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Moving to Nashville and Moving up

Courtney Damon settled long enough to build career value with her EMBA

Courtney Damon
Chief Human Resources Officer, Formulated Solutions

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2014

Courtney Damon’s career has centered on HR. For two decades, she served in a variety of human resource capacities for Schneider Electric. She rose to become the Human Resources Vice President for two key business units, representing almost $2 billion in revenue and located throughout the Americas.

During her tenure with the company, she worked in five cities, including a stint in Vancouver, Canada, where she helped integrate into the company a new acquisition with employees in 13 countries. But it was only after her career with Schneider brought her to Nashville in 2011 that Courtney decided to make a simultaneous move on behalf of her career.

“I had looked several times into going back to school for my MBA, but I kept moving!” she says with a laugh. “I wanted to be able to add value beyond HR to the organizations I support and an MBA makes me more valuable within my organization and externally.”

When she found out she was moving to Nashville, Courtney applied to the Vanderbilt Executive MBA program. “I was able to work with and learn from other students with my level of experience,” she says, “and the class schedule was conducive to travel.”

In her first year, she complemented her career-long geographic mobility by expanding her knowledge horizons into other business disciplines. “For me, the financial and economics courses were especially useful,” she says. “I am in a lot of strategy and staff meetings where we look at financials and make business decisions. Now, I am better able to understand the financials and participate more in the decisions.”

Her understanding of business disciplines wasn’t the only thing that reached a new level. In early 2016, Courtney took on a new level of responsibility with Schneider when she was named a Company Program Leader.  The next year, she made another big move: to the executive team of the Wencor Group, a family of companies that provide innovative solutions to the aviation industry.

"I had looked several times into going back to school for my MBA, but I kept moving!"