Eris Thomas, KSM ’07
CEO & President
Coral Gables Executive Physicians
"At Kellogg, you must collaborate to succeed."
What happens when a group of strong personalities is required to work together? In the Kellogg Executive MBA Program they collaborate — or fail. Eris Thomas’s, her Kellogg experience introduced her to the power of working together toward a common goal — a process that leverages each person’s unique skills and requires every team member to become a leader.
I was part of the first Executive MBA class at Kellogg’s Miami campus, and it was truly an amazing experience. Great people, incredible professors. At Kellogg, they throw cases, ideas and challenges at you every day, and ask you to analyze everything. It brought me back to thinking critically — and I loved it.
In addition to a solid grounding in business knowledge, Kellogg gave me the leadership skills that you need to run a business. There were 42 people in my class, and we were immediately placed into groups of seven. That was the first challenge — learning how to be part of a team. When you put seven “type A” people in a room and tell them to figure out how to work together, it’s going to be challenging!
We often had conflicting ideas and each of us would argue for our point of view. It took our team a few months to learn how to truly collaborate — how to share our ideas rather than compete for ownership of them. We learned how to listen and treat ideas with respect, and how to put all ideas out there for evaluation.
Working in a group also taught me about different personalities, different backgrounds. My class included people from all over the world, exposing me to different cultures and thought processes. I now have a greater appreciation for others ideas. At Kellogg, you must collaborate to succeed — an approach that leads to success outside the classroom, as well.
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