Larynette Ndah lives in Newark, Delaware and works as an assistant project manager for Brailsford & Dunlavey, Inc., in addition to being an MBA in corporate finance and entrepreneurial studies candidate at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Ndah, who plans to graduate in 2020, shared her experience choosing Lerner graduate programs and how it has impacted her both personally and professionally.
Q: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Ndah: I went back to pursue a graduate degree because I was interested in exploring other career paths. I have a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and I enjoyed working with clients and contractors; I am a people person. I also took a keen interest in financial management and entrepreneurship, thus I wanted to leverage my skills, passion and purpose. The Lerner College was the perfect place for that since they offered MBA concentrations in finance and entrepreneurial studies and offered both online and on-campus classes.
Q: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Ndah: The resources offered by Horn Entrepreneurship have been invaluable. I walked into class not knowing what to expect but learning and engaging in the startup space at UD has helped me to redefine and craft my own career path. The MBA career counselors work with me as I craft this path. I have enjoyed my leadership classes; learning how to be an effective leader that does not only create change but also motivates others to do the same. My business classes have provided me with the knowledge I need to make informed decisions as a manager and leader.
Q: What is an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career?
Ndah: Prior to [starting as a student at] Lerner, I worked as a water and wastewater engineer. Learning about entrepreneurship and leadership at Lerner has changed my career trajectory. As I work to complete customer interviews and conduct research, I realized I can contribute so much more. Thus, I am moving my career towards management and leadership, and I can use my skills, passion and purpose to achieve my potential. I just got a new job as assistant project manager in collegiate implementation.
Q: Can you describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program?
Ndah: Through the Lerner Executive Mentoring program I have had the opportunity to work with a wonderful mentor who has provided much needed advice and encouragement to keep me grounded and focused. Making a career shift or daring to craft a path for myself was unsettling, but she helped me remain confident in my ability to learn, grow and apply myself in whatever capacity I am needed.
Q: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be?
Ndah: Collaborative. Everyone I have met through the Lerner MBA seems to have my best interest at heart. We collaborate and everyone goes above and beyond and challenges the quality of our work. My classmates strive for excellence.
Q: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Ndah: I have gotten good at managing myself so I can prioritize and put first things first as I strive to stay on top of my academic and professional life. I always have the end in mind.
Q: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Ndah: better at seizing and leveraging opportunities that come my way.
Q: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Ndah: ENTR 650, business accelerator, for a startup I am currently working on. I am hoping to utilize the lessons from that case to improve potential ethical pitfalls in my career.
Q: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Ndah: Gain more experience managing people and projects through my work, with the ultimate goal of positioning myself as a leader in the construction and real estate industry or the energy industry. I plan to continue with my startup and entrepreneurial pursuits too.