Michael Bain did not need a Professional MBA from the Haslam College of Business to be better at the key element of his job—project and process improvement.
“I’ve had a lot of practical experience and training in that as a chemical engineer,” Bain says. “But my company, Eastman Chemical, has a great relationship with the program, and I’ve seen quite a few colleagues go through it.”
What drew Bain to Haslam’s ProMBA was its focus on leadership and personal development.
“ProMBA taught me that leadership is all about motivation and influence,” he says. “How you motivate is a whole different cloth than the more scientific, deterministic approach. But influencing is the most important thing you can do in your job.”
Bain experienced this first hand through his Organizational Action Project when he was able to showcase the programs he had developed to management. As a result, the quantity of work he manages and his impact within the company has substantially grown.
Bain credits the duality of broad leadership education and personalized development in the ProMBA as key to his success.
“The CEOs from top companies and other speakers from non-traditional business roles like fine arts and the non-profit world gave a really valuable perspective,” he says. “But it was really helpful to have my own, unique development plan.”
Each ProMBA student receives a leadership advisor, identifying their strengths and setting goals for growth. Together, they create a personalized leadership development plan with check-ins throughout the semester.
“It holds you accountable in aspects of your personal life and at work,” Bain says. “You aren’t just listening to what leadership folks are saying, you’re putting into practice and seeing daily improvements in your personal interactions.”
Degree: Professional MBA