Jennifer Howland '21 Headshot

Jennifer Howland '21

Senior Associate Engineer, Verizon Business Services

Master of Business Administration

Macro-Level Motivation

An MBA gave Jennifer Howland '21 a macro-view of her role in the workplace and served as a powerful motivator in her life.

MMU: Why did you choose to pursue your MBA at Mount Mercy?

JH: I chose Mount Mercy for a few reasons, primarily for the flexibility of class options. The online courses allowed me to manage my time without the constraints of set classroom lectures. The ability to blend online, remote, and in-person learning created the best experience for me as a graduate student. And, because Mount Mercy is local to me, I had the option to take advantage of everything the CRST International Graduate Center had to offer.

"The ability to blend online, remote, and in-person learning created the best experience for me as a graduate student."

In addition, the faculty is made up of experienced individuals. They provide a good blend of theory and real-world examples. Courses felt more like peer-to-peer sharing, rather than traditional teacher-to-student imparting of information. In many cases, I was able to ask about a specific project the professor had worked on to better learn what worked, what didn’t work, and what they would have done differently. My learning felt collaborative.

I appreciate the size of the program as well. It was a lovely feeling to be recognized by faculty and administration on sight. The diversity of the students gave me a well-rounded view and honed my abilities to work with many different types of people, ways of thinking, and viewpoints.

The diversity of the students gave me a well-rounded view and honed my abilities to work with many different types of people, ways of thinking, and viewpoints.

Jennifer Howland '21 MBA

MMU: Where do you currently work and what is your role? How has your MBA impacted your career?

JH: For the past eight years, I have been with Verizon Business Services—most recently as a senior associate engineer in conferencing and collaboration in a customer-facing role. I enjoy the opportunities I have in this position to create and direct training, oversee customer requests, troubleshoot, and serve as a liaison to our customers.

"This knowledge gives me an edge to provide superlative service and create strong relationships with my customers. I feel my options are limited only by my motivation and drive."

My MBA has given me a great deal of insight into the workings of such a large company. I have gained understanding of how I may better my department to reach our goals and those of organization. This knowledge gives me an edge to provide superlative service and create strong relationships with my customers. I feel my options are limited only by my motivation and drive. I have the keys to limitless and continual learning.

MMU: What makes MMU’s MBA program unique?

JH: The focus on larger issues, such as the Critical Concerns, and how they relate to business make MMU’s MBA program unique. I appreciated the conversations on ethics, culture, impacts of methods, and sustainability as they applied to the business setting.

MMU: You’re a big advocate for social justice. How have your passions guided your professional path?

JH: My parents both chose social work, in different forms, for their career paths. They have always been inspirations and role models for me. They also exposed me to art during the 1970s when protest and artistic expression were blended in many ways. My passion for social justice and art led me to volunteer for the Northwest Arts Connection (NAC) in Chicago. The NAC is dedicated to being liaisons between political, cultural, and social institutions so that, together, we revitalize this quadrant of the city. This organization helped me see how I could connect these two passions successfully. My goal is to create something similar in Cedar Rapids.

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