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Advice For Anyone Considering Graduate School

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David McMillin

Feb 19, 2021

David McMillin (MBA 1999) has some advice for anyone considering graduate school: “Always invest in yourself. This gives you the best opportunity to not only remain competitive but also to prepare for opportunities that are over the horizon.”

McMillin had wanted to earn his MBA degree, but due to work-related travel and relocations, he was unable to find the right program to balance family, work and school. When he moved from Indianapolis to Madison, he heard about the Millsaps College Else School of Management. “When I learned the classes met on weeknights, it became clear that the Else School provided the perfect opportunity for me to start my graduate degree by offering the flexibility of maintaining my business travel.”


At the Else School, McMillin found faculty who were attuned to the current business environment. “Dr. Ray Grubbs was instrumental in understanding where I was in my career and what I was attempting to accomplish,” McMillin recalled. “He helped me navigate my four years of night school. He showed me different management styles outside the scope of what I had experienced. Dr. Penny Prenshaw broadened my awareness by offering multiple competitive scenarios that were beyond my corporate training and experience.”


The Millsaps MBA program has continued to impact McMillin’s career path. “Corporate restructuring often brings about unexpected change,” he said. “Late in my career, I found myself in a position to pursue a different path in my company. A new position opened in financial management, which was vastly different from my career in sales management. When upper management sought out people to fill this newly-developed job, my MBA made all the difference by giving me the necessary skill set. While I had long been interested in the financial controls of corporations, my Else School experience allowed me to pursue new opportunities and achieve my personal goals.”


McMillin has a final piece of advice for potential graduate students: “Expand your mindset. Because I worked for one corporation my entire career, I felt I was sometimes one-dimensional. My knowledge was based on the corporate culture of one company and lacked diversified experiences from different industries. The Millsaps Else School of Management can help you with that!”

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