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Jeffrey Harrelson

Jeffrey Harrelson

MBA Class of 2012

Undergrad Trinity College

How did Bentley help you get to where you are today in your career?

Bentley helped me take the next step in my career. I did an internship at an investment bank between years one and two, so I was ready to take on a senior financial analyst position at Staples when I graduated. I couldn’t have done that without the added finance knowledge and skills I gained through the internship, the use of on-campus resources such as the Trading Room, and a team project consulting with an outside company. To this day I still rely on the finance and management skills I learned at Bentley. (And even pull out some of my text books!)

What are the top three skills you gained in your program at Bentley?

  • How to work effectively with diverse groups on problems. For team projects, I worked with students from the U.S. and abroad. Different things motivate people in different ways. You have to really work within a group and understand the individual nature of each person in order to be the most effective.
  • How to manage and lead a project from start to finish. We had professors to lean on for support, but it was up to us to lead the project and work directly with outside companies that were relying on our work to help their business.
  • Improved financial modeling. Since my undergraduate degree was in Economics, I didn’t have the opportunity to take a ton of finance courses in college. The ability to improve my financial modeling and overall finance knowledge were essential to landing my internship and first job after Bentley.
"I discovered how to motivate people to work together."

What would you tell someone considering your program at Bentley?

First, understand why you’re going to get a master’s degree. What’s your long-term goal? Are you pivoting career wise, looking to gain additional skills? Don’t just get a master’s degree because everyone else is doing it. Second, determine the time and financial commitment you can make. Are you willing and able to leave your job for a full-time program or do you need a part-time option? There’s no silver bullet; it’s a personal decision. When deciding on a school, make sure it checks off your boxes. I wanted to improve my financial capabilities, have a combination of class work and hands-on resources such as the Trading Room, and work on a full-year consulting project with an outside company. Bentley checked those boxes for me.