Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2011
Area Sales Leader, Marriott International, Nashville, TN
Ask award-winning Marriott International sales leader Amanda Cox what surprises her most about her time at Owen, and she’ll laugh: “I’m surprised by how much I already miss being in class.” A recipient of the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, Amanda pushed herself to finish her coursework and finish it well. Swiftly, she realized that, at Owen, learning continues far beyond the classroom walls.
Amanda’s student-peers hailed from a diversity of professional experiences. The relationships she built with them, she says, fostered “a learning environment unlike any I have ever known.” As one example, she cites Shawn Williams, Director of Quality at Nissan. Shawn and Amanda were part of the same “C-Team” — small groups of students carefully selected from varied and complementary backgrounds who work together on projects throughout their two years in the program.
My background is in marketing,” Amanda explains, “so subjects like operations and supply chain management were foreign to me. AT Owen, not only was I learning operations from a great professor like Nancy Lea Hyer, but Shawn could actually take me into the Nissan plant and show me what happens when a bottleneck occurs in real life, or what ‘Just in Time’ delivery means in the manufacturing world. My C-team helped everything I was learning come to life.”
Looking back, Amanda finds that her Owen experience changed her career even beyond the promotion while still in the program. At work, she says, “I am in so many more cross-functional teams because I can be in those conversations with the CFO and CIO. Because of Owen, I am a much more versatile professional.”