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Ford Has a Better Idea

Engineer Transitions to Financial Management

John Ford
Vice President & Financial Officer, Equitable Trust

Vanderbilt MBA 2012

Looking back on his days as a project engineer, John Ford remembers how isolated he felt. “There were weeks that would go by where I wouldn’t talk to anyone if I didn’t pick up lunch at a drive-through,” he says.

Owen, where John made friends whom he predicts will be lifelong, refreshingly provided the opposite experience. He was involved in the Culinary Club, the Owen Black Students Association, and was even asked to lead a “Welcome to Nashville” orientation for international students. After teaching them Southern sayings, the Dyersburg, Tennessee, native jokingly urged the crowd to give foods like bologna a chance.

Not that he’s gotten too much of a good thing: John says he think that Owen struck just the right balance between networking and course work. “It is a very novel concept,” he suggests, “that business schools should teach business.”

After graduation, John relaunched his career near Nashville as Supply Chain Finance Manager at the company where he interned, Mars Petcare. He’s happy not just about the position but about remaining in the South. After all, he says, philosophically, “If I went anywhere else, they wouldn’t understand my accent.”