In her admission essay to the EMBA Program at Michigan State University, Rachel Gonzalez wrote that she wanted to advance to a global director level. She was working as a compensation manager at the time.
Just before she completed the program, she accepted an offer for her current job: director of global compensation and benefits at automotive supplier Dayco.
“I feel like my career has really taken off,” says Gonzalez, who also received a significant bump in salary with the new position. She credits her time in the EMBA Program as a major contributor to her success.
“This experience has helped me so much and has helped me grow in so many ways,” she says. “It has really led me to where I am today.”
Throughout the program, she absorbed new knowledge, developed new skills, and brought them back to work. “What we learned during classes, we could go out and apply it in our roles.”
She built long-lasting relationships with her fellow students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she contacted them to talk through some ideas. “My teammates have become like family to me.”
Her EMBA experience also continues to make a difference. In her current role, she led an effort to restructure benefits with the aim of driving down costs while keeping competitive benefits. Her team reached both goals.
“There is no playbook out there on how to manage it all,” says Gonzalez. “In the program, you learn to think strategically, and it helps to make decisions that are not just short term, they are long term as well.”
While in the program, Gonzalez focused on her studies, carefully balancing her time and giving birth to her third child.
“I am proof that you can go through the program and if you put hard work into it, it will pay off in many different ways.”