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From Biology Finals to a Fortune 10 Company

By Hally Darnell

When Paul Zielinski (MBA Marketing ‘15) took second place in a marketing competition, he felt as though it was the final push he needed to take the plunge and pursue his MBA. When it came down to choosing the right program, the former high school science teacher explained that it was all about the people behind the Broad College of Business’ Full-Time MBA.

“Every campus has a personality, and that personality is reflected by the students,” Zielinski said. “After meeting some current students and the career services staff, I thought to myself, ‘This is exactly where I want to be’.”

Paul Zieleski
Zielinski took a major career jump from teaching to business, and Broad was the springboard to get him where he is today.

Fast-forward through a rigorous two-year program and now, Zielinski is part of a leadership development program at Fortune 10 company, General Motors where, once again, his decision-making came down to the people and the passion they have for the products they’re creating.

Zielinski, now in his second rotation with GM’s program, works with a team that leads cross-functional dialogues and strategies to facilitate how each of GM’s teams can work together to come up with a solution to shape the next generation of full-size SUVs.

While any MBA program can teach you the skills you need to be successful in the workplace, in the eyes of Zielinski, what separates Michigan State from the rest is the dedication to teaching students how to build relationships and communication skills, which is something he takes with him every day.

“The rote skills I gained through my MBA classes are fantastic, but the ability to walk into a room, lead a meeting, get everyone their instructions, and move on is the greatest thing I gained from the Broad College” he said.

Making a complete career change is no easy feat, but the Broad MBA program and the tireless community behind it are the first step in making major change possible.


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