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What I got from my MBA by Nick Benson

While this is most likely a gross oversimplification and a statement that should not be worded as an absolute, I believe all professional decisions are made based on a collection of experience, education, and instinct. When I started my career in Marketing at Medtronic at the end of 2008, I was woefully lacking a formal business education – I had read several business books, but had never taken a business class in my life.

I received my undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from UNC Wilmington and spent 8 years in retail sales with Circuit City before joining Medtronic. To be honest, it was pretty intimidating to go from selling TVs to discussing spine surgery with a neurosurgeon who has 20+ years of clinical experience – much less room for error and the electronics knowledge I had acquired wasn’t exactly transferrable. Suddenly I found myself responsible for marketing Medtronic’s minimally invasive products and knew that I needed graduate level business training if I were going to be successful in my new role.

My search for a school took me all the way from Wharton and Kellogg (when I was hoping to be sponsored by Medtronic) to local and online schools when I learned that Medtronic wasn’t going to pay over $100k for me to go to school after working there for less than a year – I had to try.

My decision to go to CBU was made for the following reasons:

Price – At the time (before Medtronic changed their tuition policy), our tuition reimbursement would have almost completely covered the program.

Convenience – I travel a great deal for my job and the one-day/week format with the option to attend class on different days was perfect for my schedule.

Peer recommendations – At Medtronic we had several CBU alumni and quite a few people enrolled in the MBA program – almost everyone I spoke with highly recommended CBU.

Having just completed my MBA in December of 2011, I can say that I have been able to apply almost all of the concepts I learned in the program. Over the last two years at Medtronic I have had the opportunity to create several financial plans, re-position products, complete market research, influence product design, organize a strategic market disruption, improve pricing, and lead new therapy development initiatives using the knowledge and skills I acquired from the CBU MBA program. I am very thankful to be able to add education to my experience and instinct, and am now a more complete, confident marketer – I could not have completed any of the aforementioned tasks as effectively without my CBU education. Most importantly, I have made friendships during the program that will last a lifetime.

I highly recommend the Christian Brothers program to anyone looking to get their MBA in the greater Memphis area and would like to thank my family and all of my classmates for their incredible support.

Nick Benson

Class of ‘11


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