by Kandace York
Angela Barbour, of Huron, Ohio entered the College of Business with one plan: earning an MBA. So did Rachel Dwornick, of Saline, Michigan.
Friendship was not on their task list, and it seemed unlikely for two people who had so little in common. Dwornick has a bachelor’s degree in public relations, with the goal of working in a corporate setting; Barbour has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and initially wanted to be a zookeeper or veterinarian.
It’s a program that is internationally recognized for developing advanced business theories and principles, with an emphasis on team-based classwork. Just as business professionals from different departments work together on business projects, Barbour and Dwornick brought contrasting skill sets to BGSU’s real-world classroom.
“I wanted to learn more about different areas in business and understand how they affect the entire organization,” Dwornick explained. “I always knew I wanted to work for a corporation, so earning my MBA was the right path.”
For Barbour, her career change inspired her to consider the MBA program. “Getting my master’s degree seemed to be a smart idea, as I knew it would make me more strategically positioned with greater experience and knowledge.”
Once they started working together on class projects, they realized that their differences could be beneficial.
“The first class we discovered this in was our statistics class,” Barbour said. “With my scientific background, I am very good in quantitative classes, so I was able to help Rachel, who was more of a qualitative thinker. On the other hand, I was weak in classes such as our Business Law and Marketing classes, which are much more qualitative. Rachel helped me make sense of the material.”
Their leadership styles also differed. “I am very forgiving and a ‘people pleaser,’” Barbour explained. “During one of our group projects, Rachel helped me see that my willingness to forgive someone’s mistake was actually hindering our group. This has helped me grow into a better leader.”
Rachel Dwornick’s perspective is remarkably similar to Angela Barbour’s. “Although we come from very different backgrounds in regard to our undergraduate education, Angela was always willing to provide further explanation on topics I didn’t quite understand at the time; we have helped one another and utilized our strengths.”
This partnership models the skills that successful business professionals use every day: recognizing and respecting peers’ strengths, then combining them for a greater goal.
Both graduates leave the college with new careers waiting. Rachel Dwornick has accepted a purchasing learning development analyst position with Dana Incorporated, a supplier of drivetrain, sealing, and thermal-management technologies; Angela Barbour has accepted an associate analyst position with Vizient, Inc., a nonprofit health system.
Although their career paths are taking Barbour and Dwornick in different directions, the friendship they built and the skills they developed will continue to influence their business careers – which is the college’s goal from Day One.