Q: What do you do in your current job/what are your responsibilities?
A: I work as a Manager, Finance Business Partner for PAREXEL International. As a finance business partner, my job is to act as a co-pilot for the business to formulate and implement our strategy. I make sure that we meet our goals profitably. I am also the primary business partner for a couple of selling, general, and administrative functions and a high growth regulatory consulting business. My top responsibilities include budgeting, forecasting, and long range planning for these areas. Along with this, I am also a member of the finance team, which oversees all mergers and acquisitions activity for PAREXEL Informatics, which is the technology arm of PAREXEL International.
Q: What skills did you build in the D’Amore-McKim MBA in Finance program that you are currently using on the job?
A: One of the key things I learned while at Northeastern was to be able to look beyond the numbers and focus on the story behind the numbers, especially how to use numbers to paint a picture for management and get my point across in a clear and succinct manner. Another important takeaway was to keep an eye on the minute details but not lose sight of the big picture. This is a very delicate balance to strike and I will remain one of my key learnings from the program.
Q: What would you say to a colleague considering enrolling in the MBA in Finance program?
A: Take full advantage of the diverse group. It is also very important that you are comfortable not only with crunching numbers but also with analyzing them and communicating the outcome. Not to undermine the importance of proficiency with ERP systems (Hyperion Essbase, Business Objects etc.) , but Microsoft Office Suite (especially Word, Powerpoint and Access) is still widely used across industries and proficiency with these programs certainly helps.
Q: Why did you choose the D’Amore-McKim School of Business MBA in Finance program?
A: The biggest reason was the corporate residency program. I now know I made the right choice as I have moved from being a corporate resident at PAREXEL International, in 2013, to being a team member that recruits corporate residents from Northeastern in 2016. Other reasons for choosing this program included Northeastern's location and reputation.
Q: What was your biggest take-away from earning your MBA in Finance at Northeastern?
A: The MBA program, especially the Finance concentration, helped me learn to use the science and art behind the numbers at the same time, meaning you look at a set of numbers, analyze them, and make a story. But it does not stop at that; there is always a level of uncertainty to account for in the industry. Dealing with this ambiguity and making a well thought out and strategic call is what the MBA in Finance program taught me.
Q: What are you doing now and how did the MBA in Finance help you get there?
A: As mentioned above, the MBA program helped me get my foot in the door at PAREXEL International. This not only helped me decide that I wanted to make a career in Finance (I am a career-changer) but also gave me the accelerated start I needed coming from a different industry.