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Accessing the Power of the Network

Alumni support proved to be a ‘game changer’

Andrew Rogers
Director Business Development, Dermatology Solutions Group LLC

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2022

Looking for opportunities to improve himself professionally, Andrew Rogers considered a number of MBA options. Eventually, he connected with an alum from the Vanderbilt Executive MBA program. They met for breakfast.

As Andrew recalls the conversation, “I was seeking advice for certain programs, and she immediately asked if I had considered Owen. My life has changed because of the impact she made on it.”

The alum introduced Andrew to another EMBA alum, who met with him to discuss the program, her own career path, and Andrew’s long-term goals. “At this point, I wasn’t even accepted yet, but I already felt the strength of the Vanderbilt network and that they actually care about prospective students,” Andrew says. “To me, that was a game changer.”

That feeling only intensified once Andrew began classes. “The professors want you to succeed,” he says. "I feel that wholeheartedly. And they want to challenge you to think differently. They are open to meeting throughout the program and helping you apply [what you learn] to the real world. In fact, one of the things I love about the Executive MBA at Vanderbilt is that we have class on Saturday, and I am able to use [what I learn] immediately on Monday in leadership meetings.”

That feeling of a close and supportive network went double for Andrew’s colleagues in the program. “Our class has been extremely supportive,” he says. “They have also challenged me to think differently, and that has made a direct impact on me as a student and a professional.” As a testament to that impact, Andrew accepted a leadership position while in the program, and now he leads a team of 35 in the Southeast.

“These are friends I will have forever. We are close with each other’s families. Our spouses and partners have become friends, too. We push each other to become better every day, but we don’t knock each other down. We always try to lift each other up.”

Fun Fact: Andrew, a former college football player, brags that he can eat more chocolate chip cookies than anyone else.

I wasn’t even accepted [into the program] yet, but I already felt the strength of the Vanderbilt network. That was a game changer.