news-category: Alumni

Before Completing her MBA, GWU Alumna was Offered New Job in Financial Industry

Paola Escalona

Paola Escalona, ’19, Obtained Knowledge to Advance her Career

Paola Escalona, of Concord, N.C., was a member of the first class to graduate from the 10-month Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Gardner-Webb University. Two months before receiving her degree in December 2019, Escalona advanced her career by accepting a new position as a senior financial analyst.

Over the last 20 years, she has been employed in various industries—banking, finance, manufacturing, distribution and health care. Escalona has a bachelor’s in business management, a master’s in human resource management, experience in both fields and in project management. “I have enjoyed working in all of them, and I have learned processes, functions and work styles from all of them,” Escalona reflected. “I have implemented new procedures for the corporate environment, suggested changes and been part of many reorganizations.”

Despite her many accomplishments, the MBA was missing from her resume. “This was a personal goal that I had wanted to achieve,” Escalona asserted. “It was relevant to obtain an MBA to help me continue growing and advancing in my professional career.”

Paola Escalona

“The MBA helped me grow in my professional career to move to the next step.”

Paola Escalona

Gardner-Webb’s accelerated program offered her the opportunity to earn her degree in less than a year and with less expense. She also knew GWU’s reputation for academic excellence. “Gardner-Webb is a recognized university, which was an essential factor to consider,” Escalona affirmed. “Gardner-Webb University’s mission and core values were other aspects that influenced my decision to enroll.”

Her advice to students considering the 10-Month MBA is to approach the coursework with discipline and time-management. “When I started a new class, I reviewed the syllabus and analyzed the workload established for each week,” Escalona observed. “I created a schedule of what I was going to accomplish every day from Monday through Sunday of each week. At the same time, I coordinated my regular activities and routine to adjust accordingly depending on the school needs. Be positive at all the times, and maintain your motivation.”

Escalona appreciated her professors in the Godbold College of Business, and described them as highly prepared and extremely knowledgeable. “There is open communication with the professors, who are always available to help students at any time,” she shared. “They provided good material and books to read. The online access was easy to navigate and the resources were accessible. The MBA helped me grow in my professional career to move to the next step.”

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