Before completing Clarkson University’s MBA program, I felt like my career was stuck in neutral. While I had won multiple sales awards, including Sales Representative of the Year, Rookie of the Year and, even, the President’s Club award, I knew I wanted more. After more than a decade in sales, I wanted to gain a better understanding about all aspects of business, in particular how my current company – W.L. Gore and Associates – made certain strategic decisions.
I heard about Clarkson when I was stationed at Fort Drum, but because I was still serving as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and 10th Mountain Division Infantry Officer, I didn’t have time to attend classes. When I decided to pursue an MBA, applying to Clarkson was a no-brainer: it was an online program geared toward the busy professional. The decision to attend made sense because I work full-time and didn’t plan on becoming a full-time graduate student. But, even with an online program, I didn’t want the content to be watered down simply because I wasn’t on-campus attending classes in-person. Clarkson was the one university to assure me that every aspect of my experience would be the same – and they were right. I was able to continue working full-time while completing my coursework; everything melded perfectly together.
Ed Watto '17, MBA
Through the program, I worked closely with faculty and classmates. One of the biggest surprises I had with completing an online program was the collaboration with my peers. I never even considered that my classmates would contribute so greatly to my learning and there are several people I met during my MBA program that have become trusted friends.
Three of the courses definitely shaped how I approach my everyday role: negotiation, supply chain and healthcare marketing. One of my favorite projects was in healthcare marketing where we addressed a real world problem for a healthcare provider. I ended up being the team leader. My classmates and I worked together to improve a healthcare provider’s patient experience.
Earning an MBA definitely changed my career trajectory. Within just a few short months of graduating, I earned a promotion to my current role as Director of Corporate Accounts for W.L. Gore & Associates. My Clarkson MBA coursework provided me with specific tools in negotiation, finance, supply chain and healthcare that I could immediately put to work in my new role. While many people know Gore for products like GORE-TEX®, we also have a medical device division that is focused on implantable medical devices for treating cardiovascular diseases. In my new role, I lead a cross functional team consisting of associates in analytics, legal, and sales through the contracting process to ensure physicians have access to my company’s lifesaving devices.
The Clarkson MBA program gave me the tools and confidence I needed to obtain the position I knew I was ready for. I owe my promotion to the skills I learned while completing the degree as well as the encouragement and support from both my professors and my classmates.