Zina Townley  

Career Background
• B.S. in Computer Science, University of North Texas
Worked 23 years in this field with an initial focus on computer programming and software then later towards System Administration & Technical Support Microsoft Certification as a System Administrator, 2004 (MCSA) Currently - Manager, Desktop Support at Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), the home of Food Network, HGTV, DiY Network, FLN, GAC.

Professional Areas of Interest
• Peter Drucker’s views on  interdependencies between government, profit and social sectors, particularly the overlap between the social sector and government 

• Drucker Fellow

 FEMBA, Class of 2011

Career goals After Drucker, I plan to continue my career at Scripps Networks Interactive. My eventual goal is adult education at a community college in the Rocky Mountains or plains states.

Most memorable experience at Drucker When I began my MBA, I had only a vague notion of how much of my own business and management values I owed to Drucker’s legacy. I came to realize that virtually every “best practice” that I had incorporated into my own knowledge base over the years had been mentioned, envisioned or built upon by Peter Drucker!

My favorite class so far has been Drucker on Management with Professor Maciariello - the classes and reading assignments were always engaging. I also loved Quantitative Methods - you probably don’t hear that one very often, but I love numbers and statistical data. In addition, I spent my first summer at school attending the Drucker Book Club on Friday nights. Our informal chats over wine and cheese about a different chapter of Management: Revised Edition were often the highlight of my week. My biggest regret about being only a part-time student is my lack of time for more informal groups like that one.


One of the best things about coming back to school after 23 years of work experience is relevance! Virtually every class session that I attend is filled with information I can use – and use the next day or the next week!


Experience in the classroom The classroom experience was the driving force behind my desire to return to school. Imagine my delight when I learned that I’d be in small classes and have this most amazing access to my professors. What a contrast to my dry and impersonal undergraduate experience!

How Drucker prepares me for real-life success One of the best things about coming back to school after 23 years of work experience is relevance! Virtually every class session that I attend is filled with information I can use – and use the next day or the next week! I often find myself writing and typing so fast in class that I’ve forgotten what time it is.

There are plenty of activities on campus that we can get involved in and practice our leadership skills. Most companies identify Drucker graduates as talented, ethically driven and having strong leadership qualities. It is an excellent credential to have if you’re planning to move on to top leadership positions within a company.

Favorite spot in Claremont
I travel to campus by Metrolink train and ride the train to work as well. The Claremont Colleges campuses are delightful to walk in. I love the tree-lined streets dotted with houses and college buildings. I take different routes each time. If I have extra time, I like getting a coffee or a pastry on my way through the Village. Claremont is a great central location for the train riders.

As Peter Drucker asked,
What do you want to be remembered for?

Number one is integrity. In The Daily Drucker entry for January 1, I read “No one should ever be appointed to a senior position unless top management is willing to have his or her character serve as the model for subordinates”. So, first and foremost, I intend to be remembered for strength of character!

Making strength productive and making weakness irrelevant. In the Effective Executive, Peter Drucker said this was the purpose of today’s organizations and therefore the responsibility of the effective executive. This concept has become real to me as the captain of a tennis team. In fact, captaining a tennis team is almost perfect preparation for managing knowledge workers: one has to choose team members wisely and give them the right assignments, i.e. matches, to play; once they are on court, the responsibility is all theirs, just as today’s knowledge worker must accept responsibility for his/her own tasks and results. The tennis captain, like the good manager, does not have to be the best tennis player, but instead knows how to combine doubles teams to make each individual’s strengths even stronger and to make each individual’s weaknesses irrelevant!
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