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Nicole Andrews

Nicole Andrews, MBAMBA ’14 - Part-Time MBA Corporate Program
Current position: Human Resources Manager
Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP

By Nadeen Qubti

Nicole Andrews has Clemson orange running through her veins! She graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Management in 2005 and received her Master of Human Resources Development (MHRD) in 2013 and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Clemson in 2014.

After initially starting her career in sales, Andrews realized that she enjoyed developing and seeing other people succeed and took pleasure in creating a supportive environment, which encouraged her to transition into a career in human resources in 2010. Nicole currently focuses primarily on employee engagement and inclusion and diversity as the Manager of HR Programs at Dixon Hughes Goodman. "DHG leads with inclusion because it's one of the most critical pieces to retention," she says. "No matter how diverse your workforce is, you need to ensure that your employees feel included in order to support retention."

Nicole has had multiple roles and experiences that helped her develop her view on life and her career. Nicole's work philosophy is a reflection of her personal philosophy. "We all want meaning in what we do - the why. I want to be of service and create meaning for others," she explains. Her personal vision is to be a renowned authentic leader that teaches and inspires others to live their best life. She also desires to create dynamic organizational cultures through her work.

What is your favorite quote?

"What we know matters, but who we are matters more." - Brené Brown, Ph.D., Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

What is the best advice you have received?

I have a mentor who challenged me to create a vision for my life, which has been one of the single most important actions that I have ever taken. Having a vision helps me understand my "why" and how I can provide value to others. I have also been encouraged to stop striving for perfection since no one is perfect and to not be afraid to bet on myself or not let others define who I am.

Why did you choose to attend the Clemson MBA Program?

I am a business person at my core based on my initial start in sales. I wanted to couple my love for enhancing the people side of the business through furthering my understanding of all aspects of a business. Business acumen and continuous learning in any role is valuable. I was able to take what I had learned from my experiences and new concepts from the program and apply it within the workplace. The program is a high-quality program with a great reputation. The Clemson MBA's location in downtown Greenville surrounded by area businesses makes it even more convenient for working professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and contributions or full-time students looking to broaden their knowledge and networks.

How did your Clemson MBA experience shape your career path?

My experiences in the program gave me more confidence, exposed me to new ideas, and challenged my perspective.

What was your favorite class in the program?

My favorite class was the MBA Seminar Class. There was a discussion on political savviness in the workplace and several students expressed their refusal to "play politics." This discussion stuck with me because everyone learned that political savviness is an important skill that is needed to influence change and inspire future leaders. It is not about stepping on others to get ahead or exhibiting unethical behaviors. It is understanding the "unwritten rules" in any organizational culture and removing the focus from ourselves to identifying how to support others in the achievement of their goals.

Being politically savvy doesn't mean that you have to give up who you are in the workplace. It means that you can define what success means for you while also being mindful of others needs and concerns.

How did you maintain a work-life balance?

Schedule time to unplug from your regular study or project schedule - it's okay to take a day or two off to regroup with family and friends or re-energize through a hobby. Focus on taking care of yourself to avoid burnout.

What is your favorite Clemson MBA memory?

My favorite memory is attending the tile ceremony. Although finishing the program was bittersweet, the Clemson MBA Tile is a visual reminder to continue to reach for greatness in my career and life.

What piece of advice would you give to our current/future students?

Know what makes you different and unique. Education and experience are important, but it may be even more important to know how those make you uniquely different than any other MBA student and how you can use your talents to contribute to an organization. Differentiate yourself by reflecting on your personal brand and value proposition.

I believe that you also need talent, drive, and resilience in addition to your education and experiences to succeed on your journey. Although there may be stumbling blocks along the way, if you have the ability to bounce back and learn from both failures and successes, you can conquer anything and can help others do the same!