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Mike Piana

Mike Piana

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2010

Sales Manager, Midcontinent and Northeast at Archrock

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Piana Found Fertile Ground for Growth at Owen

With a degree in chemical engineering, Michael Piana understands the products he sells for his employer, Nachurs Alpine Solutions–a privately held company that makes premium specialty liquid fertilizer. But since his role as Vice President of Sales involves working with other executives in the company to develop pricing, budgets and long-term strategy, Michael believed he needed additional skills.

"I wanted to better understand the total business picture," he says, "and to do that I needed to build a foundation in accounting and finance and learn how to properly market and price products. I also hoped to become a better leader of my team."

In addition to new finance and accounting knowledge that has helped him better understand the impact of capital projects and sales and marketing decisions, Michael says he has benefited significantly from classes in "softer skills" that have improved his ability to "lead, organize and motivate my sales team."

The return he has already seen on his investment has validated his decision. "I wanted a degree that I would carry with me wherever I go," he says. "A Vanderbilt degree can open doors.

"Ultimately, you can only get one MBA. Make it count."