Erin Gregory, MBA’12, Public & Nonprofit, Health Sector
Business in Motion
Growing up in Kansas City, Erin Gregory (HSM, PNP’12) starting dancing at age five and participated in a competitive dance team from the age of seven through senior year of high school. She says business school was the last place she pictured herself, but Gregory’s dance background and love of the stage has helped her excel in the classroom. “I love giving presentations,” she says.
She does it well outside of class, too. She was chosen as the student speaker for her MBA commencement ceremony.
Gregory studied journalism and psychology at the University of Kansas, where she joined Alpha Gamma Delta and served as president of the Panhellenic Association. After college, she worked as an account coordinator and later a senior account executive at Morningstar Communications, a small public relations firm in Kansas City.
“I had clients in retail, telecom, healthcare, nonprofit, and professional services like law firms, which really gave me a broad introduction to the importance of strategic communication,” she says. As she moved up the ranks and took on increasing responsibilities, Gregory discovered an interest in the healthcare and nonprofits, so she’s pursuing certificates in health sector management and nonprofit management.
At the time she may have surprised her family and herself by enrolling in Boston University’s MBA program, but Gregory says it was the right step for her professionally. As she puts it, “No matter what role you have, you need to have an understanding of business to move up and take on leadership roles.”
She’s gained experience through a summer internship with Beacon Health Strategies and a management consulting class in which students work with a local nonprofit. “It was a full-fledged consulting engagement,” she says of the class, “everything from doing a scope of services to delivering a project plan and implementation timeline for a real client that needs your help.”
In Gregory’s case, that client was Access, a nonprofit that advises high school students on financial aid options for college. Gregory and two of her classmates worked on identifying several metrics that would measure success across all of the organization’s departments so that senior management can gauge whether the organization is on track to meet its goals. “It’s a great resume builder but it’s also a great experience,” says Gregory. “The organization has a mission that I very strongly believe in.”
Outside the classroom, she’s involved in the School’s graduate student council as VP of governance and attends as many SMG social events as she can, including Cohort Cup events. “You’re placed in one of four cohorts and we all compete throughout the year through attendance at social activities like a basketball tournament or karaoke,” she explains. Those events, including trivia nights and a Halloween party, have helped Gregory bond with classmates in a more casual setting. She says meeting second-year students during her first year offered her valuable connections and advice.
After graduation, Gregory hopes to stay in Boston and work in consulting. “I think consulting is a great opportunity to put my new MBA skills to the test,” she explains. “In the long run, I want to think of myself as the kind of person whose life is not so planned that I can’t take advantage of things that come my way.”
By Susan Johnston