Makayla Barton – Master of Management

Going to graduate school was never part of my plan when I was an undergraduate. I always assumed that I would take the “normal” course of graduating, getting a job, and moving into the so called “real world”. I studied Public Health and Environmental Studies for my undergraduate degree, and while I absolutely loved the content of what I was learning I felt as though there was a gap in my education. I had this wealth of knowledge, but I didn’t know where to go with it. That was when I decided that graduate school was worth considering. Looking back now, I am so happy I made that decision eight short months ago for so many reasons.
The A.B. Freeman School of Business has provided me with so many opportunities in the short time I have been a part of it. The Master of Management program, in particular, has felt extremely customized to my needs as a recent graduate. The MMG program has changed a lot between the first and second year of its existence. Former students would describe the MMG program as a one-year MBA, where you essentially take courses that all first year MBA students take. That is not quite the case anymore. The MMG students now have their own classes. The classes are small, interactive, comfortable and are specifically geared toward teaching us how to be strong and innovative managers. We have all had the ability to develop more personal relationships with both our professors and each other. Although we are a small group, we come from completely different backgrounds. Our undergraduate majors range anywhere from finance to art, and this allows us to draw from each other’s strengths and build upon our own weaknesses when working in our groups.
A big draw to the MMG program was the focus on leadership. I have always considered myself to have some qualities of a leader, but I have also always tended to hold back. During the summer months, the program really focused on developing our leadership skills. While we were taking classes, we also essentially had a two-month long orientation that was extremely focused on developing our leadership and communication skills. We were taken to ropes courses, an escape room (which was awesome, by the way), and tours of local businesses. Sometimes it kind of felt like we were back in summer camp. It was the perfect way to help us all transition, and it really forced us to work together and push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Some of us were totally okay with this and others were a little hesitant, but at the end of the day, each and every one of us saw and felt improvements.
Arguably the most exciting part of the MMG program is the opportunity we have to go to India with our Economic Environment of Global Business class. We leave in less than two weeks and our feelings range all along the spectrum of really nervous to really excited, but regardless of whatever feelings we may have, we all know we are about to have an experience we will never forget. Out of the handful of graduate programs I looked into, none had an opportunity quite as amazing as this trip. I get to travel to a part of the world I have never seen before, gain some perspective on the business environment and culture, eat amazing food, see amazing things, talk to new people, and get class credit for it? Sounds like a pretty great deal to me! Not only will I take away lifelong lessons from this trip, but I think I officially get to say that I was a part of the coolest graduate program ever.
The Tulane MMG program has been the perfect fit for me. I think it speaks miles that people from such different backgrounds can all be happy with their decision to join this program. I am not saying that this program is the obvious decision for everyone out there. In fact, the decision to go to graduate school should not be taken lightly or made too quickly. It can be a tough transition, especially coming directly from undergraduate. While this program is geared toward non-business undergraduates, it is still a really big change of pace if you come from a science or art background, for example. However, when it came time for me to start applying to jobs, I realized I had zero knowledge of business, and I didn’t know how to start working for one when I didn’t even have basic knowledge about how to make a business successful. Every day in the MMG program has highlighted both my strengths and weaknesses, but now I know how to build off both of those in the most effective way possible. At the end of the day, this program has only helped me grow as a student and as a professional, and I can’t wait to see what future opportunities it opens up for me.
Makayla Barton