Controlling My Destiny with the Help of Johnson’s Community

by Mike Newell, MBA ’14

Mike Newell, MBA '14

After nearly six years in public accounting, I realized that I wanted my career to take a new path (although, I had no idea what that path was at the time!), and decided that an MBA was the only means through which to make that transition. Knowing that I needed to develop practical knowledge in whatever field I chose, I decided that Johnson was the right fit given the school’s focus on Performance Learning through the Immersion Program.

When I arrived at Johnson, I decided that I wanted to focus on general management and corporate finance because I thought that particular combination would equip me with the ability to eventually step into a position of leadership with my future employer. I weighed a number of options, but eventually chose the Managerial Finance Immersion (MFI) because I wanted to supplement the skills and knowledge I had acquired during my previous career. Beginning with our Week on Wall Street, MFI students have had the opportunity to learn from industry experts about their experiences, current industry trends, daily responsibilities, and, most importantly, employment opportunities. The MFI practicum, a semester-long course led by Steve Calk, is another aspect of the immersion that helps students learn about current issues in corporate finance and how practitioners, primarily CFOs, are dealing with those issues.

In addition to the curriculum , faculty, and immersions, the Johnson Community has been my most pleasant surprise in coming back to school. Not only have I found new friends from very diverse professional and personal backgrounds, but each person I have met seems genuinely interested in not only their development and success, but mine as well. This is an unbelievable resource when it comes to learning from others’ experiences, networking, and even relaxing on the weekends after a stressful exam period.

After a little over six months on campus, I could not be happier with my decision to pursue an MBA at Johnson. It is a dynamic, energetic environment that fosters both personal and professional development. Johnson has provided me with the ability to develop myself, build my network, and launch my career in a new field.