Why would a senior-level executive decide to pursue his MBA? That’s a question Troy Jenkins asked himself after a highly successful 28-year career that saw him rise through the ranks of numerous ad agencies, data-driven marketing firms, and high-tech start-ups.
Over the years, Troy’s professional ambition, experience, and impeccable reputation helped him receive one new opportunity after another. From VP Account Director at McCann Erickson Worldwide, he became VP of Client Services at higher-ed marketing firm Datamark, where he was primarily responsible for growing existing clients and providing strategic marketing plans.
One thought, though, remained in the back of his mind: “I saw where the industry was going. To get to that SVP level, I had to get my MBA.”
Troy’s responsibilities for managing larger teams made him realize he needed to sharpen his skills in areas like finance and leadership. Western Governors University was his client at McCann, and he recalled how WGU’s online MBA program is designed for experienced business professionals focused on advancing their careers.
“WGU offered me the ability to learn two critical things that my bachelor’s degree hadn’t addressed,” he said. “It allowed me the opportunity to develop a philosophy on how to manage people and get the best out of those people.”
At WGU, Troy studied leadership and the issues managers face. He also learned the value of competing in international markets and determining the risks and rewards of diversification strategies. When he graduated with his MBA, he had the knowledge, skills, and confidence to analyze the global market and identify opportunities to gain competitive advantage.
“The moment I received my MBA from WGU, it was life changing for me,” he said. “I was the first one in my family to get a bachelor’s degree. I’m the only one to have an MBA, and I’d love to be the first one to have a doctorate.”
After five more years building out marketing plans for clients like Exxon Mobil at McCann, organizations outside the ad agency world started noticing his accomplishments. In January 2018, Troy parlayed his experience and education into a dream job in Las Vegas working as VP of Client Services for MGM Resorts International.
MGM Resorts International is a global entertainment company with over 78,000 employees and is recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies®. The company is expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Now Troy manages a team responsible for providing strategic marketing and creative solutions to MGM’s 27 entertainment and resort properties around the world.
“I really lucked out when one of the business recruiters here picked up my résumé and gave me a call,” he said. “The opportunity that I’ve been given at MGM is one that I don’t take for granted.”
Regarding his path to achieve such a high level of professional success and his advice for others striving for the same:
“I think we should always be learning,” he said. “You’ve got to get that bachelor’s degree, but you also seriously have to consider an MBA. I love the process of education. It’ll only make me stronger as a leader within this organization. It is an amazing company. I hope I’m here through the end of my career.”