Sisters share experiences as two-time Trulaske graduates

Image: Christine and Molly Mathews.

Sisters Christine and Molly Mathews don’t see a competition, but rather a unique bonding opportunity through their number of shared life accomplishments. Both completed their bachelor’s degrees at the Trulaske College of Business – Christine in 2010 and Molly in 2013 – and as of this year, both have graduated from the Trulaske execMBA program.

“I was so proud to see her (Molly) graduate,” Christine, who earned her MBA in 2017, said. “She started the program the fall after I finished it.”

Both sisters had been in the workforce for a few years before beginning their programs. Each also wanted to continue their education while working full time.

“As I stayed in touch with touch with the university, I knew I didn’t want to quit my job,” Christine, who is a director in the Chief Data Office of AT&T and is based in Dallas, said about the search to continue her education. “I reached out and learned about the program, and not only was it from a great institution, it was so flexible with my schedule.”

For Molly, a client Engagement Owner in investor-owned and federal businesses at Cerner, the program’s flexibility also heavily factored into the decision to come back to Mizzou. Having a sister who was just about to complete the program was an added bonus.

“I travel a lot for work, so for me, going back to school meant I’d have to either spend a long-time going to school part time or stop working to go to school full time,” Molly said.

In addition to the shared experience in the program, the sisters share another experience – winning the same award in the program’s conclusive case competition.

“Molly said, ‘Yeah, I won best Q&A,’ and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? That’s what I won,” Christine said.

The Q&A Award from the execMBA case competition is awarded to the student who best handles the rapid-fire questioning from judges. Christine and Molly credited their mother for encouraging them to hone their public speaking skills.

“We went through the ‘Lori Mathews school of public speaking,’” Christine laughed.

Their most important shared experience, however, was the lessons learned and the takeaway from their programs. For Christine and Molly, this included working with a diverse set of classmates, spanning generations, industries, experiences, and applying what they learned to their current jobs.

“You don’t have to wait until the end of the program to apply what you’re learning,” Molly said, explaining that learning to time manage by capitalizing on her team’s strengths in the program is a skill she began applying to her career.

“Over the course of the program, you learn people from different roles are stronger as a team,” she added. “They brought a different perspective than what I had, but I also realized, as a younger professional, I brought a perspective they could learn from.”

Christine agreed, calling it a “humbling experience.”

“I walked away with a greater appreciation that teachers are not just those who stand at the front of a classroom,” she said.