Confidence is Key

Laurie McDonald, MBA '11, is the North American wholesale director for Pandora Jewelry, a Denmark-based jewelry company with sales in 55 countries through more than 10,000 outlets. In this interview, McDonald explains how her Loyola MBA armed her with the enhanced leadership skills needed for professional advancement and prepared her to walk with confidence into any business situation and make effective decisions.

Why did you choose Loyola?
I always wanted to go to Loyola because of the wonderful reputation it has in the area. I was so excited to pursue my MBA here.

What was the most unexpected aspect or return of the program?
I was blown away by the quality of the faculty and how much I learned from my fellow classmates. The professors are not only educators; they are also people who have worked in their field of expertise and can really share knowledge of how you can adapt what they're teaching to your business. For every class I've taken throughout the MBA program there's always some component of teamwork. It's great because it offers you so many different perspectives. My job allows me to travel extensively internationally, and my MBA has given me a broader outlook on my career and truly enriched my experience of traveling for my job. The skills that I received through the program are evident in my interaction with people I deal with on a global basis. I've been trained to really consider other people's points of view rather than just my own and have gained the confidence to work and interact with my colleagues all over the world.

What's next?
I'm ready to move on to the next stage of my career, and Loyola is really my ticket to go places. It helped me get my last promotion. I'm confident it will help me get the next one.

About the Professional MBA Program

The Professional MBA is a part-time, self-paced MBA program offered year-round with fall, spring, and two summer starts at Loyola's graduate campuses in Timonium, Md., and Columbia, Md. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis as space is available after the priority deadline for each semester. Explore the Sellinger School website to learn more about the Professional MBA. The Master of Science in Finance is also offered in the same flexible format with a curriculum focused on financial leadership.