Elizabeth Richter knew she wanted to pursue her master’s in business administration (MBA). When she began looking for the right program with a concentration in supply chain management, she had to consider Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business because of its high ranking.

Elizabeth Richter.

Elizabeth Richter

But it was the interviews with alumni and faculty that sold her on the program. Michigan State University had the most globally diverse recruitment opportunities, she explained.

As the first year of her Full-Time MBA education comes to a close, Richter reflects on the fast-moving program that she said is preparing her well for her future career.

“Inside the classroom, Michigan State University has made a large push to make MBA students think innovatively,” Richter said. “This provides a competitive advantage for us when entering the workforce, as management expects MBAs to have all of the typical business skills. However, we have been trained to think outside of the box and to approach problems differently.”

Part of the difference is the small class size that allows students to build relationships and network with others in the program, no matter what year. Learning to network and leverage contacts is vital in one’s career, and learning how to do that has helped Richter while still a student in obtaining the Jane M. Klausman Scholarship for Women in Business.

Jane M. Klausman, a member of the Zonta Club of Syracuse, New York, and the 1990-1995 Zonta International Parliamentarian, established the scholarship in 1998. The scholarship is awarded annually to women pursuing undergraduate or master’s degrees in business management. Richter learned about the scholarship through the MBA program—from relationships built with MBA leadership.

“I am honored to be chosen and appreciate the financial help, but also see the real value in leveraging the impressive business skills of these strong women involved with Zonta, and I am thrilled to be connected to their organization,” she said.

Richter, who earned her undergraduate degree in marketing from West Virginia University summa cum laude, will spend her summer interning at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, working in the supply chain department focusing on global planning.

“This is a great opportunity for me to test a new industry along with a new focus within supply chain management, as my previous experience was indirect sourcing,” she said.

As Richter looks to the future—beyond her graduation from the MBA program in 2016—she hopes to work globally, at least for a period of time during her career. MSU’s global focus will help her attain that goal, she said.