Class of 2016
Client Services Manager (Internship)
When Iva Wepner (’16 MBA) was searching for a graduate business program that would position her as a standout performer throughout a long, successful career, she turned to an adage she uses as a guide in life.
“As is stated in one of my favorite Chinese proverbs, ‘Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand,’” Wepner says. “I was attracted to the Bryan MBA promise to teach through involvement in real-word situations, problem solving and decision making.”
Wepner earned her undergraduate degree in business administration from the Bryan School in 2014 and considered going elsewhere for a graduate degree. But the school’s Day MBA Program is widely recognized for providing students with practical, translatable experience—exactly what Wepner wanted and what she knew today’s organizations demand.
Involvement has been a hallmark of Wepner’s time at the Bryan School, which offers a wealth of ways for students to build networking and leadership skills. She has volunteered with Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina, taking a key role in planning a local high school career fair, and worked on the Marketing Committee for the UNCG GOLD Council, which supports and encourages young alumni engagement at UNCG.
Perhaps most gratifying has been serving as president of the UNCG chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA), a national organization dedicated to empowering both female and male professionals, assisting in leadership development and enhancing workforce diversity. The UNCG chapter offers seminars and mentorships, as well as networking and volunteering opportunities. In Wepner’s leadership role, she planned the Fall and Spring Community Leaders Networking Event, which draws together Bryan School MBA candidates, alumni, faculty, and business and community leaders for an evening of networking and learning opportunities. She also attended the 2015 National NAWMBA Conference and Career Fair in Houston.
“For me, one of the biggest strengths of the Bryan School MBA is the valuable connections I have made,” Wepner says. “The students, professors, faculty and alumni are very engaged.”
Wepner appreciates the Bryan MBA’s broad business focus, which will give her professional flexibility for a lifetime. Although she has concentrated in marketing and is interested in human resources, she says, “I didn’t want to limit myself. One of the most valuable skills I’ve learned at the Bryan School is how to learn—how to find, understand and utilize information. That’s something I’ll be able to use every day of my career.”
A case in point is Wepner’s internship with Zenergy Technologies, a Greensboro-based software testing firm. She began working in the human resources department on employee recruitment. Because of her success, her internship was extended and she took on more of a client relations role. “I’ve learned so much about the industry but also the dynamics of the business,” she says. “I attend the weekly meetings and interact with the CEO and VPs every day.”
Article by Julie Palm
Photograph by Martin Kane