When Amber Wright moved from a technical electrical engineering position to a marketing and sales role, she made the left turn all right.
"The opportunities I have been provided are above and beyond my formal training," Wright said. "I felt a master's degree would complement my overall credentials with a foundation of formal learning. I wanted that financial management perspective with the global influence of today."
Wright came to the right university. She graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the online program at Baylor in December 2018.
"I liked how the approach at Baylor was futuristic when it came to inclusion and its method of focusing on the global impact, what it does and the environment it carries," she said. "It was open and honest, and it carries that spiritual aspect that makes it comfortable enough to learn and cognizant enough to pay attention. It was what I was looking for."
The online format not only offered Wright flexibility and convenience, it honed skills that are applicable to her position as industrial engineering lead at Eaton in Houston. She has worked for the company for more than six years.
"Online schooling mimics the challenges we face daily in global markets," Wright said. "Communication via technology is a major component of long-term success in almost any operation. The MBA program was an opportunity to grow formally through challenges of remote teamwork and coordination with diverse backgrounds. I realized these skills almost immediately in my professional environment."
Wright grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012.
"My interest in troubleshooting started early with complicated processes and any form of eliminating barriers or inefficiencies," she said. "I learned software and coding as early as elementary school. I believed these concepts would help make information more readily available to those who need it. I have always felt blessed with my experiences and wanted to give others the same opportunities."
After four internships, including a stint at a 10-person engineering firm following graduation, Wright landed a job as an application engineer at Eaton in North Carolina. She relocated to Houston for a leadership development program in 2013.
"Watching technology become accessible to the masses was a continuous reminder that the reliability of technology will never go away and that embracing these tools could eliminate or ease daily stresses," she said. "My path to engineering — and now through business — has had the same objective of mastering perplexing content in order to help others."
Wright gets to do what she loves daily with her current job after working numerous positions throughout her tenure at Eaton.
"The marketing piece ties all of my previous roles in the company together," she said. "Now, I educate the industry on electrical safety and power systems applications. That fits under our marketing position, so I do public relations work and bridge the gap for customers from our technical inside to our marketing outside. It is awesome."
Bottom of the Funnel
The timing of enrolling in the online MBA program added a degree of difficulty for Wright.
"I probably traveled — internationally and domestically — two-thirds of the year," she said. "I was literally on the road more than I was at home. The flexibility and the aggression of the master's degree curriculum was why I chose to do Baylor and to do it online."
MGT 5410: Managing for Higher Performance, taught by Dr. Emily Hunter, was Wright's favorite course in the curriculum.
"It was interesting breaking outside of standard leadership skills and types you learn in the work environment," she said. "The course was more about the formality of the historical aspect, how business is blending and the types of people involved with different demographics with the mixing of global markets. It gave me direction on being more of an integrative-type leader."
She also enjoyed the applicability of the MGT 5402: Negotiations and FIN 5203: Finance courses.
"The ability to apply concepts learned in the exact same day has incredible value," Wright said. "Gaining access to individuals around the world with various experiences and examples helped resolve current obstacles, such as team philosophies and leadership positioning, more effectively and efficiently.
"More specifically, knowledge and information learned about servant, integrative and spiritual leadership has realized tangible operational results for my team and has enhanced our output by full percentage points. In the finance course, I literally learned it and applied it the next day."
Return on Investment
Wright knew before she walked the graduation stage that earning an MBA from Baylor was a game-changer.
"My MBA started opening doors prior to its completion," she said. "Immediately, my commitment to continuously invest in learning was observed by many of my peers and the leadership within my organization. Additional skills and talents, such as organization and delegation by maintaining my full-time position, traveling, coaching and building my team, all while pursuing two courses per term, were even more apparent.
"I gained additional opportunities such as leadership training and promotions that involve increasing responsibilities and unique experiences. Upon graduation, the encouragement within my organization to continue to utilize my formal education has come in the form of additional promotions and relevant exposure to industry leaders."
The entire experience was a positive for Wright, who had love and support from her inner circle during her time in the master's degree program.
"Their support allowed me to grow spiritually in the direction of doing more than work for a corporation but also to embrace my long-term dreams of starting a beneficial corporation," she said. "My journey through Baylor's online MBA program allowed me to search for my true calling that aligns to my passions and beliefs."
Wright eventually hopes to leverage her entrepreneurial spirit to develop solutions to enhance the lives of others. She also wants to attend law school to concentrate on intellectual property for new technologies in the electrical industry.
"Taking a major step such as Baylor's online MBA program should be viewed as a commitment to your personal values and focus," she said. "That being said, embrace the opportunity through appropriate sacrifice in order to experience the greatest transformation of self. The value of the program has no limit and the effort put in will only amplify your value and return."
Learn more about the Baylor online MBA program.
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