Baylor EMBA 2012
Global Black Belt, General Electric
"Learning to Speak the Language"
Derrick Wilson is a science nerd. Majoring in Chemical Engineering as an undergrad at the University of Mississippi was a no brainer for the kid who loved chemistry so much he broke the periodic table down to its basics and proudly presented it to his high school Chemistry teacher without being asked to do so. Currently a Global Black Belt for the General Electric Company, this former military intelligence officer from Mississippi plans on returning to sales with the goal of progressing to general management. In order to advance in the business world, however, Derrick realized his skills needed a boost. "I have a diverse background, but I was missing some business basics in the areas of finance, economics, and accounting," he says.
After deciding an MBA would fill the gaps in his business knowledge, Derrick looked at a wide variety of schools. He was initially drawn to Baylor by their national reputation and their faculty. He liked the idea of having both executives and professors bringing theory and practice to the classroom. When asked what made Baylor the right choice for him he doesn't hesitate, "the program offers a baseline rigor, I knew it wasn't going to be easy and I didn't want it to be. I also found the schedule very appealing. I especially liked starting classes on Friday afternoons." Another draw for Derrick was the international and Washington D.C. trips. He counts world travel among his hobbies and has been to 5 continents. What really tipped the scale though was the sense of family he felt at Baylor. "It wasn't really anything that was stated," Derrick says. "I just felt an immediate connection with Baylor. I could tell right away that they wanted me to succeed and it just felt like a good fit."
And succeed he has. "In addition to my previous understanding of basic business terms, I can now read, interpret, and understand those footnotes on balance sheets," he says with a smile. "Decisions made for financial reasons didn't always used to make sense to me but they do now that I can speak the language and see the big picture."