Well, December is finally here, and that means finals week! A great end to a great first few months! My first semester at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College has been filled with new material to master, new friends to meet and new challenges to overcome.
My decision to return to school after 20 years in the work force, making movies like Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo was based on a desire to master the skills needed to take my career to the next level. As a film production manager I’ve been able to contribute to blockbuster films for world audiences. But, I found that in order to step into executive management, I wanted the understanding of world markets, the knowledge of how firms maximize profit, and to really grasp some deeper fundamentals of human resource management. So far, this first semester has proven to be really worthwhile. I’ve been able to sink my mind deeply into my course load and have already started applying new skills to my latest project for Dreamworks, the MegaMind eStoryBook app which was just launched in the iTunes store.
A highlight of my first semester at Mills was that I was selected as the Graduate Speaker for Fall Convocation, along with renown US labor leader Dolores Huerta. What an honor to share the stage with this amazing woman. My speech focused on having the courage to self-determine, in the face of hardship. To carve out our own path, as women leaders in business. Mills is proving to be a fertile place to grow my new self. I can’t wait to choose my courses for next semester at Mills.
Lately I’ve been wondering if I made the right decision to return to school full time, versus a part time, or executive MBA program. What I can say now is that having the chance to immerse myself deeply in my studies, and in the culture of education has given me time to learn deeply. I am not distracted by the day to day demands of my office. I can fully apply myself to the coursework. Being a long time professional I know that I will carry this new knowledge easily back into the marketplace. Giving myself the freedom to really focus on my MBA is a gift I’m giving to myself.
Julie M. McDonald
Class of 2012
Forté Foundation Fellow
Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business Mills College