When we last checked in on Cohort 17’s Christine Tonn, she had completed the Executive MBA program and was applying her newfound knowledge and skills to her role as Chief Financial Officer for Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, Nevada’s only outpatient cancer clinic for children.
As she had already achieved a C-suite position, Christine didn’t think she could climb any higher within the organization. That, however, was not the case, as she was named President in January 2022. Now, she’s able to oversee all divisions within the nonprofit and apply business strategies she learned during the EMBA program to the group’s mission of advancing cures and prevention of childhood diseases “through clinical excellence, research, and innovation.”
We caught up with Christine – now three years beyond the EMBA – to see how she’s doing and what she took away from the program.
What made you decide to pursue the EMBA program and why did you choose UNLV?
Christine Tonn: I was the Chief Financial Officer, and I was not anticipating a job promotion, I was just pursuing professional development. I chose UNLV because I wanted a traditional in-person education and the concierge aspect of the program was incredibly beneficial with my busy schedule. I also appreciate the accreditation* held by the program.
What were the biggest challenges of the program? How did you overcome them?
Christine Tonn: The biggest challenge was the time commitment. It took time from my family. My husband picked up the slack with our children and made it work. I could not have done it without his support.
What aspects of the program are you able to apply to your day-to-day professional life?
Christine Tonn: The education I gained, coupled with merely completing such a demanding program while working full-time and raising a family, changed my thinking. It elevated how I approached aspects of my job and gave me the confidence to move out of my comfort zone and accept a new position.
Do you feel that your life has changed since attending UNLV? In what ways?
Christine Tonn: It absolutely has. I believed I would end my career as a CFO and instead I am now the President. I went in just wanting to pursue professional development to be better at my job. I now hold a position I never considered prior to completing the EMBA program.
What advice do you have for future cohorts taking the program?
Christine Tonn: It is really hard work. Do it anyway.
* UNLV’S Lee Business School is among just 189 business colleges and schools worldwide to hold international dual accreditation in business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).