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“They chose me for the job” — an MBA success story

by Kristin Laudenslager Sep 17, 2019
Cayleah McFarland 08, M15

Cayleah McFarland ’08, M’15, PMP has the kind of MBA success story that she just can’t help but want to share with the world. Just after earning her degree, she was hand-picked for a promotion on a newly developed team. 

Cayleah graduated from DeSales University in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Marketing. She was immediately hired as a customer service rep at Avantor. She liked the job, but Cayleah craved more. She wanted to make a move into the procurement side of the business, so she decided to get her MBA.

When it came time to choose an MBA program, Cayleah didn’t even look at any other schools. “I felt so at home here. I love DeSales,” says Cayleah. “I had classmates in all different industries at all levels of career advancement, still I felt my contributions were valued just like everyone else. The professors really care and want to see you succeed, you’re not a number.”

Her favorite part of her MBA courses? Putting her newfound knowledge into use. It was in her Financial Management course when things “really clicked” for Cayleah – she found that learning to read corporate balance sheets helped her see her own company in a new light and understand the results of her contributions to the overall organization.

“With a DeSales MBA, hard work, and accountability, you can go farther than you could ever imagine. The DeSales MBA program really supports you and builds your confidence to go to the next level.”

- Cayleah McFarland, ’08, M’15, PMP

Cayleah’s MBA paid off right away. As soon as she finished the program, she was asked to take on a challenging new role that had not previously existed at Avantor as a project manager. In that role she was able to address a customer facing issue by building a whole process and supporting business structure from scratch. That experience led her to pursue a higher level of training and formal certification as a Project Management Professional, PMP.

“The most important advice she would give potential MBA students is “not to wait for the right time. If you have this dream, do it – no matter what sacrifices it may take.”

“People often wait until they are in the right position, or they need to have permission from their boss, or they hold off until they believe they are financially stable enough. But just do it, there is no downside. The reward is so worth it, even if it takes you several years to finish [the program]. The reward is so much greater than the cost.”

The degree has certainly paid off for Cayleah. She’s recently taken on yet another new role at her company: “I’ve been so honored that I can continue to advance my career at Avantor– management selects me for positions where my educational background supports me as a valuable contributor to their team.” 

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