Our EMBA Elite student spotlight for October is Staci Woods. Staci is the class president of The University of Alabama EMBA program in Huntsville, Class of 2014. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Communication from UA, majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. She is currently working for Oracle as a customer experience sales consultant for marketing and loyalty solutions while pursuing her EMBA degree.
Before returning to graduate school, Staci worked for a company in Louisville, Kentucky. “I was very blessed to be in an organization where I went from an entry-level position to company officer during my 11 years there,” she said. After the company was sold in 2011, Staci and her husband, Rick, moved back to her hometown of Decatur, Alabama.
Staci’s decision to pursue an EMBA degree came from her desire to expand her knowledge of business beyond what she had learned from the company in Louisville. “Everything I knew I had learned from one company,” she said. “I wanted the opportunity to learn strategy, finance and the big picture of business to broaden my perspective and understand different viewpoints.”
Staci and Rick have been married for five years. Although they have no children at home, the couple opens their home to a group of “new adults” age 18-24 that they mentor through their church.
One challenge EMBA students face is finding the time to balance home life, work and school. “It’s tough!” Staci said. “What I have learned is that it’s important during grad school to compartmentalize life.” By planning her days in advance and scheduling times for school work, Staci is able to get a true mental break each week.
“I work hard to have one day a week where I don’t work on school or my career, even if it means late nights other nights of the week. My husband and I schedule dates to make sure we stay close through this process.”
According to Staci, the UA Huntsville EMBA program is impacting her career in powerful ways. “The practice of analyzing business cases in many different courses has been the most helpful. In my job, I have a new company with different processes to learn practically every week,” she said. “It’s my responsibility to learn marketing strategies they employ, their business processes and organizational structure in order to consult them on how Oracle technology can support or improve their performance.”
After completing her EMBA, Staci plans to relax, catch up on reading, enjoy her backyard, host more parties and spend lots of time with her family and friends. Her goal is to retire with her husband while in her early 50s.
For more information about the EMBA program at UA, visit emba.ua.edu.