A conversation with 2021 George Fox MBA graduate Brianna Herron

What’s to be gained by earning an MBA? For Brianna Herron, a 2021 graduate of George Fox’s MBA program, it meant a better job, a wealth of knowledge discovered – both about herself and the business world – and the side benefit of forming relationships she will carry with her moving forward.

Now a project coordinator with Opus, an events agency based in Beaverton, Oregon, Herron is using the practical business acumen she acquired as an MBA student to help put on premier experiences for a wide range of clients.

Initially, Herron was a bit intimidated by the fact she was the only woman in her cohort. But her reservations were soon eased by a welcoming group that saw value in what she had to contribute. She also ran into challenges, overcoming a health issue while enrolled, as well as taking on added responsibilities when an MBA project co-manager had to step down for health-related reasons.

But, in the end, the 10-month journey from week one to graduation was well worth it.

We asked Brianna for her takeaways from the experience …


What motivated you to pursue an MBA at George Fox?

I decided to pursue my MBA at Fox for many reasons. When I finished my undergraduate degree, I made it part of my five-year goal to go back to school and get my MBA. The timing just ended up being right during the pandemic to go back. The job I had when I started was just a few blocks from Fox, so I could still work part time and attend my classes.

Ultimately, I chose Fox specifically because it was similar to my undergrad school, my mom attended Fox, and I knew I could complete the program in just a year. When I walked across the stage to get my diploma it had been almost exactly five years since I completed my undergraduate degree.

What’s the biggest takeaway you have from the experience?

My biggest takeaway was learning from everyone around me. I learned so much from my classmates, especially since we all had different styles of executing our work.

We had to learn how to work together, and I believe learning to work with different types of people has and will continue to help me with my career. Ultimately, this was my biggest takeaway from the program because I learned that even if I learn or work differently than others, we can still get the work done and in a timely manner.

How did earning your MBA play a role in you landing your current position post-graduation?

One of the biggest reasons I took the position I am in today was because of two informational interviews I did in my marketing courses. I was given the opportunity to interview two marketing professionals in the real world. They both told me working at an agency was a great opportunity and would give me a good start to my career.

In addition, my marketing professor also told me to look into agencies. This position came along, and I have always had an interest in events. This gave me an opportunity to get my foot in the door in the events industry and work for an agency. Also, by doing these informational interviews, I was given the opportunity to learn more about the marketing profession – one I hope to continue my journey in for many years to come.


How did you grow professionally in the program? Personally?

I would say professionally, I grew in many ways. I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses and what type of manager I will be in the future. I also grew in learning how to work in a team environment with a variety of different personalities and skillsets.

I also had the opportunity to take on a lead role for a project in one of my courses where I learned delegating skills and keeping the team on task. This was a great opportunity to help me see what it will be like as a manager in the professional world.

As for personally, I learned a lot more about myself and grew in my faith. I learned how to balance life with work and what I want in a future career and company.

What are your career aspirations? Do you have a “dream job” you hope to pursue in the future?  

I have always been inspired to work with nonprofit organizations. They have always had a soft spot in my heart since I was a teenager doing missions work through different organizations. Doing events for a nonprofit is one of my career aspirations because it would give me the opportunity to continue to do events, which I love, and serve others.

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