Renée Fishel’s initiative has been a driving force throughout her career.
For women in male-dominated industries, certain tools are critical in order to stand out and progress through your career. To Renee Fishel, Engineering Manager at IBM, the quintessential tool is an MBA degree.
The Quantic MBA encompassed her passion for inclusivity, diversity, and tech innovations. “After reaching out to many alumni and current students of the program, I was happy to hear that they unanimously informed me of its effectiveness, the wide-networking opportunities, and the engagement platform on which the program was built. All those elements put together convinced me that Quantic was the program for me.”
Renee knew that she had the technical expertise, but the MBA was an instrument that legitimized and formalized her leadership instincts and differentiated her from her colleagues. She gained the confidence to put herself forward for promotions and she advises other female engineers to be confident in the pursuit of managerial positions earlier in their careers.
When Renée’s not working with incredibly brilliant teams at IBM, she’s mentoring Women In Tech, speaking at conferences (such as a recent Quantic Conference), and writing content for TheHealthyMBA.com. In addition to her MBA from Quantic, she is also a CSM and PMP.
She emphasizes the role of leadership in working to build diverse teams and foster a more inclusive environment.
Continue reading to learn more about Renée’s career and experience at Quantic.
What motivated you to pursue an MBA?
I was exploring how to further advance my career and when looking up job descriptions of roles I wanted to pursue, many of them said that an MBA was preferred. That was the catalyst that motivated me to explore MBA programs.
Why did you select Quantic?
For a long time I was skeptical about getting an MBA due to the sheer cost of it. Additionally, the idea of needing to quit my current job to pursue a degree seemed counter-intuitive. Knowing Quantic was flexible enough to let me keep my day job and use what I was learning on a daily basis within my current career was a real ‘eureka’ moment for me. When checking the cost, I couldn’t believe how reasonable it was, especially considering what I was gaining.
I also wanted to make sure that this program was competitive and offered a similar curriculum to what I would get at a more traditional institution. After reaching out to many alumni and, at the time, current students of the program, I was happy to hear that they unanimously informed me of the effectiveness of the program, the wide-networking opportunities and the engaging platform that the program was built on.
All of those elements put together made me convinced that Quantic was the program for me.
How would you describe your experience with Quantic?
It was great. I loved the projects which got me connected with other members of my cohort and helped me learn from them while reinforcing how much I bring to the project as well. I especially liked the adaptability of the platform.
I also really like the opportunities to speak with the professors to prepare for upcoming exams.
Overall it was an amazing experience. I definitely spent a significant amount of time studying, preparing the capstone project with my team, and working on case study projects; however, I can’t imagine having been able to do that with any other program and still maintaining a work/life balance. I know for a traditional program, I would have needed to quit my full time job to make time to attend in-person/virtually scheduled lectures, as opposed to a self-paced learning structure.
Quantic was an experience I will always be grateful for.
As you consider your Quantic learning experience, what’s been most impactful to you?
As I was going through the Quantic program and learning different concepts and strategies, I noticed myself getting more confident to join conversations with others that previously I would have felt unqualified to be in. I started chiming into more strategic discussions, providing my opinion and insight and really focusing on the business value behind the work.
It was definitely acknowledged by my management that I was working very hard to achieve a level of recognition through my work and outside education. When I originally asked about getting a promotion to the position I wanted, I was told it was common practice within the company to have to wait for 2 years or more to fully prove yourself before having that conversation. I was given additional responsibility after just a few months in the company, and then moved to a more strategic role just after the year mark. Then a few months later, I was promoted to a manager and now manage a team of 10. That all happened in less than 1.5 years.
I think the greatest gift that Quantic gave me was the understanding of how companies define success and the tools needed to get there. That helped me position myself in a way that showed I was on a path to make my team and my company more successful.
What most interests you about being a Quantic advocate?
The ability to guide others on their continued education journey. I’ve already spoken to a lot of people through LinkedIn answering their questions on why I chose Quantic and what I gained from the program. I suppose in a way, I was already acting like a Quantic advocate without realizing it. I love promoting a program that gave me so much. I also see such a bright future for Quantic that I love the idea of being there alongside its journey to greatness.