Our Stories

Learning in Different Environments

Going outside the company, classroom, and country pays off for Flynn

Megan Flynn
Program Execution Manager, AT&T

Vanderbilt Global Executive MBA 2019

Megan Flynn has spent her entire career with AT&T, much of it managing sales teams in specific territories. She wanted to gain more knowledge and skills, but she also wanted to gain them from a diversity of sources. “Everything I thought or did had been taught to me by one company,” she says. “Not only did I want to learn finance, accounting, and economics, but I really wanted to learn from other people.”

The company, Megan says, was very supportive. When she was accepted to Vanderbilt, they transferred her from Chattanooga to Nashville to take over a new territory, making the logistics much easier during the program’s first year.

Then, near the end of that year in Nashville, but before the second year’s international immersions, she relocated again, this time to AT&T’s corporate headquarters in Dallas—with a promotion.

In that sense, her investment of time paid off for her career. “By actively communicating your willingness to develop yourself through your MBA,” she says, “you are setting yourself to be top of mind when a new opportunity comes up. Owen has not only allowed me to be a more skilled individual, but it has also pushed me to start looking for impacts or changes I can make in my organization.”

But for Megan, among the biggest benefits were all the knowledge and insights she gained from classmates, both in Nashville and the other countries. “Fifty percent of the learning is from the actual classroom,” she says, “but the other half is from the conversations you have with your classmates during class discussions, at lunch, or outside school hours.”

That effect is magnified with the international immersions in Canada, Brazil, and Mexico (Megan’s personal favorite—“I could talk for hours about the different activities,” she says). “Interacting across borders is only going to become more common,” she says. “Now I feel as though I am better prepared to work with people across all different backgrounds and cultures.”

Not only did I want to learn finance, accounting, and economics, but I really wanted to learn from other people.