Jessica Sardella '15

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

I chose to pursue a graduate degree because I wanted to advance my knowledge of the inner workings of the business world. I felt that an M.B.A. would be a great complement to any industry so no matter what path I take in my career, I would have a solid foundation of best practices for running a successful business.

Why did you choose Hood College Graduate School?

Hood offers a nighttime M.B.A. program that allowed me to work full time while earning my degree and it was close to home. Additionally, Hood’s M.B.A. is run by a great group of professors that have real-world experiences. It was important for me to learn from academics that had stories and examples from their past careers to use as teaching points.

How did your degree help you further your professional or personal life?

My M.B.A. taught me so much about how to strategically plan for the long-term and then execute the plan in my professional life. Most importantly, we read and analyzed case studies from leading companies, which allowed me to benchmark effectively at work and in my personal life. Many professors in the M.B.A. require you to keep up with the Wall Street Journal and stock market, which has helped me tremendously in my personal life from making financial decisions, talking business at holiday cocktail parties or networking at a charity event.

Who is your favorite faculty member and why?

This is impossible to answer since I made a great connection with each faculty member throughout my studies, and learned great lessons from all of them. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take my career but it was in Dr. Gurzick’s Management of Information class that I was able to study the idea of the sharing economy and the technology revolution concerning companies such as AirBNB, Uber, Spotify, Facebook or Kickstarter. I had always been interested in this global societal movement and had used their services, but Dr. Gurzick’s class was my first opportunity to research such a fascinating subject from an academic perspective that I would like to continue to pursue in the future.

What would you share with prospective students about your graduate experience at Hood?

Make sure you do not just go through the motions of getting a graduate degree. Show up early to class and stay late to continue conversations with your classmates and professors on interesting subject topics. Keep up with current business news and when picking companies to study for papers or long-term projects pick something that you care about and want to continue to study after the program is over.