Ronique: I looked at several MBA programs and didn’t find what I was looking for. Georgia Tech’s Technical MBA was the closest program that would meet my criteria. A fellow NSBE board member was in the program and she provided me with information on the IEM program. I checked out the website, watched the videos, interviewed several alumni and I was sold.
My undergraduate degree was in Engineering, so I had the engineering side covered. I needed tools for business, business strategies, business management, and market penetration. IEM provided this for me.
IEM: Did IEM meet your expectations? Did you get what you wanted from a masters degree?
Ronique: Yes! One of the key things for me was the mindset change. IEM keeps you conscious of considering yourself as a company of one and operating as a consultant whether you are working for someone else or for yourself. No matter what I do, I operate like I’m a consultant. IEM taught me to always be aware and improve on my key performance indicators: How I market, protect my brand, manage finances, operate, etc. I think it sets me apart from the crowd.
IEM: What successes do you see in your career today as a result of IEM?
Ronique: Number one would be how I manage myself as a company of one. I have a strong understanding of how business works and have tools to execute effectively and strategically. A practical example is as follows: Don Appleby taught about market penetration in one of his classes. About a month or two ago, I was asked to lead a national sales and marketing team to do market penetration. With the information learned, I was able to refer to the information I learned in that class. It allowed me to successfully guide the team (even though they were experts in their fields). There is no ceiling for my potential as an employee or business owner.
IEM: How would you describe someone who is perfect for IEM? If you were going to recommend IEM to someone, what kind of person needs to enroll?
Ronique: People who are self driven, desire to improve their financial position and have some corporate experience when they come into the program. I think they would take better advantage of all of the great information and tools they will gain. A person does not need to have all the answers for their future. IEM will help to guide people through that process. They can really thrive and take full advantage of what IEM has to offer.
IEM: What do you like best about your job?
Ronique: I enjoy what I am doing and the people that I work with, from the executives down. They are very receptive to growth and positive change. My skill set is respected and appreciated. It’s really nice to be in that kind of environment. I am in a position where I touch the entire business at this facility, so I learn something on a regular basis. They offer a level of flexibility that I was looking for also.
IEM: What book are you reading right now?
Ronique: “Making Material Flow.” Rick Harris, Chris Harris, Earl Wilson.
IEM: For people visiting Birmingham, what’s the one hot spot they simply must see before they leave here?
Ronique: The Civil Rights Institute. I wouldn't call that a hot spot, but it somewhere someone should visit.
IEM: We offer you the last word. Anything else you want to share, please do.
Ronique: I would like to send a shout to Dale Callahan, Brian Rabon and Don Appleby. Dale and Brian have blessed me with their time and expertise. They took time out of their very busy schedules to coach me in business areas that I was lacking and needed guidance. Don Appleby’s class content was simply amazing. I utilize his content daily, which is starting to be second nature for me. I am very grateful for each of your time, availability and incites. I could not conclude my thanks, without mentioning Maria E Whitmire. You make IEM flow!
This is step 3 of many to come. Thank you IEM and Cassidy for this spotlight!