What years did you attend Friends University?
I attended Friends from 1993 to 1995, earning my master’s degree in management.
Why did you choose Friends University?
I was working at The Coleman Company Inc., and I wanted to enhance my undergraduate degrees from Iowa State for future growth opportunities. I was looking for a program that could be flexible, challenging and relevant to my needs. As I researched the options available at the time, Friends had the best program, addressing my needs and expectations.
Who influenced you most during your time at Friends?
I don’t think I could highlight any specific instructor during my time at Friends, rather I would highlight the atmosphere that was so positive. Every course was taught by a person with real expertise in the field; the instructors encouraged all of us to use our life experiences as case studies to understand and evaluate the disciplines presented. I found this process and atmosphere to be enlightening and empowering. I really enjoyed participating and discussing the subject matter.
Share your best college memory while at Friends.
As a graduate student, it was all about the camaraderie with the other members of my class and the professors – it was always interesting, challenging and fun to learn.
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at Friends?
My advice to others attending Friends: get involved, participate, take chances. I truly believe you will get out of your experience what you put into it, so dive in – they will support you.
Describe Friends University in three words.
Accessible, Supportive and Professional
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional accomplishment would be that I have been so blessed over the years to be surrounded by fantastic teams and the understanding that without them I would never have accomplished anything. I have allowed great people to flourish in my organization.
How did your education at Friends prepare you for what you are doing today?
Friends empowered me to think differently – to look at issues from all sides. This ability to look for and overcome arbitrary barriers to solve problems has been the biggest benefit.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
I manage the Research and Development Department at Newell Brands for the Outdoor and Recreation Business, formerly The Coleman Company Inc. Education is the foundation, but all too often we focus on the knowledge and skills aspects of the position. Knowledge and skills are important, but without the attitude, personality and habits to enable the knowledge and skills, employees often fail. The key attributes that must underpin the skills are integrity, work ethic and sense of urgency. These are the fundamentals that allow employees to be successful. If you perform your job in a consistent, ethical and efficient manner, you will be successful and happy.