Tiffany Lee, MBA ’17

Author: Lynn Freehill-Maye

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An Accountant Adds Up the Benefits of a One-Year MBA                                                                                                            

Tiffany Lee, MBA ’17, makes an efficient pivot to banking

A decade into her work as a Certified Public Accountant, Tiffany Lee reached what could have been a career plateau. She was offered a solid and stable career as senior associate with the global firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Yet Lee wanted to move beyond subjects she knew well, like auditing and accounting, to explore fresh areas and pursue a new job in her native south.

 Precisely one year later, with an efficiency any number-cruncher would admire, Lee has met both goals via the University of Notre Dame’s One-year MBA program. This fall she’ll join Bank of America’s well-respected leadership development program in Charlotte, becoming a consumer banking associate with rotational exposure to multiple facets of the national institution’s business.

“Getting a Notre Dame MBA was extremely critical to my next steps,” Lee says. “Now I’m able to leverage different aspects of my background for a new purpose.”

The express route toward achieving her aims started early in the fall, when Lee met with her Career Services coach multiple times. They talked strategies for achieving her objectives, especially which companies to target. When they arrived at the idea of Bank of America, her coach helped her explore its corporate culture by connecting her with Notre Dame students who were finishing internships there. Next she tapped into the University’s alumni network, talking to at least seven alumni for insight about the program she would be joining.

As the months went by, Lee also grew her analytical skills through her MBA coursework. Classmates became sources of support and friendship. And professors helped through a general open-door policy and a generosity of time and spirit, she says. Even with her previous business background, she came away both more knowledgeable and inspired. “My tool belt is packed full now and ready to be used in a different way,” she says.

Lee even took the initiative to earn her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification through a semester course at Mendoza, adding new skills to her already impressive resume. Six Sigma is a program that helps business leaders streamline their companies’ manufacturing and production processes. Lee took advantage of what she calls the “massive” Lean Six Sigma presence on the Notre Dame campus, taking on a project at a South Bend-area high school and sitting for an intense certification exam just before graduation.

Next up for Lee: Planning trips to see family and friends, and acting as self-described cheerleader for the University and the opportunities it offers. “Notre Dame has been a truly magical experience for me,” she says, “and I can’t wait to share that with others, whether they’re family or friends or mentees I’ve met along the way.”