Shannon Egan is a member of Marist's online MBA Class of 2016 with a concentration in Ethic Leadership. She lives in the Hudson River Valley area and is employed by Gap Inc., as an Assistant Customer Experience Manager.
Tell us about your work history before Marist, including years of experience, industry, companies, and positions: My work history has been primarily with Gap Inc. since 2007. I began as a part-time sales associate while in college and have worked my way up through lead roles and assistant manager roles in visual merchandising and customer experience.
What are your career goals? My goal is to achieve a position in corporate or upper field leadership with Gap Inc.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Marist? I chose Marist because of their reputation for having a strong business program. I also appreciate the convenience of the program, online classes work well with my work schedule but I live close enough to visit campus if I chose to.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development: MBA 601: The Virtual Manager was the first course I took in the program and has helped me greatly in my professional development. Learning about different management styles, effective leadership and communicating virtually was something I was able to transfer to my work life immediately and still resonates.
How has your coursework enhanced your career? I have noticed that each course I have taken has improved my performance at work in different ways. My boss has witnessed the changes as well and I have been given increasing responsibility as I progress.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their master’s degree at Marist? I would tell a student considering pursuing a master’s degree at Marist to definitely do it. I would tell them to take advantage of the flexibility of the program though and not take on more than they can handle in the first few semesters. The classes are a lot more demanding than undergraduate classes. They require a great deal of diligence and dedication, but each class is incredibly rewarding.
Discuss your experience with Marist’s online learning environment: I find the online learning environment to be very easy to use and learn. At first I was uncomfortable with all of the forum discussions, as that was never a platform I have used before. After a few classes though, I really like it and find myself checking the forums multiple times a day. Sometimes, I find the math classes are more difficult online because professors cannot easily take you step by step through a problem like they can in class.
What do you believe are some of the most important issues in the field of leadership development? What are the important leadership skills that MBA candidates need to develop to create an impact in their organizations? I believe one of the important issues in the field of leadership development is the development and recognition of existing talent. Rather than focus solely on the opportunities of employees, leaders should capitalize on an individual's existing skills and teach them based on their strengths. I am lucky to work for a company that does this and we have a significant record of passionate and tenured employees.
Important leadership skills that MBA candidates need to develop to create an impact are emotional intelligence, listening, recognition, and conflict management along with competency in business acumen. A leader can be fantastic with numbers and hitting goals, but they cannot be truly successful if they are unable to inspire and develop their teams.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Business Administration
Academic School: Management