A little over twenty years ago, Kathy Higgins asked. With a career and three young children, she didn't have the time to drive to Davenport to earn her MBA. Could St. Ambrose offer a program in Ottumwa?
When did you earn your MBA? What were you doing at the time?
I was a member of that first class and graduated in 1994. At the time I was working in the marketing department of John Deere Ottumwa Works as a supervisor of complete goods, a marketing unit supporting the sales branches in getting machines moved to the dealer organization, and ultimately to our customers.
What prompted you to pursue your MBA?
I had begun work on my master's degree at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, before we returned home to Ottumwa in 1977. I started at John Deere in 1979 and had three sons. When the youngest was 5, I decided that I really wanted to fulfill my dream and get my advanced degree, but the idea of driving to Davenport was daunting. That's when I asked if Ambrose would bring a program to Ottumwa. I spoke with other John Deere employees about their level of interest and with our comptroller about supporting this educational pursuit. I helped recruit new students from surrounding towns. As the planning evolved, I even got to help choose the nights and times courses would be scheduled. I was given a nice award by St Ambrose for my effort.
Were there any "ah-ha" moments during your education?
I remember travelling to the Davenport campus for a labor relations seminar. The course was a real eye opener for me on negotiations and the give and take of effective talks.
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