2022 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Dana Drouillard, Michigan State (Broad)

Dana Drouillard

Michigan State University, Eli Broad College of Business

Age: 26

“Self-driven young professional, determined to make a positive impact in their personal and professional life.”

Hometown: Birmingham, MI

Family Members: David and Pam Drouillard (parents), Ross Drouillard (brother), Jacob Scott (fiancé)

Fun fact about yourself: Several years ago, I had the opportunity to ride in General Motors’ Autonomous Vehicle on the busy streets of San Francisco.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Michigan State University, Supply Chain Management

Where are you currently working? General Motors, Senior Buyer

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

Class Representative, EMBA 2022

Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society

GM Workplace of Choice Team

GM/MSU Recruiting Team

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was winning the 2022 EMBA Pitch Competition with my team (Charles Johnson, Megan King, and Tim Ely) for our Entrepreneurship class. It was a great experience pitching our idea against 20 teams, to alumni judges and our fellow classmates from all EMBA cohorts (Troy, East Lansing, and Flex). The class of 2022 is the first Flex cohort for the MSU EMBA program, so having the opportunity to represent our cohort and win was an awesome experience!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Working in global purchasing and supply chain, I am extremely proud of all the hard work and challenges we have overcome over the last two years, as we have faced several large crises. From COVID lockdowns to semiconductor shortages to global supply chain disruptions, the last two years have been extremely challenging for my organization and our suppliers. We have proven what we are capable of as an organization, and it has been amazing to be a part of. I truly believe I am part of the best Purchasing & Supply Chain team in the automotive industry.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was Marilyn Johnson, who taught several of our accounting courses. She is extremely bright and did a great job providing us with the relevant tools we need to be better overall business professionals.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? I chose Michigan State University’s EMBA program for several reasons. The people and culture at MSU are contagious and offer an awesome environment for collaboration and learning. As with many things in life, you can’t get through the program without your team. The EMBA faculty spends a lot of time prior to orientation creating the teams. Each team is diverse, spanning across various ages, cultures, professions, and industries. The emphasis on team is profound throughout the program, as you are with the same team for the entire 20 months, allowing the opportunity to grow into an effective and collaborative group.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The biggest lesson I gained during my MBA is how to think more strategically and encourage that thinking among your team. As business professionals, we need to make quick decisions every day, but there are also problems that require intentional, strategic thinking. I now have more knowledge and awareness of potential biases and am armed with the tools to mitigate those biases in the decision-making process.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? During the executive MBA program, juggling work, family, and education, I became very appreciative of time management and how to be efficient. I learned the importance of planning ahead and what to prioritize. Several times, I had late-night global work calls that conflicted with a school meeting or assignment that was due. You must lean on your support system to remain successful in getting it all done.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Going through an executive MBA program is a commitment. My biggest advice would be to evaluate what that means to you individually to truly commit to the program and get the most out of your experience. Have the discussions with your family, friends, and coworkers prior to starting the program to ensure you have the right support system in place, because you cannot do it alone.

What was your biggest regret in business school? You often hear that your time in the MBA program flies by. It may not feel like it at times, but once you are done and reflect back, it does go quickly. Although I don’t have any regrets, I would recommend being present during team meetings, class discussions, and coursework so you can really enjoy the journey.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my EMBA classmates who became mothers during our 20-month program (Megan King, Caitlin Toohy). Their hard work, perseverance, and determination to continue being strong teammates and classmates, all while welcoming a new baby into the world, was admirable.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? The executive MBA program attracts many talented individuals and provided me the opportunity to network and learn from their experiences. I was able to apply what I was learning in the classroom on the weekends directly to my work during the week.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Progress into various leadership roles of increased responsibility, create meaningful relationships, and continually grow and challenge myself in each role I take on.

What made Dana such an invaluable addition to the class of 2022?

“Dana is an excellent example of what it means to be the Brightest and Best. Her ability to execute a plan in an accelerated format shined when she was elected as a class representative to speak on behalf of her cohort. Dana took this role earnestly by providing program administration with powerful ideas to optimize the classroom experience for fellow students. Additionally, she arranged multiple social and networking events to foster relationships outside of the academic setting.

Dana has gained the deepest respect from her colleagues through her ambitious drive and empathy. Her peers have described Dana as hardworking, accountable, and passionate. Not only was Dana recognized for educational excellence through the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, she and her teammates were selected as the Class of 2022 Pitch Competition winners.

It is truly an honor to nominate Dana for this recognition as she will now join an elite group of individuals creating positive change for our business world.”

Kara Tripi
Broad Executive MBA, Assistant Director


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