Equity research analyst for a full-service brokerage firm; Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

MBA FINANCE

What I Do

I provide equity research to institutional investors on an industry and specific companies within that sector. In addition to equity research, my firm also provides a full range of brokerage services (investment banking, research, retail and institutional brokerage, and trading).

My clients are institutional investors, and I provide them with my opinions on the industry that I follow and specific companies within that industry, including investment recommendations and earnings estimates. I maintain detailed financial models and have stock recommendations for each company that I follow.

Additionally, I look for any and all relevant information that is legally available (i.e., non-insider) and can be obtained through creative research. My research may involve a variety of sources such as talking with company management and tracking government involvement.

As an expert on an industry, I need to know everything happening within that sector on an ongoing basis and understand its potential impact on stock prices.

What I Enjoy Most

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A Day in the Life of KEITH M., Director of business development for a biotechnology company, New York City area, U.S.

MBA GENERAL MANAGEMENT

What I Do

The company I work for is focused on bioinformatics and drug discovery and development. This company was founded as a bioinformatic company, supplying information on the human genome to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

As the West Coastbased bioinformatics business matured, the company realized it needed an additional source of revenue to grow earnings, so it started an East Coast division in December 2001, to focus on drug discovery.

We are actively in the process of creating the entire drug discovery and development division of the company. We currently have 75 employees in the division—mostly chemists and biologists.

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A Day in the Life of TOM S, Product manager for a new online startup educational website that offers free exam prep.

MBA GENERAL MANAGEMENT (ROTATIONAL PROGRAM)

What I Do

I work in the global securities services group and am responsible for creating investor solutions as a product manager. I deal with forecasting and new product ideas within Europe and the U.S. to drive sales.

This job requires a little bit of everything you learn in the MBA because it involves a lot of finance and market research skills (for forecasting) as well as operations knowledge, because we also have to consider capacity constraints.

I am in my second rotation of a two-year, three-rotation program; each rotation lasts six to nine months. My first rotation was in New York, where I did process management, revenue work, and forecasting to support the pricing function of the business. After the third rotation, I will look at where I want to be within the banking firm for my first permanent placement role.

What I Enjoy Most

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A Day in the Life of MIKE F., Manager, global production system for one of 13 businesses owned by one of the world’s largest manufacturers.

MBA GENERAL MANAGEMENT/STRATEGY

What I Do

I am responsible for leading improvements in the global parts division of a world leader in diagnostic imaging technology (X-ray, CAT scan, MRI, etc.). When one of these machines is inoperable, lives might hang in the balance.

The global parts division is responsible for delivering very expensive parts anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice. To this end, there are 80 warehouses around the globe that try to stock the right parts and receive the old, worn-out parts to assess whether they can be repaired economically.

Right now, too many mistakes are being made and the system is inefficient (in fact, it would be great if we didn’t have to stock any parts at all).

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A Day in the Life of Ryan B., Purchasing associate for a major automotive manufacturer; Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.

MBA Operations Management

What I Do

I am responsible for purchasing wiring harnesses for all the electrical systems for about four different lines of vehicles. All of the electrical components in your car are connected by what we call a “wiring harness.” I negotiate prices for wiring on the entire vehicle line.

For example, when we do modeling changes, changes to the wiring system almost always result. Consequently, I have to piece together or cost out what the entire organization believes is the true cost of a wiring harness—based on how much and what types of wiring are needed.

I begin this process by interviewing people internally, then arriving at an answer or cost that is our end goal. In the negotiation process with suppliers, that answer or true cost changes, so I am in front of the suppliers negotiating the pricing, too.

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A Day in the Life of Cristina B., Product manager for a global pharmaceutical company; Syracuse, New York. U.S.

MBA Marketing

What I Do

As a product manager, I am responsible for marketing and developing the affiliate marketing strategy for a new product/compound we are launching within my country. My work on the marketing plan begins with field trips to interview doctors and get to know the market.

I conduct primary marketing information that goes beyond the statistics. I also develop the local market research plans, PR programs, and promotional materials. I conduct competitor analysis and brand-equity studies, and I perform competitive analysis.

What I Enjoy Most

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A Day in the Life of Kathy G., Architecture integrator at one of the largest banking companies in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

MBAInformation Technology (IT)

What I Do

Upon completing the MBA in 2002, I accepted a job as an IT architect. I am responsible for setting up a strategy for a particular section of the banking company’s technology for a given line of business.

I do this in consultation with architects specialized in their disciplines, such as applications, security, etc. I need to look at where the company wants to be three to five years in the future, consult with senior management, and gain their buy-in to the plan. Once this is agreed, I need to sell it to the rest of the stakeholders and ensure it gets implemented.

What I Enjoy Most

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A Day in the Life of Amy R., Management support consultant, human resource operations, for a diversified electronics company; outside Denver, Colorado, U.S.

MBA Human Resource Management

What I Do

I work in a department known as Management Support within the Americas Human Resources (HR) Operations Group, as a consultant to the managers.

My role is to coach managers on performance issues with regard to their employees, lead internal misconduct investigations, investigate discrimination complaints, and resolve other related issues involving conduct between management and employees.

Although my focus is primarily on the conduct of managers, both managers and their employees are my clients, in a sense. If someone is reported to have done something they shouldn’t have, I’m going to be the person dealing with finding out what happened and creating the best resolution from the company’s viewpoint.

What I Enjoy Most

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A Day in the Life of Ben F., Senior analyst in the office of the chief financial officer for a U.S. government agency, Washington, D.C., U.S.

MBA Government Organization (Nonprofit Organizations)

What I Do

I oversee the budget creation and formulation of more than $70 million annually for the office of the chief information officer and inspector general. In addition, my analysis impacts the agency’s entire $500 million budget.

This role is about 50% analysis and 50% people interaction—including one-on-one interviews with points of contact in the various offices, collecting information, and presenting and defending my analyses.

What I Enjoy Most

I have a lot of resources and autonomy, which may be the opposite of what people would expect in government work. I have a high level of responsibility in a very important position for an organization that is both very challenging and extremely important right now for the welfare of U.S. citizens and others we protect. I enjoy being part of a highly intelligent workforce and its underlying, important mission.

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