"I chose FIMBA because I had been searching for a program that didn't cause me to stop in my professional development," said Elizabeth Blair, FIMBA Alumni.
Are you in the same position? Are you currently in professional position; however, you feel that you could do more? Are you looking for a graduate program that will not hinder your professional development, but rather requires you to participate in a paid fellowship?
Elizabeth found exactly this when she began as a FIMBA cohort in its first year. She completed her fellowship with Steelcase and was offered a full-time position before she even graduated from the program. She was encouraged to talk to all different departments within Steelcase, which allowed her to learn about the company and to network.
"I was given the opportunity to travel during my training; this was an honor and made me feel valued within the company," said Elizabeth.
FIMBA gave Elizabeth real world experience in professional development, etiquette, and building relationships.
"During our time with FIMBA we had the opportunity to make relationships with a group of individuals in China. We were then able to personally meet them on our international trip. One of the most powerful experiences with FIMBA, was the in-depth open conversations about economics, culture, and politics that we were able to have with a peer from another country," said Elizabeth.
When looking back at her 14 months with FIMBA, the one memory that sticks out to her the most is eating pigs brain, cows stomach, and ducks blood. In China, they were invited to a hot pot and they knew it would be disrespectful to not eat everything that was offered.
"After I had tried the cows stomach, I looked over and a gentleman from China asked me how I liked it. I said it was not too bad; however, when I asked him how he liked it, he admitted that he would never even eat it!" said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth would recommend this program to students that are looking to go through an accelerated MBA but with a quality experience.
"It's not just the classroom. There is a human element, travel and professional development incorporated into this program. However, be ready for a roller coaster. There are exciting times and then there are work your tails off times, but it will be worth it. Make sure you give your best without sacrificing your well-being. This program is intense at times but in the end it is incredibly rewarding," said Elizabeth.
The day Elizabeth finished FIMBA it was her husband's turn to get his degree and they moved to Madison, Wisconsin. Although, there was not a Steelcase office in Wisconsin her boss allowed her to work from home and to travel for business. Two months ago they moved back to Ann Arbor and her boss' response was, "great you are closer, no problem!"
To this day Elizabeth has valued the experience and knowledge she gained from FIMBA.