Jennifer Groger

Class of 2020

Hometown: Bronx, NY
Undergraduate University: United States Naval Academy
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography/ Chinese
Employer: U.S. Navy—COMPHIBRON FOUR (CPR-4)
Position: Air Operations Officer, Naval Aviator

Why did you pursue an MBA?

The Navy 100% wants officers to better ourselves professionally and personally. There is a large emphasis on growth and development achieved through education. A master's degree demonstrates a commitment to career advancement and a desire to grow foundational skills that can be applied to different aspects of your life. I wanted to pursue business because it's something I can use in my current role, and it's something I can expound upon in my career. An MBA provides a nice foundation for a lot of different platforms, pipelines, and choices. I've always been fascinated with William & Mary, and when I learned they had an executive MBA program, I knew this was the right program for me.

What were some highlights for you during the EMBA program?

William & Mary provided a lot of opportunities that other programs do not. There were two international trips, and they honed in on teamwork which I thoroughly enjoyed. The faculty gave us the space to make mistakes and figure out the answers on our own before stepping into course correct. Their strong foundational knowledge in their respective fields, and their passion to share that with us, really made the program worthwhile.

How did you apply what you learned in the program to your work with the Navy?

I use a lot of what we learned in Organizational Behavior in my current job. I learned so much about leadership styles, teaching, and public speaking. The program gives you ample opportunity to develop those skills, given the number of graded presentations we are required to deliver. I am not very comfortable talking to a crowd.

What value did the diversity of your cohort bring to the overall experience?

Our cohort was very close-knit. We all had a lot in common, but we were also extremely diverse and willing to work together to make this experience one we could enjoy. I formed so many strong connections and networked with people from a variety of backgrounds; the bonds we forged through community and comradery was one of the best aspects of the Executive program. I encourage future students to go into the EMBA program open-minded, willing to work with others, and wanting to build those relationships and experiences.



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