Stretch yourself to meet your goals and reach new levels by going back to school

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This piece is brought to you in partnership with Queens University of Charlotte. Lexa Hough, who graduated in 2018 with an MBA from Queens McColl School of Business, gives her thoughts on pursuing her MBA and stretching her goals.

There are two new yogis posing on ads around town, and this time they are Queens MBA students. We want to introduce you to Lexa, who just completed her MBA with a concentration in Leadership & Change.

What motivated you to pursue your MBA?

My undergraduate major in theater management taught me how to work with a diverse group of people and manage projects, but as my career in business grew, I realized I needed to increase my business acumen. An MBA was a no-brainer. The ability to tie in a Leadership & Change concentration made my skill set as a human resource business partner exponentially more valuable.

Why was Queens McColl School of Business the right fit for you?

Since moving to Charlotte, Queens was a clear staple in the community; it was present in philanthropic and business settings. I felt like I would grow as a professional and as a community member. I could expand my network by enrolling, and the result was a family of close friends whom I tremendously respect personally and professionally.

What were your personal and professional goals after graduation, and how did Queens’ flexible program help you achieve them?

I wanted to broaden my knowledge, understand myself and my future. I didn’t plan on changing jobs during the program, but I found an opportunity with LPL Financial less than a year in. I’ve experienced incredible growth, which led to increases in salary, higher bonuses and firm-wide recognition. Soon after graduating, I was selected to be part of a cultural transformation initiative for the firm. We’re currently in the middle of it, but I was selected specifically due to my education. Without this experience and degree, I could’ve been overlooked for such an impactful initiative.

How did the faculty impact your experience and help you stretch yourself?

The faculty was incredibly supportive with their time and attention. Most of the professors used technology in an innovative way to interact with the students. Two professors, in particular, helped me dig into my potential. Dr. Sparks asked questions that helped me find new ways of approaching scenarios and thinking about our responsibility in them. Dr. Addison gave me courage to challenge the status quo using practical applications of the theories we explored in class.

As you know the McColl School of Business has a focus on leadership through the “3 Cs.” How were these values interwoven in your experience?

I believe these are interwoven into my everyday actions and thoughts; in fact, when I applied to Queens, my letter of intent highlighted each:

  • Competence: “I want to be part of a business school that is connected with the business community…I also look forward to learning with classmates as we share our business experiences.”
  • Character: “I believe that integrity and honesty in business are key to being a successful leader.”
  • Commitment to Community: “I want to be a part of a school that thinks about curriculum and strategies in ways that reflect the greater good of society.”

As I reread my essay, I realized: Mission Accomplished.

Want to learn more about Queens MBA program? Click here for more information.

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