Why Owen for Nonprofit Leaders? Meet Beth Torres

Beth Torres - Vanderbilt Executive MBA '11Name: Beth Torres

Graduation Year:
2011Program: Executive MBACompany: Make-A-Wish Middle TennesseeTitle: President & Chief Executive Officer

Beth Torres is a 2011 alumnus of the Executive MBA program and was selected as the 2009 recipient of the Nonprofit Sponsorship. The Nonprofit Sponsorship covers the cost of tuition for the Executive MBA Program and is awarded each year to executive or senior staff member working for a 501(c)3 organization. The deadline to apply for the 2017 Nonprofit Sponsorship is March 31. Interested candidates should contact Director of Recruitment Sarah Fairbank.

What convinced you that you could or should do the program?
I had always wanted to get my MBA. For me, Owen’s Executive MBA was exactly what I was wanted. This is an excellent program with top-notch faculty and classmates who were leaders in their field. From the case studies and projects to the discussions in study groups and in class, everyone involved in the Executive MBA program is driven, successful, and professional.

What was the greatest hurdle you overcame to start or finish the program?
I graduated in 2011 and I can honestly say, I have blocked out most of the hurdles! The one thing that sticks out is preparing for the GMAT. I hadn’t sat for a test– much less a standardized test– in more than a decade by the time I decided to go back to school. It was the beginning of learning how to study again and even in that challenge, Tami Fassinger, Juli Bennett, and Sarah Fairbank were there to give guidance. From the very beginning, the Owen EMBA staff supports students.

What advice would you give to someone considering the program?
The best advice I can give someone who is considering the program is DO IT. Attend a Preview Day, learn more about the classes, listen to the professor deliver a lesson and if you are craving more, set up a meeting with the admission team. Don’t wait for a perfect time– life will happen. Commit to this program and make sure you are ready to give it 100% for 2 years. You will be a better person and you will be a better business person because of this program.

How has your approach to business changed as a result of being part of the Executive MBA program?
Although I had a strong instinct for business, this program gave me the language I needed to communicate vision and approach decisions with purpose. Daily, I hear Professors in my head; Froeb, Vogus, McCAnn, Christie, Hyer, and Owens have taught principles I have revisited. My classmates and Owen network are people I turn to with questions or when I need insight. Owen teaches you to think quicker and with more vision when you are making decisions.

How has your career been enhanced as a result of your Vanderbilt Executive MBA experience?
I have my job today because of my Executive MBA. Getting this degree put me on the radar of a headhunter. My study group helped me prep and plan for interviews. And my Owen network is still where I turn for advice and resources. My career has been enhanced, my life is richer because of Owen and my Executive MBA degree.

Why Owen Wednesday features a different Americas MBA for Executives or Executive MBA alum each week.  To find out more about the Vanderbilt Executive Programs, please visit our website.  If you are a Vanderbilt Executive MBA Program alum, please complete our Alumni Update form and we’ll send you some Vanderbilt swag as a reward.


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