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Among Nation's Elite

NIU's MBA program continues to rank among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report. This is the second consecutive year that NIU's program has made the list. rankings >

MBA Alumni Spotlight

Lisa M. Keller (One-Year MBA)

  Current Position: Customer Business Manager
  Current Industry: Consumer Packaged Goods
  Undergraduate Major: Marketing
  Undergraduate University: Eastern Illinois University

Why did you choose the One-Year MBA format?

Due to the fast track nature of my career path, I was unsure as to where my next role would be based and needed to find an MBA program that would allow me to complete my post graduate degree within one year's time. NIU's One-Year MBA format was the only MBA program in the Chicagoland area that would allow me to do this.

How did the MBA program change you as a person and/or a professional ?

NIU's Professional MBA program pushed me to my limits in terms of balancing my personal and professional life. There were times throughout the one year program where balancing school, work, and family/friends seemed almost impossible and the feeling of being pushed to maximum capacity was an everyday occurrence. In the end however I was able to successfully juggle all areas of my life, graduating at the top of my class whilst remaining close with my loved ones.

Dealing with this type of extreme time management circumstances, gave me the confidence to take on the largest of challenges. Two months post-graduation, I applied for and was promoted into my dream job at Revlon (Walgreens' Beauty Care Customer Business Manager). Using the time management skills learned during the MBA program, I now am able to manage half of Revlon's second largest account and have meaningful relationships with my family and friends

What advice would you give to an aspiring MBA student?

During your program and even after graduation, keep in mind that the professors on staff at NIU have a vast amount of knowledge and experience. Be sure to utilize this invaluable resource both during and after your program.

During the program Dr. Tim Aurand, professor of MKTG 654, worked closely with our MBA team in order to take our "Best in Class" research paper on "Redbox Automated Retail, LLC" to the next level. Because of his collaborate efforts, our Team's paper was featured at the 2010 Marketing Management Association Fall Educators' conference and is set to be published this year. Post-graduation, Dr. James Burton provided me with instrumental career coaching and negotiation training, enabling me to effectively make the leap from Business Analyst to Customer Business Manager.

What are your current interests and hobbies?

My current interests and hobbies include traveling, scuba diving, hot yoga, and co-ed softball.

What blogs, magazines or newspapers do you read to stay up-to-date?

Wall Street Journal (www.WSJ.com), Yahoo! Finance (finance.yahoo.com), and Women's Wear Daily (www.wwd.com).