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CBU MBA graduate class of 2010. Also known as Erin Wiles.

Alumni Advice – Greg Jordan

gmjordanGreg Jordan (Class of ’07)
Manager of Web Development at
Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare

Dear MBA Students:

I hope you are enjoying your time in the MBA program and making the most of it. Believe it or not, it will actually come to an end sooner than you think, and I wish you luck in finding a career for which you have passion.  To that point, I offer a few insights and practices I discovered during my MBA studies and beyond.

Make Research a Routine

Having carried the same course load you are now carrying, I know first hand how much reading, analyzing, and writing you have to do and the short time-frame in which you have to do it.  If you haven’t guessed by now, the cycle does not end when you receive your MBA.  It is part and parcel – for most of you – of what lies ahead in your career.  In many fields, the learning never ends.

So, if you have not started it already, make research a priority and a routine.  Set aside – at minimum – one hour each day to examine trends and research shaping the business world at large or your desired field.  As part of that routine, you should learn and use technologies that can help you collect, organize and synthesize all of it.

Find a Mentor

Find a mentor who will be unbiased and fair as well as someone you can trust.  It does not have to be someone at your current organization, but I would recommend he or she be working in your desired field.  Probably goes without saying, but it should not be a relative or your spouse.  Even if they understand your field, they will struggle with being objective.

Having a mentor can give you an outlet for your ideas and concerns as well as offer the wisdom and insight gained from past successes and failures.

Get Involved

If you are exhausted and just don’t want to go to that seminar/meeting/social function, suck it up and go anyway.  Just think of the opportunities you’ll miss by passing on it!

If you do summon the strength to go, practice your small talk. If you consider yourself shy, work to get past it.  If you don’t know someone, introduce yourself and be ready with questions to start the conversation.  At these events, remember someone’s name when they tell it to you.  On the off chance you see them again, say on an interview, they’ll be impressed you remembered.

Also, get involved with groups and organizations that will help you hone your leadership skills.  For example, the Leadership Academy – a great organization right here in Memphis – offers a competitive fellows program that provides opportunities to improve your interpersonal skills while giving back to the community.

Give Back

If you are already involved with community projects, helping the university or working to help a charitable cause, then good for you and keep it up.  If not, then find time to give back in some way, start today and make it a habit.

Giving back is not only helpful for those who directly benefit from your contribution, but helps provide perspective on what is truly important and helps you stay connected with the community.  You can start by making a small contribution to the CBU scholarship fund.  (You’re welcome, Dr. Ryan!)

Encourage Others

Finally, my favorite piece advice is something that was given to me by a mentor, which is: encourage others when they’re down.

You’re likely to experience at least one minor setback in your career – if you’re lucky.  When it happens to someone you know, be genuine and offer any help you can – even if they don’t ask.  In the long term, it will pay dividends, especially when you need it.

Greg Jordan
Manager of Web Development at Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare
Earning Ph.D. in Professional Writing
Focus in Web Usabilty
Class of 2007


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