Finding Leverage - Online MBA program a perfect fit for Purdue engineering alumna

Jacqueline Ferree, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Purdue in 2020, always knew she wanted to complement her STEM background with a business education. That led her to the Online MBA program at the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, which allowed her to start her career as a validation engineer at Catalent Pharma Solutions while simultaneously completing her degree.

“While I was in my undergraduate career, I reached out to the business school about potentially earning an MBA and to see what options they had to offer,” Ferree says. “I decided that Purdue's Online MBA had the best flexibility compared to other schools, and I felt that it matched my current stage of life the best. Because the program allowed me to continue working full-time, it also provided more financial freedom and additional work experience to congruently boost my resume.”

Ferree, who wed during her time in the program, also benefitted from a custom plan of study developed by her academic advisors to accommodate the important life event. “They went out of their way to make it seamless and ensure that I could complete the program while still getting married,” she says.

Working in teams was particularly beneficial to staying on track, Ferree says. “From the very first week in 2021 when I started the program, the academic advisors and professors really encouraged us to work in groups and teams, and being in the middle of COVID, everybody was getting used to navigating the online world and making friends through Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

“If you want you to succeed, then you will be successful. There's no obstacle that will get in the way of trying to achieve your goals, especially with the help that Purdue offers.”

“And no matter which class I was in, I was always working with somebody who had an accounting background, somebody who was a lawyer, somebody who was a business owner, or a couple engineers like myself. We learned how to work in those cross-functional teams really well, and got to the point where we knew exactly what everyone’s expertise was and how they could contribute.”

While Ferree enjoyed exploring the many technical facets of business, she also appreciated the opportunity to hone her soft skills. “I learned a lot about finance, accounting, business law, and statistics, but I found the courses on how to treat others through change management and organizational behavior to be highly important,” she says.

Ferree encourages others to consider Purdue’s Online MBA program because of its strong community culture and its willingness to support and help students through whatever challenge they might face. “If you want you to succeed, then you will be successful,” she says. “There's no obstacle that will get in the way of trying to achieve your goals, especially with the help that Purdue offers.”

Today, as an employee of a pharmaceutical manufacturer, Ferree says she is empowered by the difference that medicine can make in an individual's life. “My hope is that the combination of skills I developed as an undergraduate and MBA student at Purdue will provide me with opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others and make the world a better, happier place.”

By Eric Nelson

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