A Day in the Life of an OMBA Student
Online MBA student Jessica Shipley invests in professional growth while leading a marketing team and remaining present at home.
A Day in the Life of an OMBA Student
If you have ever attended a public event at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative or visited a student at the North Village or East Village residential halls, you have experienced the handiwork of The Beck Group, a leading architectural and commercial construction firm based in Dallas.
Jessica ShipleyAs Beck’s director of marketing, Jessica Shipley leads a team in winning work and cultivating client relationships across 11 industry sectors, from aviation to hospitality. In her 17 years at the firm, she has supported countless multi-year projects from start to finish, savoring the opportunity to spot the fruits of her labor around town.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to put together a proposal to win a project and then attend a grand opening a few years later,” she said. “Every day, I have the opportunity to work on projects that shape the environment and community around me.”
Between leading her team’s efforts and spending time with her husband and two daughters—ages 6 and 4—Jessica does not have many spare hours in the day. Pursuing an Online MBA (OMBA) at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business has only made her schedule more hectic, but she has developed strategies to strike a careful balance between the personal and professional aspects of her life.
5:30am: Alarms off. My husband and I wake up and begin our morning routine. He works for Beck as a senior project manager, so we understand exactly what the other needs to accomplish in a day. He is out the door earlier than I am for a project site meeting.
6:30am: The kids wake up and the next hour is spent getting them ready for the day. I feed them cereal, yogurt and fruit for breakfast, take care of our 1-year-old Golden Doodle, and make sure everything is packed up and ready to go.
7:30am: We are out the door and on our way to school and daycare. I have 30 minutes between dropping off the girls and arriving at my office downtown, so I spend the time listening to a micro lecture for my Strategic Brand Management course called “Theoretical Models of Brand Equity.” Being exposed to the material in the car makes it easier to absorb and take notes later when I listen a second time.
8:30am-12:00pm: I attend a series of internal meetings with my team members about a proposal, interview materials and other marketing collateral that will help us win a new project with a potential client. In between meetings, I spend time thinking through our strategy and joining calls with colleagues in other regions to advise them on local projects.
12:00pm: I bring lunch from home and eat sushi at Beck’s café while reading an article for my class. This one is called “An Application of Keller’s Brand Equity Model in a B2B Context.” I cannot always guarantee night and weekend hours, so I do my best to chip away at assignments during weekdays. My Strategic Brand Management course, taught by Professor Chris Pullig, is especially timely for me at Beck as we are preparing to implement a new 10-year strategic framework.
1:00-3:00pm: More strategy sessions with my team members.
3:00pm: Exercise break. Several times a week, several colleagues and I take the elevator to the ground floor of our building and climb the 28 floors back up to our office. We complete our workout at a steady pace for 15 minutes.
3:00-5:00pm: Building more marketing collateral. One of the ideas I have gleaned from my Strategic Brand Management course is the concept of a customer journey map. I am working on creating a formal plan that identifies client touchpoints at every step of a project.
5:00pm: I head home from the office while my husband picks up our daughters from school and daycare.
5:00-7:00pm: Family time. My husband finds it therapeutic to be in the kitchen, so he cooks dinner for the family. Our best bonding time as a family is spent sitting around the kitchen table and asking each other questions about how the day went.
7:00pm: While the kids are changing into their pajamas, brushing their teeth and laying out clothes for the next day, I join our weekly Zoom call to attend office hours with Professor Chris Pullig. Even on a busy week, I have found it worth my time to join these calls. The professors tell you what to prioritize, help you wherever you get stuck, and do everything they can to help expand your network.
8:00-10:00pm: The kids are in bed and I am back to working on coursework. For my current course, our final assignment is to conduct a brand audit. I have taken the opportunity to evaluate my own company’s brand and devise new ways to strengthen brand perception of Beck as a high-quality community partner.
10:00pm-10:30pm: My husband and I prep breakfast and lunch for the next day before going to sleep.
Thanks to the flexibility of the OMBA program, Jessica is able to take the next six-week term off to celebrate her 40th birthday by taking a 10-day Danube River cruise with her mother. After she returns, she will prepare for the next course.
On her most action-packed days, Jessica reminds herself that each course only runs for six weeks—and she can do anything for six weeks. “The program requires a lot of dedication and hard work, but it is always doable,” she said. “I am proud of taking this step to invest in my growth.”
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