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Executive MBA students ranked as Best and Brightest in Class of 2022

By Haley Tran, student writer
Monday, October 3, 2022

The Broad College of Business is a familiar name for readers of Poets&Quants, with undergraduate and graduate students being recognized as Best & Brightest Business Majors and Best and Brightest MBAs for years. On Aug. 1, two Broad Executive MBA students were honored among some up-and-coming professionals in the nation.

Al Makke and Dana Drouillard from the Class of 2022 were honored on Poets&Quants’ list of Best and Brightest Executive MBAs, marking the fifth consecutive year — and the seventh year since 2015 — that Broad Spartans earned this recognition.

Al Makke headshot with Poets&Quants for Executives Best & Brightest 2022 logo

Al Makke (MBA ’22)

Makke is an engineering manager at Schaeffler Group, where he just celebrated his 10-year work anniversary. He’s part of a team that specializes in chassis systems for future vehicles and recently acquired a $350 million project with a new mobility equipment manufacturer, expanding the unit to more than 30 engineers in 12 months.

Makke is passionate about nurturing the next generation of innovators and paying it forward with his industry knowledge, helping to train this quickly growing team of engineers. Beyond his role at Schaeffler, Makke also lectures an undergraduate mechatronics course as an adjunct professor at Lawrence Tech University. He says the people he met at MSU shared his passion for giving back.

“This degree will introduce you to an extensive network of high-caliber professionals who are experts in their own rights — and a new understanding of ‘having time.’ I can now navigate complex business situations with more confidence, and I have a large network of business professionals that I can leverage for mentorship and advice,” Makke reflected on his time in the program.

“All in. That pretty much sums up Al Makke,” Greg Janicki, former program director, said. “I knew from the moment I met Al that once he committed to the Executive MBA journey, he would be all in. His dedication to learning and growth never wavered during the 20-month program. He wrung out every bit of value from the academic learning, team experience and professional network growth. And that dedication was not only to his own learning and growth, but also to those around him — Al was the ideal teammate and classmate.”

Dana Drouillard headshot with Poets&Quants for Executives Best & Brightest 2022 logo

Dana Drouillard (MBA ’22)

Graduating with a supply chain management bachelor’s degree from MSU, Drouillard kick-started her career at General Motors and worked her way up to a senior buyer position within five years. This young professional takes great pride in her work with global purchasing and supply chain at the Detroit-based automotive company and loves to inspire fellow Spartans to follow in her steps. She is a frequent campus visitor as a member of the General Motors–MSU recruiting team.

After a few years in the industry, Drouillard came home to her alma mater to continue her lifelong learning. The EMBA program offered her the opportunity to network with many accomplished individuals while creating meaningful connections and developing leadership skills.

“The people and culture at MSU are contagious and offer an awesome environment for collaboration and learning,” Drouillard said. “The EMBA faculty spends a lot of time prior to orientation creating the teams. Each team is diverse, spanning across various ages, cultures, professions and industries. The emphasis on team is profound throughout the program, as you are with the same team for the entire 20 months, allowing the opportunity to grow into an effective and collaborative group.”

At MSU, she was elected as a class representative of the EMBA Class of 2022 to speak on behalf of her cohort. Drouillard was devoted to her role, providing program administrators with innovative ideas to optimize the classroom experience for fellow students and organizing events to cultivate relationships outside of the academic setting.

Kara Tripi, associate director of the EMBA program, said Drouillard is a shining example of what it means to be the Best and Brightest. “Dana has gained the deepest respect from her colleagues through her ambitious drive and empathy. Her peers have described Dana as hardworking, accountable and passionate. Not only was Dana recognized for educational excellence through the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, but she and her teammates were also selected as the Class of 2022 Pitch Competition winners.”

The Broad College’s EMBA program is a premier public MBA program designed for working professionals. The 20-month collaboration-focused program offers a launching pad for career progression that transforms high potential into high performance.

Read more at Poets & Quants for Executives for in-depth interviews with Al Makke and Dana Drouillard.

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