Testimonial: Lena Ballentine

Class of 2011

Point B (Management Consulting, New York City)

What made you decide to pursue an MBA?

I was preparing myself for an international career and was looking for an opportunity for growth — personally and professionally — that would allow me to take risks and explore opportunities outside my everyday job. At the time I also had been working for the same company for quite some time and was interested in working among other leaders with different experiences (other industries, work backgrounds, countries, etc.) to see things through different lenses.

Why did you choose the Executive MBA Program at Temple University, Japan Campus?

I chose Temple due to the intimate class size, the international background of the student body, the fact that the program is internationally accredited and highly ranked, as well as the fact that the schedule fit my needs as a professional working full time.

Which course did you like the most? And why?

My favorite class was Management Information Systems with Youngjin Yoo. Prior to the class I pretty much considered IT as a support function, not so much as an enabler or competitive advantage. Youngjin taught us the strategic role of information technology in any business and the disruptive potential of technology.

That was back in 2009, and there isn't a day that I'm not thinking about the technology I'm surrounded by and working with. Thanks to the class I have an increased awareness, understanding and appreciation for it and actually have successfully managed major technology programs in my consulting role which I wouldn't have considered prior to the class.

Looking back at what you learned in the Temple Executive MBA program, what has contributed to your career advancement?

Besides the course subjects, it was really the collaborative problem solving, practicing big picture thinking and networking opportunities that have contributed most to my career advancement. I am not shying away from complex problems which are outside my comfort zone and am more confident solving them due to the skills I learned and feeling comfortable asking for help. And I actually landed my last job due to a connection I made at Temple, which is definitely a great perk of studying with talented leaders and peers.

A message to prospective students

My advice to you is to be honest and mindful prior to making the decision to pursue your MBA. Be clear about why you are doing it and what you want out of it. You will only get as much out of the program as you invest — take the time to pre-plan and talk to your family, your team and supervisors since it will take up a lot of your free time. Be honest with yourself and your classmates what you can commit to and communicate early if anything changes. It was one of the most rewarding experiences for me but it can be a tough burden when it's not the right time for you to commit to it.