Paul McDonald, Data Analyst, Vanguard

Paul McDonald

MBA Student

My Bachelors of Science in Business Management provided me with a basic understanding of business and enabled me to apply basic concepts to my job. However, I realized that I needed to differentiate myself from my colleagues if I ever wanted to move up, and I wanted to validate what I had learned as a working professional. I decided to enroll in the MBA program at Penn State Great Valley to further the breadth and depth of my knowledge. I chose Penn State because of its good reputation and its convenient location. I started fall 2006 and plan on graduating fall of 2009.

Since I began the program, I have grown into a contributor role requiring more complex analytical, time management, and people management skills, as well as greater business acumen. The academic skills I am obtaining from my MBA courses will be extremely valuable for my career, but my greatest gain is being able to network with other students, participate in public speaking and discussions in class, and use my people management skills.

Being back in school forced me to reallocate my time based on my new priorities. There have been instances when I had to take time out of my personal life for classes and school work, and other instances when I arrived late for class due to deadlines at work. Being in graduate school is an adventure which requires commitment and dedication to finish and obtain the degree. It's a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain!

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