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Path to the Promotion: Vice President/Manager of FP&A, AllianceBernstein

Jul 14, 2023
The career management aspect of the EMBA program drew Springs to Vanderbilt Business

By Arial Starks

John Springs, Vanderbilt EMBA alum

John Springs

John Springs graduated from the University of Georgia with a dual degree in Finance and International Business before jump-starting his career at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. in 2011. Combining his passion for international business with his educational backing in finance, Springs worked for TBS for roughly 5 years, supporting the company’s international networks.

Springs relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the summer of 2016 and during his time there, he worked for 2 companies: the machine industry company Mueller Co., and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. After Sanofi relocated its office and employees to another state, Springs parted ways with the company and was hired at AllianceBernstein (AB) in Nashville, Tennessee, as the Assistant Vice President/Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis in February 2020.

After 10 years of working in corporate finance, Springs felt he was in a good place to pursue one of his long-term career goals—furthering his education and acquiring an MBA.

“My goal in getting an MBA was to think differently and to elevate the ways in which I approach business issues,” Springs explained. “I wanted to be more analytical, more strategic, and to have more of a problem-solving frame of mind.”

The stars aligned with Springs already having relocated to the Nashville area, and he began researching Vanderbilt Business as a potential program. He had a lot on his plate but was ready and eager to take that leap in his career journey.

“It was certainly a time where I had to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “I had just moved to a new city and started a new job. I said to myself, ‘Let’s really push the boundaries and leave my comfort zone.’ So, I decided to pursue my MBA.”

Springs started the Vanderbilt Executive MBA (EMBA) program in August 2021, while working at AllianceBernstein. He came into the program with a good amount of international business experience, so he decided to pursue the Executive Edge track of the EMBA program. 

“I wanted to focus more on my professional development and the ways in which I could challenge myself and grow in my current position,” Springs explained. “My position does work with a lot of global offices, but I don’t do a lot of traveling in my role, so I wanted to stay home and focus more on the analytical aspects of how to problem solve and approach business issues.”

One of the things that drew Springs to the Vanderbilt EMBA was the career management aspect of the program, “Having an executive coach and also having a career counselor were the selling points for me coming to Vanderbilt Business.”

Once in the program, he enjoyed the curriculum and felt he learned many skills and concepts he could apply right away at work. He points to Professor Michael Burcham’s Launching the Venture course as well as a business strategy course he took with Jon Lehman as the classes he enjoyed most.

“Both of those classes gave me a new perspective and way of approaching business issues, business strategy, and strategic planning,” Springs said.

Around June of 2022, Springs had his mid-year performance review at AllianceBernstein, and he began having conversations with his manager about his career trajectory and opportunities for growth within the company. A few months before graduating from the Vanderbilt EMBA program, Springs was promoted to Vice President/Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis with AllianceBernstein.

“The EMBA program has really given me the capabilities and tools necessary to be a more effective leader,” Springs shared. “It has really allowed me to better understand how everything in business is interconnected. Any issue experienced by one group is probably reverberated throughout the organization in one way or another, and just understanding how those connections are made is crucial to being a leader.”

Click through the timeline below to see a visual of John Springs’ path to the promotion.

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