“A celebration of spirit, stamina and success”: This is how Poets & Quants describes its Best & Brightest Executive MBAs Class of 2019 award.

Poets & Quants, a leading news website of higher education content, selects 100 executive MBA graduates each year from the top-ranked programs across the nation for its list of Best & Brightest.

“Bottom line: They are the EMBAs who ‘personify excellence in their programs through their contributions to the class, academic performance, extracurricular involvement, professional achievement, personal intangibles and unique personal stories,’” writes Jeff Schmitt, Poets & Quants senior writer.

For the class of 2019, two Broad executive MBAs have made this list: Kevin Day, vice president of technology at Thomson Reuters, and Rebecca Findlay, a project manager at Rivian Automotive.

Both Kevin and Rebecca chose to go back to school and make a weekend investment to gain lifelong returns, taking their careers to the next level. They had a desire to challenge themselves and achieve growth and advancement in their work. They found Broad’s Executive MBA program to be well applicable to what they were already doing and learned valuable lessons to take them even further.

Kevin Day (EMBA ’19), vice president of technology at Thomson Reuters (photo courtesy of Poets & Quants)

“The program material was highly relevant; I enjoyed discovering overlap with challenges from my job,” Kevin recalled. “For example, I was working with our finance department to establish capital and expense budgets for 2019. That very weekend we had an in-depth discussion in class on capitalizing software development. I discovered a flaw in my company’s strategy, so the finance manager and I discussed and corrected it the next Monday. That is one example of many throughout the program.”

While studying at Broad, Kevin was responsible for the annual delivery of $400 million in software and technology solutions, in addition to managing 400 employees (and 100 contractors) across eight different countries.

“Kevin has provided strong insight and significant contributions to our EMBA program,” said Cheri Declercq, assistant dean of MBA programs. “His experience, his intellectual curiosity and his collaborative drive have made him a valuable team member and a strong contributor. He is well-respected by his classmates and self-motivated to be his best self as an executive. Kevin has demonstrated his commitment to growth and strong, positive leadership in his organization, in the military and in our program. He’s a role model for many.”

Rebecca Findlay (EMBA ’19), project manager at Rivian Automotive (photo courtesy of Poets & Quants)

Rebecca managed several automotive projects to improve performance for her customers while pursuing her executive MBA at Broad. Specifically, she directed an electric vehicle prototype for a traditional domestic automaker.

“The number one thing I learned in my MBA that I take with me everywhere (personally and professionally) is related to communication,” she said. “Establishing open, honest and direct communication at the beginning with my stakeholders is paramount to our working success.”

MSU Executive MBA Director Greg Janicki knew right away that Rebecca would be a successful EMBA student, and he reflected on her journey at Broad. “Her dedication to the MSU EMBA experience is a model for future students,” he said. “She approached each semester, each course, each assignment with purpose and focus. It has been a true joy watching her grow and develop. I have no doubt she will create success wherever her career leads.”

Broad’s Executive MBA Program is ranked first for salary growth by graduation among Big Ten schools and second for career growth among U.S. public programs (The Economist). The Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan (pictured above) is one of three locations for the program, along with East Lansing and Detroit.