Scott Thacker is an MBA candidate at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Thacker, who plans to graduate in 2021, shared his experience choosing Lerner graduate programs and how it has impacted him both personally and professionally.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Thacker: The primary reason that I decided to pursue my MBA was to help me gain the necessary business skills to advance in my career and open up higher-level opportunities. As a previous Bachelor of Science graduate in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware in 2014, I knew that the Lerner College of Business and Economics was where I wanted to continue my graduate studies for business. What stood out to me the most with Lerner’s MBA program was the extensive professional experience of the top-class business faculty. I was able to gain invaluable knowledge and insight throughout each of my courses that has benefited me greatly in my professional career. The flexibility that the Lerner MBA program offers is unmatched as well. As a full-time working professional, Lerner allowed me the opportunity to pursue my MBA in a hybrid format of both online and in-class instruction that helped me balance my busy personal and professional life.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Thacker: Among the many business topics I learned about through the Lerner MBA program, I particularly enjoyed the unique experience of taking a course on negotiation and conflict resolution, as well as one on networking. Each of these concepts I have found to be incredibly useful and beneficial both in my career and everyday life.
Lerner: What is an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career?
Thacker: I enjoyed taking business analytics early on in the MBA program as it helped me sharpen my analytical skills. Learning about concepts like regression analysis and hypothesis testing has given me more perspective in my work as a laboratory scientist and they also directly apply to my current role in regards to the data analysis that I perform in my clinical testing. This course greatly pushed my analytical boundaries and made me realize what I am truly capable of in terms of complex data analysis.
Lerner: Can you describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program?
Thacker: One of the most important connections that I have made through the Lerner MBA program was Director of Lerner Career Services, Jill Panté. I first met Jill at the annual Lerner MBA Student Association Conference shortly after enrolling in the program and I also had her as an instructor in my networking and communication course. Jill has had a tremendous impact on me by not only assisting me with building an impressive resume, but also providing me with resources like CareerShift that has helped me connect/network with fellow Blue Hen alumni. I am forever grateful for the guidance of Jill and the talented Lerner Career Services staff.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be?
Thacker: I would describe my fellow MBA classmates as “motivated.” The fact that I have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented and driven individuals is actually one of my favorite aspects of being in the Lerner MBA program. The high level of diversity and varying backgrounds of my classmates allows for each of us to learn from each other and build ourselves into impactful business leaders.
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Thacker: The Lerner MBA program helped me become more business savvy, analytical-minded and develop a strategic mindset.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Thacker: I’ve participated in a wide variety of case studies and presentations throughout my MBA curriculum but among the most impactful for me was my final group presentation for my economics course. Our presentation was extensively focused on the global automobile industry and the effects that recent U.S. and European tariffs have had on the profits of the major car companies. Not only was this presentation enlightening in its research content but it also allowed the opportunity for me to build my presentation skills.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Thacker: There are a few options that I am considering for next steps in my career. I envision myself in a position of leadership/management or management consulting post-MBA. With, already, over seven years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, I plan on continuing a focus in the healthcare and/or technology sectors.