Alex Huey lives in Milford, Delaware and works in digital marketing at Weber Shandwick in Baltimore, Maryland, in addition to being an MBA candidate at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Huey, who plans to graduate in 2020, shared his experience choosing the Lerner MBA program and how it has impacted him both personally and professionally. Additionally, Huey gave glimpse into the average day in the life of a UD MBA candidate in this student-generated video.
Q: Why did you go back to school to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Huey: I decided to pursue my MBA because I knew a graduate-level degree would help me develop the skills needed to advance my career. Lerner’s MBA program is highly flexible and I loved the fact that I could take classes online or in a traditional classroom setting. At the beginning of my program, I was living in Florida and in the process of transitioning back to Delaware. I then spent most of my program as a full time student and, as I wrapped up my studies, began applying to jobs in a multitude of cities knowing I still had a class remaining before graduation. Despite these changes in my personal and professional life, not once during my program have I worried about the impact that changing roles or geographic location would have on me being able to complete my degree. The MBA program easily integrated into my life.
Q: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Huey: Two key courses in UD’s MBA program include a seminar on emotional intelligence and critical thinking, along with a course on communicating, branding and career networking. While not traditional business courses such as finance, accounting or marketing, these two courses allowed me to practice more “soft skills” that are just as important to have in the workplace and will allow me to set myself apart as I continue to advance my career.
Q: What is an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career?
Huey: One of my favorite courses I was able to take was digital marketing analytics with Dr. David Muir. Through his course, I was able to become certified in Google Analytics, Google Search and Google Ads. Through a capstone project I was able to work with classmates to run a digital marketing campaign. This allowed us to practice concepts learned in the course and get a true understanding of how concepts could be implemented in the marketing campaign we were developing to maximize ROI. I’ve found this course has been a differentiator when I’ve attended interviews and hiring teams are always impressed that I’ve had hands-on experience beyond what can be learned from a textbook.
Q: Can you describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program?
Huey: One of the many things that I love about the University of Delaware and Lerner are our faculty and staff members. I have found that they can be fantastic resources that genuinely want to see you accomplish your goals and succeed. Several of my professors were aware of my interests and were able to connect me with companies to interview with and many of those interviews turned into job offers. I also had the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant during my MBA program and reported directly to the deputy dean of the college, Dr. Sheryl Kline. She has been a fantastic resource to me throughout my program and she, along with the faculty and staff in the dean’s office, have truly taken an interest in me as a student, professional and individual.
Q: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be?
Huey: I would describe my classmates as “driven.” Many students in the MBA program are working full-time jobs or have taken a break from their career to pursue a graduate level degree. Everyone in class genuinely wants to be there and everyone’s drive and passion to learn makes for engaging discussions in class. My classmates are fantastic resources and I have learned just as much from them as I have learned from my professors. Each person has unique backgrounds and career experiences and I always enjoy hearing their perspectives and how course concepts apply to their own careers.
Q: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Huey: I’m a firm believer in the saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” Balancing working with class hasn’t been an easy task, but I have found that it has forced me to be more efficient with my time, and I very quickly found ways to reduce the amount of time that I wasted. Just like I would schedule a meeting at work, I have time scheduled on my calendar for class, working sessions for group projects and reminders for important class deliverables.
Q: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Huey: My graduate program helped me become a more well-rounded and confident business professional.
Q: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Huey: Lerner truly commits to experiential learning and, while in my MBA program, I had several hands-on project opportunities. I was able to compete in the 2019 Carol A. Amon Case Competition and took home first place as part of the winning team. The case competition gave me a great opportunity to apply the knowledge I had gained in my program to solve a business problem faced by a local organization and, by working with students coming from different disciplines than my own, I felt like we each were able to play to one another’s strengths to come up with creative answers to complicated problems while being able to help the Newark community.
Q: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Huey: I recently accepted a digital marketing role with Weber Shandwick in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m excited to be in a position with a reputable company that will allow me to continue to learn and grow while leveraging the skills I’ve learned in my MBA program to make an impact on my team.