As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Tiffany Michelle Findlay:
Tiffany is completing her Evening MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics and describes herself as “a learner, achiever, dog mom, and karaoke enthusiast.” The native Atlantan will be working at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a Supply Network Operations Manager post graduation. In this role she will be responsible for getting thousands of different products onto store shelves in the right quantities; forecasting customer demand, owning and executing production and planning; working with the information flow for the entire supply chain; and being responsible for the physical flow process from suppliers through production.
Where did you intern?
I interned with Delta Air Lines in their Environmental Compliance Group as a Sustainability Intern Spring 2019. I inventoried their carbon emissions and helped lead their sustainable business employee-crowd-sourcing competition in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I chose Scheller College of Business to better develop my STEM skills and for its strong sustainability courses.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
My two favorite professors were both approachable and exceptionally competent in their fields of expertise: Cem Ozturk (Market Research) and Aaron Hackett (Strategic Brand Management). Both cared about their students engaging with the course content and in class, and both have continued to be receptive and offer insights after I took their courses.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
My two favorite courses, Pricing & Revenue Analytics and Supply Chain Modeling, had a couple of things in common: the professors were highly effective with their lectures and assignments, covering topics that helped me land a post-MBA job at P&G; and I was fortunate to have engaged and intelligent teammates for group project work.
Pricing & Revenue Analytics: This class was about how to forecast the future of anything that can be quantified. Dr. Tereyagoglu taught how to develop and refine triple-exponential smoothing models and optimized alpha, beta, and gamma values to minimize errors in validation sets was challenging, and now that I know how to do this all manually, I am able to code it using programming languages. Humans have always valued those who can predict the future, and being able to talk intelligently and in detail about what I learned in this class was enormously helpful in supply chain and marketing interviews.
Supply Chain Modeling: This class helped me to ace my interviews with Procter & Gamble and impress the Vice President of Supply Network Operations during the onsite interviews. I absolutely loved playing the simulation games with my team, who were all outspoken and smart, which helped us get to the best solutions and win, and Dr. Atasu’s lectures consistently reinforced the main takeaways so that I still do not struggle to remember what I learned.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
I was a Scheller Ambassador throughout my tenure in the program, and when I met potential candidates, Scheller College embodying the intersection of business and technology was always the primary differentiator from other top programs. If a candidate is interested in leading others in STEM-related fields, they will get the tools they need to do so successfully at Scheller. The Business Analytics track and all of its associated events and forums in Tech Square helped me learn and then stay at the cutting edge of data science.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Ensure you have the complete support of your managers and company to attend Evening classes, and if you sense any potential conflicts, take out student loans and apply to the Full-Time Program. You will have the freedom to fully lean into the course work, will be able to take a larger variety of classes, will have access to internships via the top-ranked Jones MBA Career Center, will have more time to network, and will still have time for your friends and family on nights and weekends.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College? (And how was it the same or different than what you experienced?)
I expected most MBA candidates to be quants, and while I was correct, there was a larger proportion of poets than I thought there would be. Having a balance between the two increased diversity of thought and improved group work results.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model/mentor?)
I was the first person in my family to graduate with my undergraduate degree, and attending college as an undergrad was heavily influenced by a counselor at my high school. While I was working as a paralegal for many years after getting my BA in Journalism from Georgia State and my Paralegal Certificate from Emory, multiple attorneys with whom I worked suggested that I go to law school, but I knew that was not a good fit for me. I was sort of lost about how I wanted to advance my career until a significant other inspired me to get my MBA. I could see how content he was with his career choice and trajectory, and all of his many friends from business school exuded the same satisfaction, despite having chosen different concentrations and going into different fields. I perceived that the breadth of the degree would help me avoid hitting a glass ceiling or getting pigeon-holed in my career again.
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here?
I tremendously enjoyed working with the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business on leading a sustainable business crowd-sourcing competition while interning at Delta. I also was able to become a better leader through serving as President of Graduate Evening MBA Students (GEMS), which helped me to succeed by giving me business-relevant stories for my behavioral interviews.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?
- Lean Six Sigma: Identified root causes to improve data reliability and reduce rework costs at the restocking and e-commerce fulfillment center of Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma
- Pro-Bono Consulting: Created a web-based time entry and reporting tool, a grant-restricted accounts-receivable and accounts–payable tool, and training guides for the rapidly growing workforce of Global Growers, a nonprofit that helps refugees earn a living through sustainable agriculture
- Supply Chain Modeling: Developed inventory initial order and replenishment models for Atlanta entrepreneur’s innovative boutique shop and café
- Strategic Brand Management: Consulted with TBS and developed problem statement, target persona, and perceptual map on points of parity and differentiation; and recommended marketing objective, message, and implementation plan
Did you travel abroad during your time at Scheller? What were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
I traveled to Israel as part of the International Practicum course. I learned a tremendous amount about Israeli history, cultures, and work styles. The International Consulting Practicum for Israel traveled as a class of 24 students with Professor Avi Leibovitch to Tel Aviv, Ness Ziona, Caesarea, Haifa, Galil, Jerusalem Old City, Yehuda Market, Yad Vashem, and the Dead Sea's Kalya Beach. We met and presented to our clients (mostly tech start-ups), we ate authentic regional cuisine, learned about the history and cultures of Israel, and made lifelong friendships. We celebrated Purim in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be working in compliance and still wishing I was on the innovative value-creation side of the house.”
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- Incorporating innovative sustainable business strategies in roles throughout my career
- Buying a large piece of property and developing my own botanical garden on it over time
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I hope my peers remember me as a servant leader who increased engagement in the Evening MBA Program, and as someone who made the most of both learning and networking opportunities.