Heath Mayer is accustomed to change. In fact, she thrives on it.
So our MBA staff sat down with her to discuss how the UNG MBA program has changed her view of the business world and how she intends to use her new knowledge to change the path of her career.
Originally from Lafayette, Mayer attended Louisiana State University. She began her studies at LSU in biochemistry, then computer science before deciding electrical engineering was a better fit for her skills and interests.
She supported herself at LSU by working part-time for a software firm. It was there that she learned practical problem-solving skills and the tricks to working as part of a team on software projects. After graduation, even though the work wasn’t squarely in her field of study, Mayer decided to stay on full-time.
“My engineering degree has helped my software career,” she says. “One thing it tells employers is that I know how to problem-solve. I’ve gone through a difficult curriculum, I’m an analytic thinker and I know how to solve problems.”
Her firm was purchase by Equifax and Mayer relocated to the Equifax headquarters in Atlanta a few years ago. She currently works in the Alpharetta office.
Fighting to Achieve
Mayer thrives on new career experiences and makes an effort to change positions every few years.
“After two or three years, I feel like I’ve grown as much as I can and added as much value as I can in that position. I don’t want to stagnate. I think it’s dangerous to let yourself become complacent in one role. You have to keep pushing yourself.”
And Mayer does keep pushing herself – she’s a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. During a job interview, she was once asked what made her so sure that she’d be able to handle the job. She answered simply that if she could fight someone bigger and stronger in the ring, then she must have the tenacity and skill to get the job done.
What Mayer learned in the ring carries over into her career. Not only did it help her land the job she really wanted, she’s gained a confidence in herself and her abilities. Even if she doesn’t have a particular skill or a bit of knowledge necessary to perform a job well, fighting has taught her that she can learn quickly and adapt to virtually any situation.
Earning an MBA
It seems like Mayer already has everything a young professional could want: a career on-track for advancement, work she enjoys and a home of her own. So, why earn an MBA now?
“I’ve always wanted an MBA. If nothing else, it will get my foot in the door to interview for the jobs I really want.”
Mayer did her due diligence and investigated several metro-area MBA programs, including Emory University. But she chose UNG specifically because the program isn’t available online and the small setting encourages students and professors to talk regularly.
“I like the idea of coming to a classroom and being able to talk to professors and other students. And, UNG is a great value.”
And once the decision was made, Mayer wasted no time getting started. She’s already putting what she’s learned to use.
“I work between technology and sales, so I work on both the revenue and expense sides to build business cases and manage projects. I’m finding that I understand some of the financial terms I didn’t previously understand,” says Mayer. “I can also address topics in leadership better. The teams I work with aren’t my direct-line reports, so I don’t have direct control. I just have to get 50 people to want to follow me and keep the project moving.”
What’s next for Mayer when she graduates in 2014?
“My passion is in technology. I’ve been fortunate to have managers that have recognized my strengths and weaknesses, given me confidence and guided me where I need to go. I think the MBA program will also help build my confidence to reach for higher level positions.”
For a chance to meet Heath Mayer, UNG’s MBA Director Kelli Crickey, and other students and professors in the MBA program, please register to attend an Information Session.