Jenny Dodd graduated from ACU, with honors, with a degree in Communications and a minor in Business. Shortly after she graduated from ACU, she began an MBA program at the University of South Carolina. While a student at ACU she participated in both of COBA’s study abroad programs – the Global Apprentice program in Oxford, a summer in Leipzig, Germany, Leadership Summit in Colorado, and was a student ambassador for COBA.
1) Tell us about your program at USC. What type of masters degree are you working on?
Currently I am working on an International MBA at the University of South Carolina, Moore School of Business. It’s a fairly unique program in that we compound a year’s worth of core MBA classes into a 6-month MBA bootcamp, and then have the opportunity to spend our second semester learning a new language as well as the opportunity to learn business abroad. After a summer-long internship in a different country, we return to school for our specialized courses, or we have the option to study abroad for the final year.
2) How did you decide to go to grad school?
Well, some kids dream of become a rockstar, others dream of traveling the world on a sailboat. I dreamed of spending countless hours in the library. Well ok, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that, but I have always enjoyed school and have known from a young age that college isn’t enough. I didn’t however, know what I would go on to study until my junior year of college. After an incredible COBA study abroad experience doing a consulting project in Oxford, England, I realized that this was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Most MBA programs do not accept recent grads; however, in college I always held several internships and I graduated 6 months earlier so that I could get a little more experience. I was one of the youngest accepted to this program, and decided I was ready.
3) Part of your program requires an international internship. Where was your internship and what did you do?
In the IMBA program, you are required to have an internship during the summer after your first year. As I began heading into this search I looked both in the USA and abroad. After a search, I found an internship with Michelin Manufacturing at their worldwide headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France. I worked in their Purchasing Department in a marketing communications position for a 6-month period.
4) How do you feel ACU best prepared you for graduate school? The international internship?
One of the greatest benefits of being at ACU is smaller class sizes than many larger business schools and more importantly, a staff of genuinely caring professors. The faculty at ACU care and respect the potential of their students, and because of that, they invest in students. I had many professors, who took the time to give me projects that catered to my goals, or teach faster in classes where students progressed faster. I not only learned about business, but was nurtured as a future business person on an intellectual and emotional basis.
With COBA I did two study abroad experiences where we did a real hands-on project with a company in a different culture. This alone was incredibly formative in preparing me to do an international internship. Also, with such a community atmosphere at ACU you get the opportunity to interact with all different types of people. These people skills and flexibility are absolutely essential in any internship, particularly an international one.
5) What do you miss most about ACU? What do you enjoy about your new school?
I miss that ACU community that I grew to love. ACU is unlike any place in the world, and I hope it will always remain a place of openness and community. I made friendships with students and professors alike, and there was always a level of support. It is this support that has allowed me to be successful in my graduate school program.
My new school is part of the SEC, so that means football football football! The unique thing about my program is that we get to do the big-school thing, but get to be in a small program (80-90 students/year). During our first semester, we have all of our class together.The beautiful campus dates back to the civil war and is set in the heart of the capital city here. Most of all, I’ve met alumni and students alike, who are located throughout the world!
6) What are your plans after you complete the program in May?
I have several offers I am considering for after graduation, but haven’t decided yet. Sometimes It’s hard to imagine because at this moment, I have the world in front of me. It’s an eye-opening experience for a girl from Abilene Texas!
7) What advice do you have for current business students at ACU?
One of the most important things you can do for yourself, is set a goal, small or large, and once you have that goal in mind, run with everything you have towards it.
Never miss an opportunity to be involved! ACU offers an experiences like none other. You can travel, study, work and play with people like yourself. Build friendships. Love on some people around you, and let them love on you, because when you get into the real world, you’ll find that it’s those people that you took time to invest in, that’ll be your rocks. Most of all, have a spiritual focus. My brother, when he was starting out in the business world, told me that it was his passion, to share love and Jesus while doing business. He now owns his own successful business, has a wonderful family, and has changed some lives along the way. He was my role model, and set a great example for how to be a successful person, not just good at one thing or another. This is your opportunity to choose the type of person you want to be when you grow up. Don’t waste it.