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Teri Nagel (MBA 2014)  is a senior buyer for Johnson & Johnson.
Teri Nagel (MBA 2014) is a senior buyer for Johnson & Johnson.

MBA from Scheller College Helped Teri Nagel 'Excel Early' in New Role

Just weeks after graduating from the Evening MBA program in December 2014, Teri Nagel accepted a position in the Procurement Leadership Development Program at Johnson & Johnson. From the headquarters of one of Johnson & Johnson's medical device affiliates, Ethicon, in Bridgewater, N.J., she supports medical and professional education for the company's Medical Device sector in North America.

"I manage our supply base for sales training, educational engagements with health care professionals, digital education platforms, and supplies such as anatomical models and facilities," Nagel explains.

Although a relative newcomer to the job, Nagel says that her MBA has already proven its worth. "The curriculum at Scheller was equally prescriptive — so I have the foundation to speak with confidence on strategy and finance dimensions — and personalized. The elective courses I took toward the end of my degree really gave me an edge and prepared me to excel early in this new role."

The most challenging part of Teri Nagel's time as an MBA student at the Scheller College had nothing to do with the MBA program.

"I became pregnant less than two semesters after I started," says Nagel, who took a semester off after her son was born before returning to school at night and her day job at Georgia Tech's office of Government and Community Relations.

"It could be a grind at times," she admits, "but I had a lot of support from family and friends, and my manager at work let me follow a flexible schedule. And then there was my rock-star husband, Matt, who took care of our son by himself on class nights and cheered me on every step of the way!"

Originally from Englewood, Ohio, Nagel earned her undergraduate degree in industrial design at Georgia Tech in 2003.

She pursued a career in marketing and public relations for the next nine years. The experience would later prove useful during her MBA studies because "I acquired an APR credential — Accredited in Public Relations — which stresses the importance of having a sound strategy. Applying that to a larger business context came natural to me."

Although her PR and marketing career was moving along well, "I wanted to give it a boost and enhance my long-term prospects, so I decided to pursue an MBA."

Scheller was a logical choice. She was already familiar with Tech, and it was convenient to her Decatur, Ga., home. But in the end, "it was the reputation of the school and its rigorous curriculum" that brought her back to the Tech campus.

"There were a few faculty who really stood out and influenced the way I think about business problems," says Nagel, naming her first-semester accounting professor, Shankar Venkatamaran, among the most memorable.

In addition, "I met some of the most incredible professionals who brought their day-to-day experiences to class, making for some really good discussions and debates."

As far as her long-term career plans are concerned, Nagel notes that Johnson & Johnson offers a tremendous range of opportunities and encourages employees to make a job move every three to five years or so within either the parent or its 200-plus operating companies.

Down the road, she could see herself back in the arena of public affairs.

"My experience working in Georgia Tech's office of Government and Community Relations really fostered an appreciation for that function," she says, "and I would love to be a part of that within one of the largest healthcare companies in the world.

"Comparing Johnson & Johnson to Georgia Tech, I see many similarities in the value we bring to the greater community, in terms of research and innovative ideas."


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