By Katie Bahr
Jared Johnson obtained his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering in 2000. He had a resume built for an international career and was about to return from a year working in London when two planes hit the twin towers in New York.
“I came back right after September 11, and a lot of the jobs I was looking at, at that point disappeared,” Johnson says. “I don’t know that I built my resume the right way, but it also seemed hard to figure out how to get back into the corporate world at that point.”
Johnson ended up spending a decade working in retail with several entrepreneurial side ventures. But he still had his sights set on corporate America and eventually decided to take a step back in his earnings to take a step forward in his business career.
“I just made the decision that I was going to get a job that used my education, and I was going to get my MBA,” Johnson says. “I started finding ways to tell my unique story and marry my education with the online customer service skills I honed for a decade.”
Johnson started making his dreams a reality by taking an entry level position at FedEx corporate. Five years later, he is living his vision of being a manager at a Fortune 500 company through years of dedication and hard work — obtaining an MBA from Vanderbilt was a key part of his strategy.
Click through the timeline below to see how Johnson made a complete career change and quickly climbed the corporate ladder with the help of a globally recognized Vanderbilt EMBA.