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Welcome to the new CBU MBA Alumni website!

Hello to all of my fellow CMBA Alumni, Future Alumni, and prospective students.  Welcome to the new and improved CMBA Alumni website.  I always feel introductions and pleasantries come first before we get into the wheres and whys, so to speak. My name, if you don’t know me, is James Stone Class of ’11.  I have a BBA with a major in Marketing from theUniversityofMemphis. And I know that this is supposed to be an Alumni website; however, please forgive me if in my inaugural blog I address those still in the program as well as the prospective students first.  I am sure we will have many more blogs down the road and I am sure most of those blogs will be tailored to the alumni, so again my apologies.  That is to not say I don’t believe my story can’t help with current alumni but it has been my experience many (at least in my cohort) had well established careers while my own was just in its infancy.

I have been tasked with the opening blog for the new website for one important reason.  When we first started talking about what we would like to get out of the new Alumni website, invariably the answer that came up more than any other was for networking purposes.  I guess I am qualified to talk about this subject, at least that’s the way my cohort feels, quite adamantly I might add (Just kidding…..I think).    As mentioned before I grew up a poor young boy on the city streets of….Oh who am I kidding?  I grew up in a middle income household with educated parents and had a wonderful childhood.  My dad who is truly one of the most intelligent people I know told me at a young age, “It ain’t what you know, it’s who you know.”  Never did this ring more true in my life than in the second year after I had graduated college.

The year was 2005, George W. Bush was president, the economy was in excellent shape, and I was a budding young salesman for a prestigious game company.  Ok, so it wasn’t really that prestigious, not even in the game industry, but hey it was a job I liked and they paid me, so who’s complaining?  Things were going well for me but not so well for the company.  Seeing the writing on the wall, I began to look for other opportunities.  After a couple of weeks, (remember this was 2005 when jobs were flowing like Mighty Mississippi) I received an offer at a respected Marketing firm here in town.  They needed me right away and had to have an answer ASAP.  I took a chance at the opportunity, accepted the job, gave my employer two weeks’ notice, and left forNew Yorkas my last hoorah with my soon to be former company.  I guess I began to get nervous the day before I was supposed to start my new job.  You see I hadn’t heard from Andy (the guy who hired me) since he had offered me the job and I wanted to know what time I needed to be in.  What to do?  I called Andy and was told they had decided to outsource the position and they really had nothing there for me to do.  I began to panic as I explained to my good ole buddy Andy that I had quit my job with the assumption that I had a position with his company (You know, cause he offered me one).  Andy calmly told me that one of three things would happen, 1) He would talk to the company and fight to bring my position back on, 2) He would bring me on in some sort of part time capacity until we could find a more permanent solution or 3) He would use his various contacts to help find me another job.  That is the last I ever heard from my good “friend” Andy.  Oh and we found out my wife was pregnant.

Fast forward a couple of years and we find me working for my father-in-law in the honorable industry of used car sales and the economy is the likes of which we had not seen in our lifetime.  I will be kind to both by saying it was not a perfect fit.  I knew I had to do something and at my wife’s urging, I decided to go back to school to get my MBA. While I will never take anything away from my undergraduate experience, I had learned while I got a valuable education it had not prepared me for the world ahead as I had hoped.  The class sizes were huge; I rarely had the same people in any class more than once and only met with my advisor on one occasion, my exit interview.  I knew if I was going to get my career back on track I had to make valuable connections to help put me in a position where I was not just another resume in an ocean of resumes.  As I began my first few classes at the program, I must admit that I was very strategic (or at least I thought I was) about who I spoke with in class.  What I soon came to realize; however, was I had become friends with all of them, regardless of whether they were in my group or not.  The more classes I attended, the more I got to know these people on a personal level.  I must have endeared myself to these people somehow because I began to get job tips from several people in my cohort but most specifically Michelle and Kelly.  Now I had never been in a group with either of these people and can only guess why they would forward these tips to me, other than because they are just genuinely nice (which they both are and I encourage you to seek out both of these people).  Eventually Kelly had a job come through in a position she had previously worked in that gave me (in my opinion) the inside edge and landed a job at a prestigious (and this time I mean it) medical device company.  If you ask Kelly she will tell you that all she did was put the resume in front of her friend and I did the rest.  Maybe she’s right, maybe that is all she did, but to me that is one of the biggest things anyone could have done for me at that time.  There are certainly people that are more plugged in to the Memphis scene than myself, but I now have a network of close friends that are professionals in a variety of industries that give me confidence going forward in an uncertain future.

James Stone
Class of 2011


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2 Comments on “Welcome to the new CBU MBA Alumni website!”

  1. awatt1 December 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks to James for the kick off blog for the new CBU MBA Alumni website!



  1. Are You Ready? – by Kelly Henderson | CBU MBA Alumni - March 12, 2012

    […] resume to the hiring manager at the prestigious medical device company.  He talks about it right here!  I’ve been swimming in Corporate America for the last 15+ years and have been fortunate enough […]

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