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6 MBA Careers That Show It’s Not All About Consulting And Finance

The MBA careers of these six alumni from American University Kogod School of Business show the versatility of paths on offer for graduates


Fri Feb 7 2020


MBA careers come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not all about landing a big consulting or finance role—there are a plethora of paths graduates can follow. Alumni from American University’s Kogod School of Business work in pharmaceuticals, cybersecurity, and even the National Football League (NFL).  

The 21-month, full-time MBA offers a myriad of electives that allow Kogod students to tailor their degree according to their interests. You could try strategic human capital management, global media, peace and human rights, and more.   

From the get-go, MBA students can attend private talks with top execs from various local businesses. Based in Washington, DC, the business school is also often visited by some of the biggest names in American business, like IBM, Marriott International, and PayPal. Top employers of Kogod MBA graduates include Amazon, Raytheon, and Deloitte. 

But outside of traditional MBA jobs, there are a huge variety roles on offer after graduation. Here are six MBA careers you may not have considered.   

Mark Murphy : President and CEO, Green Bay Packers (NFL) 

From 1977 to 1984, Mark Murphy (right*) existed far outside the corporate world. He played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and even won the Superbowl in 1983.  87c44fbd0675e6807e41e17eae6fe84dfe66a426.jpg  

1983 was a big year for Mark. As well as being the penultimate year of his professional career, he obtained an MBA from the Kogod School of Business. After stints as athletic director at Northwestern University and Colgate University, he then blended his football expertise with his business acumen and became the president and CEO of the Green Bay Packers.    

The Packers are the only nonprofit and community-owned major league sports team in the US, and under Mark’s reign they picked up Super Bowl XLV, in 2011.   

*Image © Elvis Kennedy via Flickr used under this license

Danielle Hart : Assistant General Counsel, Lockheed Martin   

e66d8f7d826b0abf3d87c3de35b1c89af5414485.jpeg Danielle worked as a judicial intern at DC Superior Court before she decided to pursue an MBA. She continued to work full-time as an attorney at Randolph Law while she studied at Kogod from 2010 to 2014.    

After graduating with her MBA in consulting, she landed position at Lockheed Martin in September 2017––one of the biggest global security and aerospace companies in the world; in 2013, 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon went to Lockheed Martin.

Louisa Kwan : Senior Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering 

Disney is one of the most globally recognized brands, with a net worth well over $100 billion. There’s a huge workforce behind the enterprise and Louisa has been part of it for more than three years. 

She has produced media content, such as immersive room projects and integrated show sets, for Tokyo Disneyland attractions like Beauty & the Beast and Minnie Style Studio, as well as for Pandora––The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.   

She is no stranger to the film and media industry, having also spent more than 11 years with Sony Pictures Imageworks. Louisa was a digital production manager for American Sniper, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Suicide Squad 

In the midst of all of this, Louisa attended Kogod School of Business, graduating with an MBA in International Business in 2000.   

 Alok Sonig: CEO Of US Generics & Global Head Of Generics R&D And Biosimilars, Lupin  


Pharmaceuticals and medical technology are huge markets. Alok is the CEO of US generics and the global head of generics R&D and biosimilars at Lupin. His current focus is on developed markets in North America, Japan, and Europe.    

The company is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Mumbai and is, based on revenue, the eighth-largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world. 

Alok obtained an MBA in marketing and strategy at Kogod School of Business early on in his career. He’s used what he learned to design integrated processes, build networks, and deliver on company growth. 

Ali Al-Dhaheri : Founder and ChairmanAbu Dhabi University 

In 2003, Kogod MBA Ali Al-Dhaheri oversaw the launch of the Abu Dhabi University and now sits as its chair.    

Before this, he was the managing director of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), which is the largest exhibition center in the Middle East.    

Proving himself to be particularly versatile and ambitious, he’s had a hand in establishing a wide array of business ventures across many industries––from asset management to environmentally-conscious construction––as well as working with the government in Abu Dhabi on social and construction initiatives. 

 Mary Ellen Seale : Founder and CEO, The National Cybersecurity Society (NCSS)   

Mary graduated from Kogod with an MBA in finance in 1996. From there, she worked her way up and amassed over 30 years of intensive governmental experience; the majority of that time was spent working for Homeland Security.

In 2006, Mary was appointed director of the office of administrative operations at Homeland Security and ended her time there in October 2018 as the deputy director of the National Cybersecurity Center.   

As deputy director, Mary facilitated information sharing and collaboration among federal government cybersecurity organizations and would coordinate weekly cyber defense operations. 

She used her experience to launch a nonprofit, educational company designed to provide up-to-date, accurate information on cybersecurity and cyber threats called the National Cybersecurity Society (NCSS). She says all businesses should have a free go-to place for advice and accurate information on all cyber threats and security tips.   

Student Reviews

Kogod School of Business - American University




On Campus

Clean and well maintained campus

I am completely enamored with this school. The entire student body is driven, inclusive, and highly intelligent. The decision to attend American University is not made haphazardly. Its close proximity to Washington DC, making it one of the most strategically located schools after Georgetown, means it's just a short train ride away. The campus is well-maintained, with mostly attractive buildings, although there are a few that are less appealing. Additionally, there are numerous excellent food options available. The wide range of clubs and organizations to join is remarkable. It is undeniably a school filled with immense passion.




On Campus

City life

I’m having a wonderful time at American University. I love that I can get to a big city and still feel like a traditional campus. Sincerely, it is a school that may require some adjusting to, but in the end, it is a very good school with numerous opportunities for its students. The atmosphere in AU is so great that it pushes you in a positive way and offers every opportunity you could want.




On Campus

Amazing helpful professors

American College is an incredible school with astounding teachers. Best professors I could have asked for at an amazing school. My opinion is that American University's professors are its greatest asset. They are extremely intelligent and always eager to assist their students. They go above and beyond in their classes to make sure that their students do their best.




On Campus

AU Review

The workload is quite high and AU is definitely not an "easy" school. Students take their studies very seriously and can almost always find a group in the library, DAV, Starbucks or MGC. Courses can be quite ambitious if the right courses are offered and the admissions process can be confusing at times, but with the help of an advisor it is quite easy to navigate. The library can be crowded, and while it's not huge, there are plenty of other places to study on campus. The professors really want to help during office hours and interact with students. I've had good experiences with the professors and workload at AU, but it's an expensive city.




On Campus

Majoring in Political and International Relations

The instructors are unique and the classes can be boring at times. Check-in is stressful (but it is everywhere). The workload is what I expected. The most popular majors are international relations and political science




On Campus

I Love Being A Musical Theater Major

I love being a musical theater student, if you want to help behind the scenes, if you want to be an assistant director, if you want to be a director, if you want to write, you can do anything at this academy, very supportive, it's amazing, they are always there to help you. This is their working time. Even after the audition tells you what you did wrong, you can do better, or if you get picked, you know why they picked you, which is great




On Campus

AU's Business Model

Overall, there were a lot of good opportunities at UA, both in terms of course range and faculty. However, I had a few complete misfires. People who shouldn't have taught at all. Like all universities, AU's business model is to hire hands-on assistants so they don't have to pay them extra or perform well. They are signed and if that does not work, they are not hired any more. The problem with this is that you end up with people who are unqualified and bring their own agendas, biases that may or may not be based on research. Most of the professors were absolutely fantastic.




On Campus

AU - The Real Problem With Academics

Some teachers are amazing, some awful - typical of any school. But the real problem with AU is that many students don't care about academics as much as other things (eg, partying). The academics are really interrupted by the Greek life and the social life of the students. This makes it difficult for students interested in academics to get the most out of their school experience. Some students do not take classes seriously and do not respect teachers and other students. Courses and opportunities at UA are perfect for people who want to take advantage




On Campus

American University - The Best Place to Study

They know their stuff - I chose American University because the campus is beautiful and the biology program is relatively small. But after the first semester, I realized that all the professors, especially the people in the science department, are experts in their field. They are enthusiastic and helpful in lecturing; even the TAs who teach the labs are amazing and engaging.