Applying New Skills
Joyesha Chesnick, MBA
'11, an editor by trade,
found the field project
portion of her Evening
MBA to be one of the
Editor, Kids' View Communications
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Joyesha Chesnick came to the Evening MBA program at the Eller College with 20 years of experience as a print journalist.
She earned her undergraduate degree in history and political science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, then completed an MA in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“After graduate school – the first time around – I went to work at USA Today as a designer and graphics reporter,” she said. After that, she relocated to Tucson. “I spent about a decade reporting on the environment, courts, and social services for the local papers – first the Tucson Citizen and then the Arizona Daily Star – before setting off on my own as a freelancer,” she said. “I'm currently an editor at a family-oriented newspaper with a circulation of about 200,000 in Arizona.”
It was then that Chesnick began to rethink her career plans. “Unfortunately, print journalism is a less than stable industry at this time,” she said. “I decided to pursue an MBA so I could add to my skill set.”
The Eller Evening MBA is an 18-month program that meets just one night per week to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Work obligations typically preclude Evening MBA students from participating in the real-world consulting field projects that Full-Time MBAs complete, but, said Chesnick, “my job is really flexible, so I was able to make the time commitment.”
Chesnick was part of a small team of MBA students who completed a field project for Microsoft. “Having spent almost 20 years in a newsroom, I didn't have corporate experience,” she said. “I felt the field project would give me some of the exposure I was missing.”
In addition to having the chance to apply skills gained through her coursework, Chesnick found that her existing experience matched well with the project requirements. “The project required conducting significant interviews, which of course was right up my alley,” she said. “In addition, we had to write a lengthy paper that required editing.”
In all, she said, the project amounted to one of the best class experiences she has had in the program. "As a career-changer, I needed some hands-on experience in a corporate environment,” she said. “The advanced field project not only provided me glimpse into the workings of a world-renowned company, it helped me figure out how I could apply the skills I acquired during almost 20 years in journalism to a business-related problem."
Going forward, Chesnick said she is planning to launch a business with a classmate.