Hannah Boundy, Online MBA
Hannah Boundy always knew she wanted to earn a graduate degree in business. But she didn’t realize that she’d be a full-time working mom, a published author, and the co-owner of a financial firm when she’d decide to pursue her MBA.
Hannah's career first began in finance as an investments analyst for a wealth management firm. “There's just a complexity to the financial markets that, when paired with human values and decision-making, fascinates me,” she said. As she grew in her role, she recognized that her work extended beyond traditional investment analysis. “We kept getting clients asking about things like wanting to retire, or asking how they can afford to pay for their child’s college education or wedding,” she said. “We were getting these questions that had a lot less to do with investing and more to do with helping clients pursue what they cared about.” Through these conversations, Hannah discovered a passion for helping clients, particularly other women, feel more comfortable with having meaningful conversations with their advisor about what matters to them. As Hannah put it: “I want women — and everyone — to feel really confident about their finances when they speak with their financial advisor and to feel empowered about what their wealth can do with regards to their goals and values."
The experience inspired Hannah to write a book targeted at women interested in financial advice. Her book focused heavily on how women can make confident decisions with their money and avoid unnecessary stressors when meeting with advisors. For the first time, Hannah was able to envision a future helping others positively engage with their financial advisor and build a meaningful financial legacy through accessible education.
Excelling as an Entrepreneur, Parent, and MBA Student
After becoming an author, Hannah went on to start her own financial services firm with a similar goal of educating and empowering clients. It was then she decided she wanted to refine her leadership style and gain business expertise she could leverage to manage and grow her firm.
Hannah began exploring online MBA programs that would offer both the quality and prestige of a top program and the flexibility to continue doing what she loved as an entrepreneur and a parent.
The Michigan Ross Online MBA program jumped to the top of her list. “I felt like it was going to be more than just checking boxes and getting a degree,” she said.
The program worked with me — they knew I wasn’t confining myself to traditional ideas of school and work, and they met me where I was as a mom, a business owner, and a student.
Once a student, Hannah experienced the benefits of the program's flexible scheduling. “One of the things that I love about the way they construct the program is you can go at your own pace. For me, with all that comes with being a parent and a small business owner, that's a big benefit,” she said. The ability to complete modules on her own time, while digging into the materials through action-based learning methods, is what Hannah believes keeps the program engaging.
We're not just learning the rules of business, we're learning how to make decisions as leaders in our field. We're learning how to approach business from a standpoint of creating meaningful connections for stakeholders, clients, and your team.
Hannah also says that interacting with her peers and professors has been overwhelmingly positive. “I think the teaching is one of the things that is so unique about the University of Michigan. Every person that I've interacted with is committed to upholding this great institution.” Hannah has been able to connect with her peers through classes that emphasize collaborative conversations and group work. “You drop into these sessions with a bunch of faces, and everyone just jumps in. It's fun to hear all the different stories of all the different people in the program. It’s an impressive group.”
On Remaining Resilient and Motivated
For Hannah, staying inspired while working and completing her MBA means taking advice from those she’s closest to: her kids. “Watching them display courage and grow up amid a lot of situational and social tensions — where everybody's just not sure how to show up — gives me hope that if they can be that resilient, then maybe I can be that resilient.”
As she continues to progress through the program, Hannah hopes those considering applying will also embrace a spirit of resilience. “I think this is just such an incredibly unique program, especially for people who don't want to leave their job or who want to maintain their priorities as a partner and parent. I think the business world is shifting, and I think Michigan is at the forefront of recognizing that,” she said. “This is possible, and you can do this if you want to. So, ask your questions, and reach out to current and previous students; we’d be more than willing to tell you about our experiences.”