Marissa Blevins always knew she wanted to pursue a graduate degree, but after seven years as a professional in the business industry, finding the time proved to be difficult. That is, until she found Clarkson’s one-year MBA program.
“Having the opportunity to complete my MBA in just one year helped me decide that Clarkson was the right fit for me. I’ve enjoyed the pace and structure of the program,” she says.
Up until last fall, Marissa worked for Target Corporation as a human resources manager of distribution, rotating from Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Her job duties included planning and executing policies and procedures for a distribution center of over 600 non-union employees and developing a large and diverse workforce in a cost-effective manner.
To attend Clarkson, Target allowed Marissa to take an educational leave of absence, so she will continue to work for the company after she graduates from Clarkson. She also has the opportunity for tuition reimbursement for her MBA, an option she used previously to complete her Professional Human Resources (PRH) certificate.
She explains, “Target is an amazing company and I will be excited to return because I’m not sure where I will be located next – with over 350,000 employees, the possibilities are endless. I look forward to returning to the professional world, but with a more well-rounded background in management and business relations in general.”
Marissa, an Oklahoma native, earned a B.S. in hospitality management with minors in business administration and Spanish from Oklahoma State University in 2003. While there, she was able to study abroad in Seville, Spain, for a semester. Bit by the travel bug, she knew a graduate program with a study abroad option would be best for her.
“With the increased globalization in today’s business society, I think it is critical to have an understanding of other cultures. I decided that continuing to have a global experience during my master’s would be invaluable,” she says.
This semester, Marissa will be traveling to India for two weeks in March with the MBA program’s global experience, which proved to be a tough decision because the other option was an Asia itinerary to Taiwan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
“It was difficult because they’re both fascinating culturally and economically speaking, but I ultimately chose India because it is an emerging economy that has embraced new technology in order to leverage its workforce,” she explains. “I think India will continue to play a critical role in globalization and I’m excited to learn more about the culture firsthand through visits to local businesses and historical sites.”
When Marissa returns, she’ll have just weeks to complete the program before graduation. And if there’s one thing she’ll miss, it’s the people. “The professors are truly invested in their students and have a passion for teaching, especially Profs. Martin Heintzelman, Stephen Sauer, Augustine Lado, Sandra Fisher and Farzad Mahmoodi. And, of course, I’ve made some great lifelong friends and colleagues along the way, too.”