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University of Colorado Denver, Newsroom

MBA graduates stress education and networking

Three panelists share their experiences in the business world since graduating from CU Denver

4/30/2014
MBA graduates of the CU Denver Business School share stories about careers with students

By Tyghe Boone-Worthman and University Communications

DENVER—The MBA Student Organization (MBASO) recently held a “What I Did With My MBA” event designed to help prepare students for life after CU Denver. The event, which was sponsored by the CU Denver Student Government Association, featured a panel of CU Denver graduates who are now working in various fields. The panel included (left to right, starting in gray sportscoat, in photo above):

  • Adam Boushie, Enterprise Territory Manager at Google
  • Ellen Puckett, AVP, Corporate Technology Group at OppenheimerFunds
  • Chris Varani, Project Manager at Physicians Ally, Medical Student

The panelists discussed their experiences since graduating from CU Denver, with each sharing the trajectory of careers and describing their current roles, as well as discussing their respective companies. Perhaps most interesting, however, was the panelists conversation about their original goals and plans for their careers, and how things have changed for them as they’ve gained experience.

The panelists allowed the young careerists in the audience to benefit from their professional experience, imparting invaluable lessons and advice to the attendees. The panelists stressed the importance of continuous education, technology and networking. In particular, they emphasized the importance of their graduate degrees from the CU Denver Business School, and how their MBA degrees have benefited them.

In a separate interview with University Communications, Boushie elaborated on his career, the importance of the CU Denver Professional MBA program to his current job at Google, and his advice to CU Denver Business School students.

Boushie said that when he earned his bachelor's degree (Wabash College, Indiana) he felt certain his classroom days were over. His view changed, however, during the Great Recession of December 2007 to mid-2009. Boushie's career had taken off—he rose from sales development manager to regional sales manager to director of enterprise accounts for Iron Mountain, an information and data management company—but the downturn got him thinking about how a bachelor's degree isn't really a differentiator anymore in the business world.

"I started thinking about my long-term prospects and being competitive in a tough economy," he said.

While still working full time, Boushie enrolled in the CU Denver Business School Professional MBA program in summer 2009. He enjoyed the program's flexibility; each semester he took one online course and one in-classroom course. "Also, the downtown campus was convenient for me," he said. "The program has great access to professional business people who come speak to the classes. That was important to me."

At the same time he started the MBA program, Boushie and his wife launched a small business, Little Monkey Bizness, a full-service coffee house with play areas for children. "From the small business perspective, the MBA program really helped me understand all the different functional aspects of running a business," he said. "It really helped me get perspective on the full spectrum of business operations."

And the MBA was essential to landing his job at Google. As enterprise territory manager he helps large organizations implement Google's technology. "It's not easy to get a position at Google, so I'm certain the MBA was really important in the hiring process."

In giving career advice to CU Denver Business School students, Boushie emphasized the importance of developing a robust professional network. "Just sending resumes out, the odds are really small in getting the job you want," he said. "It really comes down to the people in your network."

Find out more about graduate degrees at the CU Denver Business School at the school’s homepage.

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Contact: christopher.casey@ucdenver.edu

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