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profile:Tamu_Hutchinson-Brown
Tamu Hutchinson-Brown 730

Tamu Hutchinson-Brown

Executive MBA, Class of 2007

Director of Information Technology and Resource Management
Center for Youth Services Inc.
Alumni

YMCA 200As a staffer at a small local nonprofit agency, Tamu Brown-Hutchinson saw earning an MBA as an investment in her potential as an employee. Brown-Hutchinson joined the Center for Youth Services Inc. as a temporary employee and worked her way up to a valued member of the team. The Center provides a variety of services, including counseling, prevention education, street outreach, and emergency shelter to some 23,000 children and teens each year.

In 2005, as a member of the Center’s development department, Brown-Hutchinson knew that some advanced leadership skills would go a long way toward furthering her own goals, as well as boost the Center's return on investment. But the challenge of balancing work, school, and a personal life seemed daunting.

"I was considering enrolling in a full-time program, while continuing to work," she says. "I knew that would be a real test of my personal perseverance."

After looking at other programs in the area, Brown-Hutchinson attended a general information session at the Simon Business School.

At the session, a Simon counselor mentioned the Executive MBA program to her as an option to traditional full-time study. One of the benefits of the Simon School's EMBA program is that it is designed for working professionals. Students in the program meet on Friday and Saturday every other week, reducing the number of workdays lost by students and their employers. The standard program length is 22 months.

"I wasn’t a high-level executive, though," Brown-Hutchinson says. "I didn't think I would fit in. But I did."

Brown-Hutchinson began her EMBA studies in fall 2005, with the help of the Greater Rochester Enterprise’s scholarship program. The program targets managers of small- to mid-size local firms and nonprofit organizations who can benefit from a business education by offering 50 percent tuition grants to 15 qualified individuals who live and work in the greater Rochester area.

Her Simon Business School experience helped broaden her skills in ways she hadn’t expected, she says. Her classes in statistics helped her better understand the capability of the Center's databases and from that created a strong interest in information technology. And she was surprised at how she actually enjoyed studying finance with the exceptional professors.

But, the best part of the experience is what she learned from her fellow students. In the program, students work in teams of four. Each member of the team comes from a different career background. "Our interactions really helped propel me forward," she says. "I learned so much listening to how people from different professions solved problems. And I could bring their approaches back to my job to give us all a different perspective."

Brown-Hutchinson was awarded her degree in spring 2007. As a staff member of a nonprofit agency, she knows will never likely command huge salary gains as many grads in the private sector will. "But my work environment is very important to me. And this is a place where I feel comfortable and I can fit in."

To honor her new degree, the Center's management created a new position for her: director of information technology and resource management. In that capacity, Brown-Hutchinson is using her Simon education to help advance herself on the nonprofit career ladder, while also advancing the mission of the agency and the services it offers.

Tamu Hutchinson-Brown Hutchinson

"Our interactions really helped propel me forward," she says. "I learned so much listening to how people from different professions solved problems. And I could bring their approaches back to my job to give us all a different perspective."

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