Striking a Balance between Work and School
Gina Palomo, ’16 MBA, comes from a scientific background. The Animal Science/Pre-Vet major took an unexpected path after graduating from Iowa State University: instead of continuing on to veterinary school, she became a marketing coordinator at local animal nutrition company Zinpro Corporation. And at her employer’s recommendation, she enrolled in the Carlson Part-Time MBA Program to build her business knowledge.
Finance, accounting, strategic management—the concepts covered in class were new to Palomo. But she quickly got up to speed. And to her surprise, she began applying lessons from class right away to grow and develop at work.
“I could go to class on a Tuesday night, come to work on a Wednesday morning, and immediately implement something I had learned,” she says.
Palomo worked full time at Zinpro and upheld a rigorous travel schedule as she worked toward earning her MBA. She took online and condensed courses that allowed her to spend less time on campus, progress through the curriculum more quickly, and finish the program sooner than she expected.
“I came into the program with no business background: I had to take the full 57 credits, and I planned on it taking me four years to complete,” she says. “But thanks to the online and condensed course offerings, I was able to shave a year off of that time and finish in three years.”
Just before graduating from the Carlson School, Palomo was promoted to marketing associate for North America.
“I started the program with the intent to stay at Zinpro and the goal of acquiring the skills needed to further my career here. And the goal was realized, as that’s exactly what happened,” she says.