Megan Wright Drumm
Part-time MBA Candidate 2016, Management
Industry/Field of work: Nonprofit Management
Undergraduate degree: Communication Arts and French (majors); Business Administration (minor)
Undergraduate School: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Organizations involved with: InKIND
What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?
I minored in Business Administration as an undergraduate student and really enjoyed the experience. The education that I received in accounting, management, marketing, finance and general administration was really practical and useful in the early years of my career. When I started working in my current position as Executive Director of two small nonprofit medical associations, I quickly realized that I would benefit from reinforcing and deepening my business and management knowledge.
My former boss and mentor encouraged me to pursue an MBA. I had also been considering certificate programs in nonprofit management that would take less time and be less expensive than a master’s degree. She helped convince me that an MBA would deliver more value and make me a more well-rounded employee and job candidate down the line. I’m thankful that she gave me that extra push.
What was the most important factor for you in choosing a master’s program (or factors you considered)?
When choosing a MBA program, I was primarily concerned with school reputation, location (I only considered Chicago-area programs), and value.
Why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?
UIC was the clear front-runner of all of the programs that I considered in the Chicago-area. I was drawn in by its central location and in-state tuition prices, the dedicated faculty/staff, strong reputation for educational rigor, vibrant student community, and hands-on learning opportunities hooked me. So far I’m very happy with my decision.
We all know that people pursue graduate school to increase their business knowledge, but since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?
I’m still very early in the program (only two classes under my belt), so I think and hope that my answer to this question will evolve over the next several years. That said, even in my second semester, I’m consistently surprised at how quickly and frequently I can apply concepts I’m learning in the classroom to my job. It’s probably one of the few benefits of working full-time while pursuing a degree! I’ve also been so pleased to gain new friendships and build my professional network. It’s fun to operate within a community of classmates who share similar interests and motivations as me.
What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why?
Douglas Hall is a great home base for the UIC MBA program. It’s modern, clean, and there are plenty of spaces to meet with group members and get work done. UIC’s proximity to public transportation is a huge plus and makes it easy for me to get to and from my classes.
How would you define the Liautaud student?
The Liautaud students that I have encountered so far are approachable, ambitious and motivated. Not only do they apply themselves at work and in the classroom, they also find time to get involved on campus and have fun. It’s a very welcoming group.
How do you like to spend your free time?
During my free time I like to read, watch movies (especially documentaries), and run or hit the gym depending on the season. I love trying new restaurants and cooking at home with my husband. I’m lucky to have a lot of family and friends in Chicago, and I spend as much time with them as possible. When I have the time and money, I like to travel - something I hope to do much more of once I graduate.