2021 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Adrienne Schmoll, Ohio State (Fisher)

Adrienne Schmoll

Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

Age: 42

Lifelong learner motivated to share with my family, friends, and community.”

“My daughter Emma said I am “Kind, positive, smart, adventurous, perseveres, protective, discerning, sharing, responsible, respectful.”

Hometown: Columbus, OH (born near Cleveland, OH)

Family Members: Husband Jerron, stepdaughter Katie (28), daughter Emma (8), daughter Anne (5) and son John (3)

Fun fact about yourself: I love music of all types and explore much with my husband; back in high school, I was in a show choir and currently I teach children piano.

Undergraduate School and Degree: The Ohio State University, BS in Computer Engineering

Where are you currently working? Worthington Industries, Sr. Advanced Analytics Manager

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Volunteered at Westerville Area Resource Ministry (Team Lead Mentor), Heritage Christian Church (Group Leader), LifeCare Alliance (Meal Delivery), Toastmasters International (President). Graduated in Computer Engineering with Distinction. Issued three patents with my team.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Confidence. My overall growth and deeper understanding into diverse business areas has grown my confidence to listen and ask more insightful and connected questions to support my colleagues. I also feel more accomplished at prioritizing and managing my time during this unique confluence of working full time while getting an EMBA with my supportive husband and three small children during a global pandemic when schools where closed or hybrid.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Say Yes. Over my career, I have been blessed with the opportunity to move across various roles: Technical Support, Product Management, Project Management, Supply Chain Management and Analytics Product Owner. Each transition required additional skills and knowledge to learn the new area and discipline fulfilling my want to continue learning. I encourage everyone to say yes to opportunities even when you don’t feel fully ready.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Ben Campbell. He taught economics during our first three months in the program. He incorporated his vast experience, studies, and humor to help us understand how the invisible hand and other key ideas are relevant to each of us in our differing industries and overall global economy. He is a skilled professor amenable to allowing conversations to flow and adjusting the course as necessary; this was particularly evident when the pandemic hit, and he allowed us to discuss it instead of historical references.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? It was the opportunity to learn from Fisher’s senior-level faculty who are experienced educators, researchers, and consultants for Fortune 500 companies, as well as from the diversified mix of classmates they select into a cohort encouraged me to pursue application. The proximity to home and monthly schedule were critical for family and work schedules. Speaking with others who had completed the coursework gave me a better understanding of the network they built to share ideas and methodologies after graduation. This enabled me to complete my decision.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Confidence. My overall growth and deeper understanding into diverse business areas has grown my confidence to listen and ask more insightful and connected questions to support my colleagues. I also feel more accomplished at prioritizing and managing my time during this unique confluence of working full time while getting an EMBA with my supportive husband and three small children during a global pandemic when schools where closed or hybrid.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? COVID-19. After the pandemic hit in month four of our program, our classes and team calls were online. My children often sat with me to listen to the lectures, color pictures while I took notes or ask for help on their schoolwork since they were learning online from home too. My husband is the rock who helped me accomplish my MBA and I cannot thank him enough. I awoke early morning to begin classwork before everyone else, helped them with their studies in between my work meetings, and did my corporate work after hours to catch up as needed. I learned to balance the needs of family, work, and school in this unique and dynamic environment.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Ask yourself why? If it is just for the letters behind your name, I do not recommend pursuing. If it is to learn from others, share with others your successes and failures. Sacrifice some personal time, read many articles, and extrapolate learnings to your industry, then you are ready.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Camaraderie. Our small cohort easily integrated over the first three months. I can only imagine what it would have been like had the pandemic not required distance learning and cancellation of our immersion trips to Silicon Valley and China. Our cohort is a wonderful group of people, and we have met as often as possible; I am glad to have had this opportunity to get to know them.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Timmy McCarthy. Timmy listens intently and pieces multiple ideas and topics together, sharing his insights and curiosities with others. He willingly shares his new-found ideas, he provides thoughtful feedback to those whom he interacts, and he brings people together encouraging them and connecting them. He leads with generosity, honesty, and integrity.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? Experience & Time. The opportunity to learn from experienced classmates with varying backgrounds was a key deciding factor to pursuing my education. I wanted to be able to meet in person to know them and the professors on a deeper level than online would allow. My interest was not just to learn the material, but to understand how the others have applied and discuss scenarios together.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Challenge the Status Quo. I want to help drive the value and use of data in decisions acting as a senior leader empowering and encouraging others to challenge the status quo. I want to be involved in public boards of other organizations to help businesses grow such that they can positively support their communities and employees. I want to help communities educate and empower others to prosper and move out of poverty.

What made Adrienne such an invaluable addition to the class of 2021?

“I believe Adrienne’s character, professionalism and positive attitude made her an invaluable addition to the class of 2021. Adrienne was a very giving student and was admired by her classmates for her ability to successfully balance school, work and family. Her genuine interest in learning was only surpassed by her ability to master her classes as evidenced by being co-valedictorian of her cohort. Typically, one of the first students to arrive and one of the last to leave, she constantly contributed both personally and intellectually to the cohort.  Specific quotes from classmates include:

“Adrienne was always willing to help fellow classmates, both part of her team and outside of her team. She constantly volunteered when needed in class. Further, she participated in all outside functions, in an attempt to get to know everyone in the cohort”

“Insightful questions in the class, helping all her classmates with session planning and ever positive”

“Adrienne was always willing to listen and consider the thoughts and ideas of the group. She also kept us on track by sharing her planner Excel file. She has a beautiful mind!!”

“I would characterize Adrienne as a student with an engaging style, who is warm and approachable and has an energizing influence on her team and cohort. She has a clear bias for action; takes personal accountability and raised the bar for the entire EMBA cohort given her high standards of excellence which she practiced both inside and outside of the classroom. I have immense respect and admiration for Adrienne Schmoll and believe I echo the sentiments of the EMBA Class of 2021.”

Daniel D. Oglevee, MBA
Executive Director, EMBA
Sr. Lecturer, Finance
Department of Finance
The Ohio State University

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