Our Stories

Embracing a Challenge, with Help from a Team

Shawn Odle finds C-team of peers instrumental to his learning experience

Shawn Odle
Vice President, North American Administration, Universal Music Publishing Company

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2021

In a way that’s out of public view, Shawn Odle helps keep the music business running. For Universal Music Publishing Group, a business unit of the world’s largest music company, he manages a team of approximately 30 people who handle copyright, royalties, and licensing for the U.S. and Canada.

Given his role, Shawn believed that “getting an MBA would help me understand my business more and assist in making relevant, knowledge-based decisions.” That, he says, and “I wanted to challenge myself.” He knew that Vanderbilt’s Executive MBA program would be highly challenging — “just what I wanted,” Shawn says. “And the Vanderbilt name carries prestige that is transferrable across any job function, company, and industry around the world.”

But the most important factor in his choice, he says, is that Vanderbilt radiated a “sense of camaraderie and community. I didn’t feel like a number,” Shawn says, “but rather a person who the school cared about.”

That community proved to be more than just a feeling. It was built into the structure of the program through the C-team, where Shawn says he was able to learn from peers about their work experiences, industries, and business philosophies. “I’m not sure I would have made it without the support of my C-team,” he says. “They have been instrumental in my learning experience and general success so far in the program.”

Now, Shawn believes he is leaving not just with an impressive credential but with a whole different way of looking at the business world. “The school has taught me how to think differently,” he says. “Whether that is understanding a new business strategy move at work, being able to dissect financial valuation models, or generally understanding the business world at large, Owen has given me the skills to succeed.”

I didn’t feel like a number, but rather a person who the school cared about.