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Exercising His ‘Brain Muscles’

Executive Education programs help Vanderbilt manager expand his perspective

Sean Carroll
Senior Director, Auxiliary Services, Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt Executive Education 2023

When Sean Carroll’s senior leadership team was offered the opportunity to participate in Owen’s Executive Education program, he says, “I jumped at the chance. As a Vanderbilt staff member for 12 years, I was well aware of Owen’s stellar faculty and, in particular, the quality of its Executive Education program.

“A good leader is always learning, and this program provided me the opportunity to hone specific leadership skills that are relevant to my career. The more well-versed I am in executive leadership techniques, the more successful my team can be.”

In pursuit of a certificate from the program, obtained by completing three open-enrollment courses, Sean began with Strategic Communication and Financial Fundamentals. Even before finishing the second course, he saw a significant return from the program. “The advanced communication skills I acquired helped improve my executive presence, and I use them daily,” he says. “These skills have made me a more effective leader, a better listener, and a more effective presenter. Overall, I think I am able to be present for my team in a way I wasn’t previously.”

Beyond specific skills, Sean found that the program has positively influenced his perspective and way of thinking. “It helped flex brain muscles in a way I haven’t had to in a while,” he says. “It’s easy to fall into a rut of business as usual, and the program really gives me a perspective beyond that which I find in my daily work environment. The ability to connect and network with professionals in other organizations and industries has been invaluable.

“By investing in my own professional growth, I believe I am setting up my team for greater success. This program is not only a great opportunity to gain new skills, but it has helped to shift my perspective on my own leadership journey.”

Attending the program helped flex brain muscles in a way I haven’t had to in a while.