Erin Walsh, 2011

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Previous Education: University of Pittsburgh, B.S. in Chemistry

Employment Experience Before Duquesne: Valspar Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University Bone Tissue Engineering Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Employment During and After Duquesne: Kraft Heinz and Mylan N.V.

Current Position: Senior Director, Investor Development at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, I decided to pursue an MBA in order to diversify my educational background and explore additional career opportunities. With a technical background and diverse internship experience, I was ready to pursue a degree that would challenge me to harness my analytical and critical thinking skills in practical, value-added ways. To that end, I discovered just how transferrable a science degree is in the field of business, for there is no skill set more impactful in today's marketplace than diversity of thought.

In December 2008, I traveled to Montreal, Canada as a member of Duquesne's case competition team to participate in the John Molson International MBA Case Competition. The competition brought together MBA students from diverse backgrounds and geographies, thereby promoting a dynamic, intense and collaborative learning experience. With each competitive case, we were challenged to think critically yet sensibly in a short time-frame, leveraging our business acumen and showcasing our professional communication skills. Looking back, the competition qualifies as one of the most memorable and robust learning opportunities during my time at Duquesne. These hands-on experiences serve as a complement to classroom learning and differentiate Duquesne students from their peers at other institutions.

Every course offered in the MBA program, from finance to supply chain to change management, emphasized the vast interdependency of our global economy. International exchange opportunities allowed students to actively participate in non-domestic markets, and Duquesne's diverse student population encouraged multicultural learning. As I began my career with a multinational Fortune 500 firm, I was well-prepared to understand the benefits of operating on a global scale and the importance of continued expansion into strategic and competitive emerging markets.

As a finance professional in the pharmaceutical industry, I have the unique ability to leverage both my undergraduate education in chemistry and graduate studies in finance to remain successful in my current role. Given the well-rounded nature of Duquesne's graduate education, I am continuously using my business degree in both expected and unanticipated ways. I commonly utilize the financial knowledge gained through my comprehensive elective coursework, but I also frequently draw upon skills learned in managing projects, people and change. As my career progresses and ambitions change, my MBA will continue to support my evolving professional pathway.

I cannot speak more highly of the professional network that I cultivated at the Donahue Graduate School of Business, and I am fortunate to have maintained many of those relationships today.

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