Yvonne Fung, MBA in Strategic Management and Planning
Why did you decide to get an MBA in Policy and Planning? And why Anderson?
The bulk of my work experience up to (and after) my MBA was from social enterprises and non-profit organizations. When I applied to grad schools, I looked specifically for universities that had non-profit management courses/concentrations. I was accepted into a few schools throughout the US and Canada, but chose Anderson because they offered the best scholarship; tuition was comparatively very affordable; and I had never lived in the Southwest before so it seemed like an adventure.
Tell us about your student experience at Anderson School of Management.
I relished the many opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities, clubs, TA/GA ships, mentoring (undergrads), internships, Washington Campus (!!!!!) etc. I feel like this provided me with a well-rounded grad school experience, and definitely helped land multiple job offers by graduation. I also really appreciate how closely you get to work with your advisor and other professors. I feel like the level of one-on-one attention, care, and mentorship that I received at Anderson is rare nowadays in academia.
Give us a quick bio of your work experience.
After undergrad, I was the Program Manager at a small non-profit in Canada where I managed a community bike shop, learned how to run a profitable small business, dabbled in budgeting and financial planning/analysis, and managed a team of mechanics. I realized after six years that I had both a keen interest and aptitude for business management, so I decided to go back to school for a more formal business education. During my MBA, I worked as a Graduate Assistant to a couple professors, and volunteered at some local nonprofits (most notably Accion). After graduating from Anderson, I got a job as an Operations Analyst at Accion, where I developed strategic planning and project management skills, and was eventually tasked with managing a team. My current position is Director of Organizational Systems; I lead our IT and Fundraising teams and have recently joined Accion's Senior Management Team.
You started at Accion as an intern – How did you obtain that role?
I did my internship at Accion as part of the Internship credit course at Anderson. I found out about Accion when Lynn Trojan (former VP of Advancement at Accion) guest lectured at my Nonprofit management class. She gave an inspiring talk on philanthropy, and I remember feeling very moved. I later learned from a classmate that they offered internships - so I applied. The Anderson staff were super helpful and supportive throughout the process. They counseled me on everything from applying for a SSN to earning credit for the internship.
How did the MBA help you get to your current position?
I would not have had the opportunity to intern at Accion were it not for the MBA program, and it was my internship that eventually led to a job offer. Moreover, on a daily basis, I find myself referring back to concepts and skills that I learned during grad school. Without an MBA, I would definitely not be in this type of position so early on in my career.
What is your best memory from your time at Anderson?
Washington Campus. Going to Washington for a week, earning credit for it, and spending time with other MBA students from around the country was just the best! I gained a lot of confidence from seeing that we (Anderson students) not only measured up to other MBAs from notable schools, but that on some occasions we excelled.