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Heidi's Advice to MBA students

Heidi Garcia is a student in Dominican’s MBA in Global Management program. Prior to attending Dominican she has worked within many industries: She was a purchasing agent at Robert Mondavi Winery for 10 years; she worked for an organization that specialized in greeting cards; she now works for Agilent Technologies, a high-tech, global business-to-business organization headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Heidi shares her thoughts on Dominican's MBA program and offers valuable advice to incoming MBA students.

 

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 Dominican's MBA Programs

    MBA in Global Management

    MBA in Strategic Leadership

    MBA in Sustainable Enterprise

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Dominican stands out

Dominican stands out from other programs in the Bay Area because of the types of classes it offers. Dominican classes are cutting-edge because they’re relevant to what’s happening in today’s global environment. 

 

Global perspective

I drive for over 45 minutes to attend Dominican, and it’s well worth my time. When choosing a graduate program, it was important to me to find an MBA program that would provide me with a global perspective. Dominican definitely does that and more.

I really appreciate that Dominican has many international students and that I get to work with them closely.

 

Public Speaking with Dr. Denise Lucy

One of my favorite classes at Dominican was a prerequisite public speaking class I took with Dr. Denise Lucy. She is really fun and determined to prepare you for public speaking. I remember one particular thing about her: She counted how many times you said “umm” during your presentation. 

My first presentation contained 18 “umms,” my second presentation contained one “umm”, and by the end of the class, I had no “umms” at all. That was very satisfying.

 

Working Across Cultures with Dr. Jayati Ghosh

Since I work for a global organization, I was very interested in the class taught by Dr. Ghosh called “Working Across Cultures.” In the class, I really learned how to work with individuals from different cultures, which is a prerequisite for success in today’s globalized world. That class opened my eyes in many ways and I really learned how to work, communicate and collaborate with people from other countries. For example, many of my team members were located abroad and we had to communicate via telephone. That was a big learning curve, and one I was glad to have experienced.

 

Business Environment in South Africa with Thea Bellos

Instructor Bellos's class introduced me to South Africa, apartheid and Nelson Mandela. In addition, the final team project was an in-depth study of South Africa. All in all, it was an incredible learning experience, not only because the topic was very interesting, but also because Instructor Bellos's class and the robust and engaging final project prepared me for the capstone.

 

Always available Dr. Chris Leeds

Dr. Leeds was my first point of contact at the University: When I applied for the MBA Global Management Program, Dr. Leeds interviewed me. He quickly put me at ease: I was impressed by his positive and engaging personality. Later, as I started my MBA, he provided valuable insight and guidance. Imagine: he told me that I could connect with him anytime. And he really meant it: He always responds to my e-mails within 24 hours.

 

Lessons I learned at Dominican

  • Stay connected with Sue Stavn, Assistant Dean at the School of Business and Leadership. Sue will work with you to map your MBA classes so you can achieve your academic goals.
  • Ask for help when you need it: the tutorial center is terrific and responsive.
  • The Dominican professors and staff want you to succeed and they are a great resource.


My advice to incoming students

  • Education is a gift that can never be taken from you.
  • Share your experience and talents with other students who may need assistance.
  • Education is extremely important in today’s world; the business environment is very competitive.
  • Take advantage of the internships that Dominican offers.
  • Connect with Dominican’s tutorial center when you need assistance. The staff is extremely responsive and will take steps to provide a tutor that will work with you to reinforce the concepts for a specific class that may be challenging.
  • Attend your classes: You are missing out on valuable information by not attending.


What you need to succeed:

  • Flexibility
  • Ability to be a team player
  • A global perspective
  • A “can do” attitude
  • Ability to work across various business units within a corporation
  • Willingness to stay in touch with previous managers and seek out mentors

 

How to work in a team

In the corporate world, working in a team is the norm. Dominican prepares you to be a successful team member by making you work in teams on most projects.

To be a successful team member, I recommend that you:

  • Connect with team members who have the strengths that you may not have. For example, a team member may be good with finance, while another may be a great writer or editor. Learn from them.
  • Work with a team that has international students. I have learned so much from the international students because their perspective is often different from mine.
  • Map out your project’s deliverables, work together to assign clear roles, responsibilities and due dates.
  • Reply to e-mails within 24 hours. Even though you may not have your portion of the project ready by the due date, let your team members know that you have received the e-mail and, if possible, negotiate a different due date. This is the norm within the corporate world; actually, acceptable response time in my business environment is four hours or less.
  • Should there be an issue with a team member not responding or providing their deliverables, check-in with them privately to ask if anything is wrong and if you can help. Everyone on the team is expected to meet due dates and deliverables, but you’re a team and you need to help each other when needed.
  • If you have to give a PowerPoint presentation, practice, practice, practice. That’s why I recommend that you practice your portion of the presentation at least 10 times before presenting. That way you’ll feel a lot more confident and will be able to deliver a powerful presentation.

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