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One-Year MBA Graduate Starts Career at World Wide Technology

A little over a year ago, Cassidy Manns was working as a consultant at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City. Though she was gaining valuable experience, she was ready to expand her capabilities in the world of management consulting, motivated to solve a variety of different industry and business problems, which was what led her to the Chaifetz School of Business’ One-Year MBA Program. 

The Path to SLU’s One-Year MBA

Mann's desire to grow her skills led her to the Chaifetz School of Business’s One-Year MBA program and in May 2021, Manns graduated from the MBA program with a focus on data analytics and experience in consulting services. Now, she is a Consultant on the Business and Analytics Advisors Team at World Wide Technology in St. Louis.

“Graduating with this MBA was a catapult in my career,” Manns said. “It would have taken me much longer to get to where I am in my career now if I tried to work my way up without the MBA. I also have these new skills that I wouldn’t have been able to develop had I not sought them out in a more specific way.”

Cassidy Manns, One-Year MBA gradaute, poses for photo in her graduation cap in front of the Clock Tower fountains with Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello, Ph.D.

Cassidy Manns, One-Year MBA graduate, poses for a photo with Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello, Ph.D.

The program’s emphasis on data analytics, specifically, was something she valued in her time as a graduate student. Manns said that's because technology and data affect every single industry, data analytics is something all companies will have to be adapting to in some capacity. 

“Obviously when you learn on the job, that’s just as useful,” Manns said. “But being able to learn in a very focused and technical manner gives you a head start - especially for me - since I switched career paths from a single-software driven consultant role to a business strategy focused role.”

An Abundance of Opportunity During the Year

In her time in the One-Year MBA program, Manns was inducted into two of SLU’s Business Honor Societies: Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Nu. She also spent time working for Bull Moose Tube, a steel tubing company, during her data analytics practicum. All One-Year MBA students were presented with a few local companies for their required practicum, each with a unique consulting project. After they ranked their top choices, the students were grouped into teams of 4-6 people, all with peers of similar interests to them. 

The practicums present an opportunity for organizations involved and the MBA students, as the graduate students can give helpful, plausible advice while the businesses provide them with real consulting skills.

“[The companies] are so focused on their daily work that they don’t really have the time to research the entire industry and conduct market scans,” Manns said. “So that was a good chance for us to try to come up with some useful insights for them that could help drive actionable business outcomes.”

In addition to her consulting practicum and school work, Manns also worked as an intern for the Graduate Business Programs Office where she met with prospective OYMBA students to tell them about the program. Some had concerns about the fast-paced nature of the program, as many standard MBA programs are completed over two or three years. But Manns said the speed and focus of SLU’s One-Year MBA were among the main things that drew her to it.

A Catapult in Her Career

“One of the things about the one-year program that goes without saying is one year out of the workforce is better than two years,” Manns said. “For me, it was really important to be very focused on my studies and truly get the most out of the program. The fast-paced nature was also beneficial for me going into a consulting career because it kept pushing the notion that you need to learn things quickly if you’re going to succeed in a fast-paced consulting environment.”

Despite the challenging workload, Manns felt a great network of support. Each of her professors had a unique skill set backed by a passion for their work and the subjects they were teaching. Plus, she had an abundance of opportunities to connect with SLU alumni and local companies large and small. 

“The opportunity to meet with so many different people was pretty vital in understanding the career opportunities post-graduation, and to understand different companies and what you might look for in a company,” Manns said.

Now, at World Wide Technology, she is excited for her next challenges. “I now have bigger responsibilities and more to prove,” Manns said. “What I’m most excited about is that because of my SLU MBA, I've gotten this tremendous opportunity at World Wide to prove that I can handle a completely different set of business challenges, and hopefully excel, while continuing to grow both personally and professionally.”

Learn More About the One-Year MBA Program