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Organizational Excellence

Expanding Horizons

Poole staff continue their education in master’s and PhD programs at NC State and other institutions.

Poole College of Management’s staff are dedicated to helping students through their academic journey. Some of them experience first-hand how to find a balance between work, education and personal lives as they are completing graduate-level degrees of their own. Explore how with diligent planning and jampacked Google Calendars, they are excelling in the office and the classroom. 

Josh Agner with his wife and two children on a recent trip to Disney World

Josh Agner, Director of Business Services

Degree: Master of Business Administration, NC State University

Josh Agner has been with Poole College for three years and is currently enrolled in the Jenkins MBA program to get to the next step in his career.

“I work with my professors and then turn around and have them teach my classes,” said Agner. “I have to wear two different hats, one being the director of business services and one being their student. I do feel that I have the best professors I could possibly have and I know that from working with them and how hard they strive to achieve for their students.”

MBA 510 and MBA 512, thecourses on critical and ethical thinking, have been Agner’s favorite so far as it has taught him to think differently and from many perspectives. Agner has found the balance between work and school to be easy, but finds stress in balancing work and home life.

“If you have a significant other, and especially if you have kids, I think it’s important to talk to them and make sure everyone knows the commitment that it takes,” said Agner. “My wife has been amazing as she has helped with the kids when I have group meetings or assignments. I try and leave Saturdays open for a family day to make sure that I don’t do anything school-related if I can help it so that I don’t get burned out.”

Sarah Danaher wants to relate to prospective Jenkins MBA students by earning her MBA
Danaher is expected to receive her MBA from Winston-Salem State University in May 2024

Sarah Danaher, Admissions Recruiter

Degree: Master of Business Administration, Winston-Salem State University

As a recruiter for the Jenkins MBA program, Sarah Danaher felt a sense of responsibility to earn an MBA degree to be able to relate to prospective students. Through Winston-Salem State University, Danaher is expected to earn her MBA by May of 2024 and broaden her business acumen with subjects including economics, finance and project management.

“I have chosen to attend Winston-Salem State University’s MBA program in order to gain a fresh and broader understanding of North Carolina MBA offerings, especially one from the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) perspective,” said Danaher. “I have earned both my previous undergraduate and graduate degrees from HBCUs and hope to bring what I learn in the MBA program as well as my appreciation for cultural diversity and holistic development here to NC State.”

In her fall semester, Danaher was enrolled in a marketing strategy course where she worked on a group project that designed and implemented a marketing plan for Cone Health’s Mobile Mammography Unit. She enjoyed learning how to properly format a marketing plan, research the target market for the unit and effectively deliver a plan to help serve and provide on-location mammography screenings to women located within Guilford, Rockingham, Randolph and Alamance counties. 

“My advice to anyone considering an advanced degree while working full-time would be to take some time for self-reflection and do your research on finding the right program to fit your specific needs,” said Danaher.

Michael Dixon posing in front of the wolf statue on main campus
Dixon staying safe in an NC State mask at work

Michael Dixon, Associate Director of Admissions

Degree: PhD in Education Leadership, Policy and Human Development, NC State University

Michael Dixon considers himself a lifelong learner and enjoys working in the realm of scholarship as the associate director of admissions. After only one and a half years at Poole, Dixon began working towards his doctorate in education leadership, policy and human development with a higher education concentration at NC State’s College of Education. 

“This program allows me to continue my research while working full-time at Poole College,” said Dixon. “ I am working on research involving underrepresented minority students in U.S. higher education as well as comparative international education. I hope to continue my studies and to be able to use my research as a tool to implement policy changes to assist marginalized students in higher education practices, from the admissions process to graduation.” 

Maintaining the balance between school, work and personal endeavors like exercise and time for family and friends have become a priority for Dixon. So far in his studies, he has written an op-ed paper titled “Soaring Costs in Higher Education and Student Debt: Leveling the Playing Field for Low-Income and Ethnic Minority Students” and hopes to submit this op-ed to a newspaper or other source in 2022.

“It is a challenge, but a great opportunity,” said Dixon. “If you have the support you need at home, then I would say go for it!”

Morgan Holcomb, right, cheering on NC State at a football game

Morgan Holcomb, Assistant Director of Marketing

Degree: Master of Business Administration, NC State University

Morgan Holcomb has been with Poole College’s Marketing and Communications Office and is keeping her studies in-house through the Jenkins MBA program. Like many, Holcomb wanted to use an MBA to advance her career as well as apply the knowledge to her day job. 

“The MBA is one of the most affordable MBAs in the area and provides great job and network opportunities,” said Holcomb. “The MBA program also offers career support for a lifetime after graduation, which is a great service that many may not know that is available.”

With an anticipated 2023 graduation, Holcomb tries to not overload herself with too many classes per semester and tends to focus on schoolwork on the weekend. So far, she found MBA 561 with Stefanie Robinson, associate professor of marketing, the most memorable with insightful lectures she could apply to her roles as assistant director of marketing.