Baylor EMBA, 2020
Current Regional Vice President of Operations, Stop and Shop
Former Director of Retail Change Operations, 7-Eleven Inc.
"Operations in the Big Apple with a Baylor EMBA"
Stewart was an experienced retail manager when he first thought about getting his MBA, with almost 20 years of professional expertise. So why bother with an MBA at all? He says: “Career progression was a big part of my decision to pursue an MBA. I actually started researching career moves about halfway thru the program. Prior to the EMBA program my network circle was very limited, consisting of only 7-Eleven Inc., coworkers, and a small amount of convenience industry insiders. As a result, my awareness of external opportunities and most importantly, my personal value was very limited.
The Baylor EMBA program allowed me to expand my network into other industries, as well as get perspective on what truly is my compensation potential. It quickly became very clear that getting my MBA, with my combined experience, would make me a valuable commodity to many companies.”
Making the Leap
Using the executive coaching offered as part of the Baylor Executive MBA program, Stewart started exploring new opportunities to make a career transition. Stewart shares that his coach “taught me how to network, by suggesting that I post on LinkedIn weekly, join local business clubs and [connected me] with top business leaders in the DFW area. When Stop and Shop began to court me for a job, she coached me through the interview process, the offer process, and even how to have the personal discussions with my wife about relocating to the east coast. Most importantly, she didn’t make the decisions for me. She just helped me weigh the pros and cons to see both sides of every equation that was presented.”
Stewart also credits his professors with encouraging him to reevaluate his career potential. “During the programs Human Resource Management course, I remember clearly the professor saying that getting your MBA has very little value for your current company; however, enormous value for your future company.” And even now, after joining his current company in 2021, Stewart says that he “continues to receive job inquiries from recruiters on a weekly basis”.
Calculating ROI – the Value of an MBA
When asked about the ROI of his MBA investment, Stewart was quick to quantify the financial gains, saying “Given my salary increase within my new company, I will be able to see a 100% return within three years”.
But for Stewart, the MBA program was about more than just career advancement. He loves to learn and cites the MBA at Baylor as crucial in continuing his philosophy of lifelong learning. Stewart says “during the program we were exposed to a lot of great authors and reading material. Authors such as Malcom Gladwell and Simon Sinek. Even though these readings are no longer mandatory, I continued to read and study their material. I also kept my subscriptions to Harvard Business Review, McKinsey, and the Wall Street Journal.”
The Baylor Advantage
Why Baylor, and not just any MBA program? Stewart had an answer for that too. “Baylor is the complete package. You will get an MBA from a nationally respected private institution within the BIG 12, and within a state (Texas) that is fast becoming a nation leading hub for trade and technology. You will learn from some of the best professors within education [and] you benefit from a balanced schedule that is customized for working adults”.
What is life like as a Baylor Bear after moving from Texas to New York City? Stewart laughs as he says “The Baylor network is amazing. I wear my Baylor swag around NYC and I often bump into fellow Baylor Bears. It is not surprising to hear someone yell “Sic Em” and raise the paw on 5th Ave in Manhattan.”
The final impact of the Baylor EMBA, however, goes far beyond a career move or professional networks for Stewart. He gained what he calls a “family for life” through the program. “My classmates are like family. After graduation, we keep in touch. We still message each other on our birthdays, and we celebrate key life milestones together.”
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity to call myself a Baylor graduate.”
Are you an experienced operations 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.