Jeff Snow: MBA Student
Economics instructor Tim Mahoney was one of the first people Jeff Snow felt a
real connection to when he came to USI as a freshman. "He was a good mentor in
telling me what classes to take, answering my job questions, and giving general life advice,"
reflected Snow. However, it was a meeting with a mouse that planted the seed of
graduate school into his mind.
Snow spent eight months as an intern at Walt Disney World, taking advantage of
the free classes Disney offered their interns. "They would bring in all the CEOs
and VPs of the different areas of Disney to tell us what they did at their park.
When the vice president of marketing opened up the floor for questions, I asked
what it would take to work for Disney's marketing department. He said it took
ten years of experience and an MBA. That always stuck with me."
Snow earned his bachelor's degree Mother's Day 2009. Four days later, he was
back in school in the USI Master of Business Administration program. According
to Snow, one of USI's strengths is the diversity in the classroom. His
classmates come from a wide array of professions, and some are from other
countries. A case study group examining an E-Bay legal problem might include a
psychologist, an engineer, and an accountant. "You learn almost as much from the
students as from the faculty. You have to learn to listen. The classes are more
about applying logic than memorization."
To help pay for graduate school, Snow became a graduate assistant. He
decided to not limit himself to a business assistantship, but rather open
himself to all possibilities. He checked all the boxes for every department
looking for a graduate assistant. He found his match in the Center for Academic
Creativity, helping with faculty development. Snow uses his marketing skills by
analyzing data and operating under the constraints of a non-profit budget. "I am
getting behind the scenes exposure to how a university runs, which I never would
have seen in the business world."
The real world experience he is gaining in his graduate assistantship relates
directly to the real world applications he is learning in his MBA classes. "You
definitely have to be focused and dedicated if you want to get the results you
In the long term, Snow hopes to parlay his marketing experience and education in
a job where he can teach companies about customer service strategies for an
increasingly customer-oriented economy. "My experience at Disney was valuable in
teaching me customer service and marketing. No one does it better than Disney."
Story by Barbara Goodwin
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