Mary Sikora
United States
BA in Liberal Studies from UC Santa Barbara

Associate Director of Business Operations for the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech


"The classes are quite interactive, and manage to bring out even the shyest of students...What I am gaining at the Drucker School is knowledge that I can put to use right away.”


Why the Drucker Executive Management Program?  I chose the Drucker School because some of the classes are offered at Caltech. The Drucker EMP program is different in that it allows students to progress at their own pace rather than pushing them along as a group. I needed to take time off to care for a sick relative, and the Drucker EMP program allowed me the flexibility to be able to take some time off from my studies and then return to the program.

How is your Drucker executive education impacting you in your current position? What I have enjoyed about the Drucker executive education is that I have been able to put new learning to use right away. In fact, several of my final papers have been case studies lifted directly from my current job! I am currently working at a university, and anticipate that the advanced degree will allow me to move up to a new job if I remain there after earning my degree. Having my MBA will definitely help me in the job market should I decide to make a move.

Experience in the classroom The classroom experience has been excellent. The professors for the most part have been very interesting and good at generating lively discussions. The classes are quite interactive, and manage to bring out even the shyest of students. I like that the class size on average is quite small, allowing for more interaction. Also, EMP students come into the program with years of work and life experience, and it’s nice that the program offers classes separate from the MBA program where the students possess less work experience.

On balancing work, classes and personal life while in the EMP program This has been challenging at times. I find that it is manageable for me if I take only 4 units / term. This summer I took an intensive class for the first time. It was nice to be done in only two weekends, but it was hard trying to find alternate time to complete all the things I do on the weekend. Basically, you’ve got to want it (the degree) and if you want it, you find a way to get it done. I also spend many lunch hours reading my assignments.

Why now? There’s no time like the present – don’t put it off for another minute! Once you take your first class, you’ll be hooked.

As Peter Drucker said,
Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.

What I am gaining at the Drucker School is knowledge that I can put to use right away. For example, I just took a class on entrepreneurship and intellectual property and I was able to provide counsel to a staff member who was entering into collaboration with another university. Because of the class, I was able to point out all the reasons why he needed to involve the Office of Technical Transfer before starting the collaboration. 
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