May. 5, 2011
My name is Will McCollum and I am now officially a second year MBA student here at Leeds. I’m originally from Leavenworth, KS where I went on to the University of Kansas to graduate with a BS in Mathematics and English Literature – yup, I studied the three Rs. From there, I decided to move abroad through a worldwide, university organization named AIESEC. With their help, I moved to Prague, Czech Republic where I lived for nearly five years.
While in Prague, I started off working an internship with a translations company named Presto Translations, s.r.o. where I was the English-speaking sales and marketing rep. When I arrived, it was a mess! No English pricelists, everything was in Czech and the Koruna (the local currency), and the idea of selling to the West needed to be sold in-office first before I could even move forward with actual clients. After I left, they had a new revenue stream and even replicated the same business strategy in Germany and France with two more interns from those respective countries.
From there, I went on to work for DHL IT Services Europe, a global datacenter for the shipping giant. I spent nearly four years there climbing the ladder, one deal at a time. When I was ready to come back to the States for B School, I was an Account Manager for Express Country IT, mainly the UK/Ireland, Benelux and some of Central Europe. It was a fantastic period of growth and some of the best years of my life.
However, as with all good things, they never last forever. I wanted to move on with my life and challenge myself in new ways that would build on my international business experience. Few times in a young person’s life does he or she have the ability to literally choose anywhere in the world to live – I chose CU Boulder for my MBA, much in the same way that it chose me. The application process was one of self-reflection and exploration that while taxing at the time, was ultimately an excellent exercise in finding where I belonged. I haven’t looked back since.
I’m heavily involved in the program – aside from academics; I’m the VP Social Activities, Co-Director for the Net Impact Case Competition, a Leeds Ambassador and an MBA blogger. I find that I’ve gained just as much, if not more, from my relationships with alumni, staff and my colleagues through these activies as I have in the classroom.
Finally, I’m very pleased to begin my summer internship with Encana Oil & Gas in Denver. However, that’s only after a tour in China for the month of May with the Global Perspectives: The Rise of China class.
It may seem like a lot, but one day at a time, it’s been one of the most fulfilling years of my life.
Stay tuned for more! – Will