When Deborah Fretz graduated from the Fox School with an MBA in 1977, the economy was hurting and few companies were hiring. A classmate landed her an interview at Sun Oil, and Ms. Fretz accepted a temporary job in the finance group. She didn’t stay there for long, however. Within six weeks, there was an opening in the financial planning area, and Ms. Fretz was offered the job. “When people get to know you, and what you can do, they make opportunities happen for you,” she says. By the time she retired from the company 33 years later, in 2010, she was CEO of Sunoco Logistics Partners. That was a long way from where Ms. Fretz had started out, as a cancer research virologist for a pharmaceutical company while attending the Fox School at night. “People say students need to know what they want to do,” she notes. “Well, I don’t think so. I think you need to be as flexible as you can be because you don’t know where your opportunities will be.” She credits the broad range of courses in the Fox MBA for allowing students “a taste of various things, to discover where their interests lie.” Although she began her time at Sunoco in finance, she ultimately moved into operations. Initially she headed a commercial marketing group for a time, before becoming president of Sunoco’s pipeline subsidiary. “My view is the more varied your experiences can be, the better off you are,” she says. Eventually she was tasked with the formidable job of spinning off Sunoco Logistics as a public company in 2002. “It was the best and most interesting job I ever had,” she says.
Temple University Degree
Master of Business Administration ’77, Fox School of Business
Temple University Affiliatons
Dean’s Council, Fox School of Business
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
Even if you think you know what you want to do, take advantage of different opportunities offered to you. The more experiences you have, the more value you bring to an organization.