As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate and MBA programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Fall 2018 Commencement.
Meet Mark Bailey:
Mark hails from Milledgeville, Georgia, and is completing his Executive MBA (EMBA) in Management of Technology. Mark decided to pursue a Scheller Executive MBA because “after working in technology for 25 years, I wanted to attend the best school with a program designed specifically to incorporate business and technology.” And, what would he be doing if he hadn’t attended business school? “I would be spending time tinkering on projects with my nine-year-old son. We love experimenting with science projects together and I look forward to new discoveries after graduation!”
Where are you employed and what is your title?
Thiele Kaolin Company, Manager of Information Services. I am responsible for managing the development and support of the business computer systems and telecommunications for Thiele Kaolin and its subsidiaries.
Did your position change as a result of the EMBA program?
No, my title has not changed, but I am certain the experience has made me a better manager.
I chose the Scheller College of Business because, after working 25 years in technology, I wanted to attend the best school with a program designed specifically to incorporate business and technology.
Why did you choose the Executive MBA program?
I wanted the opportunity to work with professors and classmates in a collaborative atmosphere. The Executive MBA program at Scheller provided the best opportunity for me to participate in a classroom environment while continuing my career.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
I can honestly say that each professor was my favorite in a different way! Each one of them has special qualities that I admire. I truly felt a connection with each and every one of them.
What was your favorite course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?
As with my professors, I actually loved each class in different ways. I realized that each class provided value and that I needed to go into all of them with a desire to learn. I embraced every opportunity and it has since changed the way that I learn and conduct business. That was the biggest insight for me.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
There is no better place to witness how technology is interwoven into the fabric of business than here at Scheller. The relationships between Georgia Tech, Scheller College, and the businesses located in Tech Square offer students a unique opportunity and a great perspective.
What is your best advice to someone interested in getting their MBA at Georgia Tech Scheller College?
I would encourage them to commit to a plan and stick to it. Time passes by so quickly. The personal value gained is well worth it.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I thought that Scheller College of Business was only for those who are young and getting started in executive leadership. To the contrary, it is for anyone who wants to learn current business techniques, no matter their age. There are always learning opportunities at Scheller.
What did you think about your final Management of Technology presentation before the judges?
My team worked on a cloud-based cybersecurity product. (There were four of us on the team.) During the customer discovery process, I had an opportunity to speak with a lot of people regarding their data security concerns. Learning how to conduct customer discovery provided a lot of personal growth for me.
How do you feel your capstone experience has prepared you for post-graduation?
It has completely changed the way I look at new business ideas and the entire startup process. I started my first business when I was only eight years old. All along, I never really gave much thought to the actual ideation involved in the startup process. I’ve always worked off of a hunch each time I started a business. Sometimes the hunch was right, but many times it was wrong. This experience has given me an understanding of how to formulate an idea, test it, refine (fail fast), and deliver results.
What were some of your key takeaways from the China international trip?
Having the opportunity to see Beijing and Shanghai was amazing. The two cities are so different. It was great to visit businesses in China and learn directly from those who are practicing business there. I felt very enlightened afterwards. I would be remiss if I did not mention how special it was to visit the migrant school and spend time working with the children improving their English skills. It is a memory that I will always treasure.
Describe yourself in 15 words or less:
I am someone who believes that the best way to improve oneself is by helping others.
Fun fact about yourself?
While working on a project in Europe, I was told by a Cornish manager that they had adopted me and considered me to be one of their own. It was a great compliment. To this day, I still enjoy working on my Cornish accent!