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Smeal Alumni in Profile: Executive MBA Program Provides Practical Financial, Business Acumen, Says Alumna

As Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA alumna Carol Montandon ’13 rose up the ranks of her career in quality and compliance, she also earned opportunities with broader management-level responsibility. She chose to pursue the Smeal Executive MBA degree to broaden her business knowledge and become more effective in those executive roles.
February 13, 2014

Carol Montandon '13g
Carol Montandon '13g

As Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA alumna Carol Montandon ’13 rose up the ranks of her career in quality and compliance, she also earned opportunities with broader management-level responsibility. She chose to pursue the Smeal Executive MBA degree to broaden her business knowledge and become more effective in those executive roles.

“As my career continued to progress, I not only advanced along my functional ladder in quality and compliance, but I was also now a management board member with broader business accountability,” she said. “I wanted to ensure I had the right business foundation—especially in finance—to be a highly contributing board member.”

“I think I immediately gained a level of confidence in my financial and business acumen that allowed me to more actively participate in broad business conversations and to contribute outside my functional area.”

Through the 21-month program—offered on alternating weekends in suburban Philadelphia—she was able to apply her education right away, leading to positive career moves for her at Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

“I think I immediately gained a level of confidence in my financial and business acumen that allowed me to more actively participate in broad business conversations and to contribute outside my functional area.”

When Montandon began the program, her role was worldwide vice president of quality and compliance for Ortho Clinical Diagnostics—a company within J&J’s medical device sector. Early in the course of her program, she moved into the consumer sector to broaden her business exposure within J&J.

In 2012, she was promoted to chief quality officer for J&J Consumer Business.

“I currently have quality and compliance accountability globally for all J&J Consumer products, such as Aveeno, Neutrogena, Tylenol, Motrin, and Band-aid brand products,” said Montandon.

The foundational courses of the Smeal EMBA Program focus on principled leadership, strategic analysis, and financial management. This foundation helped Montandon to participate more effectively as her management roles increased.

“The world of quality and compliance can get very technical, and I needed to ensure that I was able to convey the key issues in a manner that was understandable and actionable from a broader business perspective.”

About the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program
The Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program provides working professionals with the learning, connections, resources, and experiences to accelerate their careers. The 21-month program features personalized executive coaching, intensive communication training, a weeklong international residency experience, and coursework focused on the unique challenges of the students’ firms. Classes are held on alternating weekends at the ACE Conference Center in suburban Philadelphia. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/execmba.

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