Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business students come to learn, explore, and build community. As they move forward in their careers, they take everything they've learned and use it to power innovation in industries and businesses across the globe. In celebration of Fall 2023 Commencement, we sat down with a few students to learn about their experiences and the wisdom they've gained in the process.
Meet Fanny Baires Flores, who is graduating from the Evening MBA program with a concentration in Operation Management.
Where are you from?
I am from El Salvador, but I’ve been living in Alpharetta, Georgia for seven years.
Describe yourself in 15 words or less:
I am someone who is committed to thrive in her endeavors while inspiring and developing others along the way.
Tell me about the person who most influenced your decision to pursue an MBA?
My husband is the person who most influenced my decision to pursue an MBA. He is always encouraging me to keep growing as a person and as a professional, and it’s been great to enjoy our MBA journey together from the start!
What was your favorite business course and why?
Service Operations Management. Professor Manpreet Hora offers the perfect balance between theoretical and practical knowledge, classes are very dynamic, and they are enriched by valuable discussions, guest speakers and student participation. You get many useful tools out of this course, which you can leverage in the job market as many companies are looking to increase service revenue.
What advice would you give to an incoming Evening MBA student?
Doing the MBA, having a full-time job, and taking care of your family will be challenging. Make sure you take a little break to do whatever helps you to re-charge. Go for a walk, watch your favorite show, or go for a coffee with friends. Enjoy the journey, because it goes faster than you think!
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
My husband and I were not heavily involved in organizing extracurricular activities, but we act unofficially as Scheller ambassadors speaking and answering questions from prospective students.
What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at Scheller, and why?
My favorite event was the Scheller Soiree. We had our first Soiree after the pandemic in 2022, and it was me and my husband’s first event after the pandemic. It felt wonderful to be able to celebrate and have fun with our classmates after many months of virtual gatherings.
What was your career journey in the Evening MBA program? Did you pivot, get a promotion, or change jobs?
I started a new role as head of performance controlling for building products in 2021 at the same time as I was starting the MBA program. At that time, I had spent most of my career in corporate finance at Siemens, but I wanted to pivot my career to financial roles that had more direct impact in our business.
I am happy to share that I just started a new role that will allow me to do exactly that! As of November 1, 2023, I became the director of RAM field finance in Siemens. My MBA has provided me with tools that will help me succeed in this new role, which requires the application of financial acumen to business operations.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
- Inspire, mentor and help develop younger professionals to work towards their career goals.
- Become head of finance of a business unit.
What was a moment when you had to practice persistence and/or resilience while in the MBA program?
I started the program in Spring 2021 and took a new role within Siemens as head of performance controlling for a manufacturing business in April 2021. It was really challenging to deal with a job transition and starting the MBA at the same time, especially because I had to temporarily cover my old job and the new one for a couple of months. However, despite all the long nights, I still appreciated the fact that I was acquiring more knowledge at school that I could immediately apply in my new job.
What will you be doing to celebrate your graduation?
My husband, Ciro Baires, and I are graduating together this fall and our families could not be more excited. Both Ciro and I are very proud of this achievement. It is our first degree in the United States, and we are graduating with great academic results. Our parents, grandmothers and siblings will be traveling to Atlanta to participate in the commencement, and we will be hosting a celebration at our house with them and close friends.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I was told I was adopting a Chihuahua, and he grew to be a 25-pound dog. So definitely not a Chihuahua!