Instead of Buying a Toupee and a Porsche, He’s Getting An EMBA

Tim Reid“Hi, my name is Tim and I’m addicted to utilizing every free second of time in my life.”

This fact drives my wife crazy at times but it’s who I am and it’s the guy she married so she’s stuck with me and my nonstop, energetic brain.  Sorry, honey!

I’ve been in the retail industry for 19 years with The Gap, May Company, and for the past 10 years, Macy’s Merchandising Group.  Currently, I’m the Group Vice President of Product Development and Design for Macy’s Men’s private branded apparel.

In addition to my career, I also love to run; completing five marathons and 13 half marathons over the past 10 years. This running was intertwined with fundraising efforts to support Team Fox and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Looking back to 2011, my life was go, go, go.  My road racing was in high gear and I was running nearly 40 miles a week in my training.  I worked a lot and my business was strong.  Additionally, I was traveling twice a year to Asia and Europe for work along with enjoying all that NYC had to offer with my wife and friends.  Every second was accounted for and life was great.

Then…a hard STOP!

A sharp pain in my surgically repaired left knee halted me mid-run in Central Park and ultimately led to another surgery to stabilize the dysfunctional joint. It also gave me some much needed time off from the race of life.  Right now, you are probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with getting an MBA?”

Well, the injury and subsequent time off allowed me to slow down and to reflect upon the first 19 years of my career and what would shape the next 19 years.  Throughout my career, I have advanced quickly with new experiences and responsibilities that have helped me to grow as an executive and a leader.  I had considered going back to school and earning an MBA but I always put it on the back burner for one reason or another.

However, the business landscape is changing more rapidly throughout the world than ever before.  Those that have the tools to best navigate it will be the most successful.  Companies want greater levels of engagement by consumers with their brands and products. Consumers are looking for differentiation and a reason to buy “yours over theirs.” Millennials are everywhere, requiring a different set of development needs than previous generations.  Technology advancements are exponential from online commerce to social media to mobile platforms and more.   Even something that sounds kind of scary called “Big Data” has crept into our vernacular.

I needed to gain an edge on the aforementioned and more while enhancing my innovation skills, leadership ability and business acumen in order to continue my upward career trajectory.  What were the other alternatives to an MBA? Talk to Tony Robbins? Ask my parents (they always know everything right)?  Read 74 self help business books.

Of course, the choice was an easy one for me once I was accepted to the NYU Stern Executive MBA program in May. It was a perfect fit for what I was looking for in a program.

  • A mix of intelligent, accomplished individuals from different industries, backgrounds and cultures who are all ready to accelerate their careers.
  • Professors who are experts in their fields who live and breathe their areas of specialty.
  • Multiple global study tour experiences that take you around the world to learn in-depth views of opportunities and challenges within foreign countries and regions.
  • The ability to customize the 2nd year curriculum to fit my specific developmental goals and interests.
  • A global network of over 100,000 alumni.

Some 19 years in and 19 years to go. This might sound like a mid-career life crisis, but instead of buying a toupee and a Porsche, I’m investing in an experience that will ignite the next phase of my career journey and life as well.

Tim Reid is getting an Executive MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has spent 19 years in the retail industry with The Gap, May Co., and for the past ten years, Macy’s Merchandising Group where he is group vice president of product development and design for Macy’s men’s private branded apparel

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