Q&A with Tessa Myers, MBA '13
Tessa Myers, MBA '13, is the business manager at Rockwell Automation, a company that designs and develops innovative automation solutions for leading manufacturers across a wide range of industries in more than 80 countries. As a business manager for a line of Rockwell's industrial automation products, Tessa is responsible for global strategy and planning for all stages of product life cycles, including new product identification, generation, and pricing.
Why did you want to pursue an EMBA degree?
I'm at a point in my career where I'm striving to contribute more value to the organization and take on more strategic responsibility over larger areas. We work in a highly competitive environment, and my company is continually seeking to create value and growth in new markets across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. I wanted to invest in myself so I could take my business acumen to a new level.
Having advanced business knowledge is a necessity for any leader today. I thought the EMBA was the ideal way to gain a deeper understanding of the financial and strategic aspects of business leadership and get perspective outside my organization from peers in other successful companies.
Why did you choose Ross?
I researched my options a lot. I really wanted a program with a strong focus on strategy. Ross obviously delivered on that. I also really liked how ExecMAP complemented the learning by bringing it all together in a real-world setting, and I liked Ross' emphasis on leadership development.
When I came to Ross, I fell in love with the people and culture. It was important to me to learn from others and gain perspective outside my company, and I felt Ross' diversity and people-first approach created the ideal environment to do that in.
So far, what has been the best aspect of the program?
The knowledge and tools I've gained have made a big impact already in my work. I'm tackling our toughest issues with confidence now and thinking on a higher level. I'm a better business manager and leader because of the program. Even the people I work with have noticed. They've remarked that they're impressed with what I'm bringing back to work from the program. When I go into a meeting now, whether it's with our leadership team or my employees, I know I have the nuanced understanding to get the job done.
Tell me about your classmates.
They've been great. To be around such highly accomplished people from such diverse industries and functions has been incredible. Our classmates work in technology, healthcare, education, consumer products, finance, manufacturing, and other sectors. Many have advanced degrees. And most have a global aspect to their work. They come from all over the country and other parts of the world and have a range of cultural backgrounds. Everyone has a different perspective. We're friends and colleagues, and the learning and development I'm gaining from them is significant.
What are the faculty like?
The faculty have been outstanding. They are all highly accomplished thought leaders who have experience not just in the academic world but also in business. They get our issues and why we're here. They bring their wealth of understanding to the classroom every time. It's energizing to be in the room with them. More than anything, they’ve taught me how to assess, break down, and solve complex problems faster and more effectively.
What did you do for your ExecMAP project?
I brought a project from my company and led a team of students in developing a strategic plan to use an ecosystem of partners to improve the time it takes to bring innovations to market. Bringing things to market more quickly and driving innovation are top of mind for just about every business leader these days. The project has been valuable to the company, and it gave me highly useful skills and experience I'm already applying in my daily work.
What has the once-a-month format been like for you?
The once-a-month format makes it possible to manage such an intense educational experience while maintaining work and family commitments. At first I wasn't sure how the online learning and team collaboration would work during the parts of the month when we're not on campus together. But it's turned out incredibly effective. I'm continually learning, and I'm becoming more adept at working in a virtual environment, which is the way the world does business today anyway. What I thought would be a challenge has actually turned out to be an asset.
What's one piece of advice you'd give someone considering an executive MBA program?
Choose Michigan. I would highly recommend it. The Ross difference is the people. The culture, the caliber of the program and faculty, and the level of attention to detail among the staff are incredible. Coming to the program has been really energizing on a personal level. To invest in myself in this way has been significant.
If you're considering an executive MBA program, find the school that best fits your goals. Don't just select a program based on location and ranking. There's so much more to the experience and what you get out of it. Know what you’re looking to get out of the experience, and find the school that best fits those needs. An EMBA program is a significant investment of time, but it's worth it.
View Tessa's Profile