Baylor EMBA, 2019
Senior Brand Manager, Welch's
"The Value of an EMBA for Marketing Professionals"
When Lauren Price graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University, she had a distinct moment of relief realizing she would never have to take another class again.
But 12 years into a successful career in consumer packaged goods marketing, she looked around and saw a shift—most of her colleagues had MBAs. At the time, Price was managing potato chip innovation at Frito-Lay in Dallas. In order to progress in her career, she knew she would have to earn an MBA, too.
“I knew that if I wanted to remain competitive, excel in brand management, and meet my long-term goals, an MBA was essential,” says Price, now senior brand manager at Welch’s in Concord, Massachusetts. “I had reached a level in my career where it was no longer a ‘nice to have’; it was a must-have.”
The Convenience of an Executive MBA
Price and her brother were born while their father was earning his MBA 30+ years ago. In addition to having two infants at home, he had long weekend commutes and had to find a balance that worked for their family. Luckily for Price, she was new to Dallas, single, and just starting to form friendships. The timing and location were ideal, and she ultimately chose Baylor’s Dallas Executive MBA program.
“I wanted a high-quality private education, yet I needed to remain close to my home and to my employer during the time I was enrolled,” Price says. “The first thing I did was attend an information session. I was really impressed by the caliber of staff, the faculty and even some of the alumni that were there. I wanted to align myself with them.”
Price liked how the EMBA’s weekend class format meshed with her work and life priorities. She anticipated she might struggle to stay engaged in weeknight classes after long days at the office. The program gave her the flexibility to grow her career through both classroom knowledge and applications on the job.
“I didn't want to pause my career in order to do this. I love what I do and taking two years off at such an exciting and pivotal time just wasn't even in the consideration set for me. So that eliminated a full-time program,” she says.
The ROI of an EMBA for Marketing Professionals
Price is focused and strategic about attaining her dream job of chief marketing officer someday. It was important to her that the degree she earned would offer a breadth of knowledge on every facet of running a company so she could contribute meaningfully to critical business decisions.
“I wanted to see the bigger picture, far outside of just marketing,” she says, “and the Baylor MBA program really helped me do that. I’m able to better communicate with my peers in other departments. I learned the basics, started speaking their language and fundamentally contributing to key conversations. That wasn’t always the case before I started my MBA.”
The return on her MBA investment began in a practical way soon after she started. Ideas she learned during lectures and case studies over the weekend turned into actionable items Monday morning. She still refers to strategies she learned in her negotiations class, and weekly quizzes on the news in the Wall Street Journal readied her for conversations about the industry and wider business topics with colleagues at work.
“I don't think or operate now in the traditional ways I did before entering the program,” Price says. “The biggest change I've seen is an increase in my professional confidence.”
Price has seen a financial return as well; she has advanced three levels in her career since enrolling in the program five years ago.
Small Classes, Supportive Faculty, New Friends
The most challenging part of her MBA experience while working full time wasn’t the coursework, she notes.
“It was really about teaching myself to be self-disciplined and value prioritization and effectively manage my time,” she says. “And every member of the program staff and faculty was equipped to answer questions or lend a helping hand.”
Price says the relationships she forged in the program were especially valuable as a newcomer to Dallas. Small classes and a tight-knit, supportive cohort made it easier to participate.—“I made some of my best friends in the cohort”—Price found the program empowering and she speaks up more often now, shares her goals, and seeks advice. She’s found continued success in effectively managing people and teams now as well.
“I'm always striving to maintain a balance between the rigor and results that my company is relying on, and the personal side—supporting and showing empathy to team members who report to me and giving them what they deserve,” she says.
Price is motivated by a desire to market products that enrich people’s lives—and she’s accomplishing just that while shepherding the iconic Welch’s brand, and the many American family farms and growers they support.
“Having that cultural or personal mission behind the work is really important for me, and that's what inspires me when I’m growing my brands,” she says.
The pace of business is faster than ever, and for marketing professionals, an MBA is increasingly expected at the senior level. For Price, an Executive MBA was a practical and convenient way to continue contributing at work while gearing up for new roles to come.
“One thing that my late grandmother would always say to me is that your education is the only thing that can't be taken away from you. I just fully stand by that statement,” she says.
“There are so many things in life that are out of our control but being intentional about bettering yourself isn't one of those things. Taking the first step in moving from thinking about something to doing something is where the difference is made.”
Lauren Price on "The Bear Beat"
Are you an experienced marketing professional interested in finding out if an Executive MBA degree could be the next step in your career? Baylor University offers Executive Master of Business Administration at the Hankamer School of Business in two of Texas’ key business and cultural hubs—in Dallas and in Austin. Reach out for a one-on-one consultation with our admissions advisers. Complete the form below, and our team will contact you directly.