“Challenge yourself, show up prepared, go to that networking event (even if you’re tired and you have assignments to complete), and have fun,” Janae Silver, MBA ’20, advises. “It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Your rewards will be confidence, discipline and a growing network, among many other benefits.”
Silver knows all about discipline and the hustle it takes to shape a career.
After graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising and Management, Silver worked in retail and witnessed anchor stores and malls struggle firsthand. Wanting to avoid that type of struggle in her own career, she was inspired to return to school and change her trajectory.
At the same time, she transitioned from a visual merchandiser to an assistant buyer at work. This allowed Silver to learn more about the retail industry from an accounting and supply chain operations lens.
“One of the reasons I went into the program was because the retail environment was changing. I wanted to be able to pivot into another industry, and I knew I needed an MBA for the integral information that I was lacking.”
“Everything happened so quickly,” she says.
Silver landed an internship through the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Conference, which she prepared for with the help of Janis Moore Campbell, senior director of Graduate Student Professional Development at the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD). Silver secured an interview with Ford Motor Company after completing several online assessments. At the conference, she interviewed for a Purchasing internship and received an offer within hours of her interview.
“Over the summer I supported Ford’s Supplier Diversity Development team, a group within Supply Chain Sustainability,” she says. “I was assigned three objectives that enabled me to apply and develop project management, data management, strategic thinking and communication skills. At the start of my internship, I asked what was expected of me and strove to exceed those expectations.”
At the end of the internship, Silver applied for a position as a Ford College Graduate Rotational Program Purchasing Buyer. She received an offer a few months later and accepted. She is currently awaiting her exact work assignment, which was delayed due to COVID-19.
“As part of the Purchasing Rotational Program I’m entering, I’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the automotive industry and vehicle component sourcing, leverage my negotiation skills, and continue developing my business acumen,” she says. “I’m looking forward to learning, making a positive difference, and applying tools that I’ve learned from my leadership and strategy courses.”
For Silver, the value of an MBA boils down to knowledge, experience and networking. Silver had experiential learning and project consulting opportunities during the program, which helped her further develop creative thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, conceptual thinking, practical thinking and strategic planning skills.
“From a networking perspective, I’ve had the opportunity to interview Temple alumni and work under the guidance of project mentors who have shared wisdom regarding various industries and responses to business challenges,” she says.
“My MBA has already allowed me to work in a new industry. The next step for me is using it to work in a new role or skillset.”