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A POWER TRIO—Jason Jones of Woodforest National Bank, Karen Farmer White, chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Education, and Eric Davis, a strategic business attorney, share their expertise with young professionals. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Most professionals, while contemplating their position in life or what their next career move should be, often question their choices and actions taken that have provided their current opportunities. Kira Covington, professional, entrepreneur and soon-to-be author, found herself in that situation.

“I was reflecting on my life and still pondering what direction I wanted my career to head in, years after obtaining my Master of Business Administration. I questioned if I wasted my MBA degree or had it contributed to my career journey thus far and will it have an impact on my future.”

WHAT ABOUT YOUR MBA—Kira Covington shares details about her book, “Don’t Waste Your MBA.”

Not wanting MBA graduates, MBA students and other business professionals to doubt their career decisions or to rest on their laurels, Covington is using her self-questioning, MBA and professional experience to embark upon a career of helping others not waste their MBA degree. “My message is that although your degree is a nice accomplishment, it does not mean you stop there when it comes to pursuing career goals. The degree may be the icing on the cake, but it is not the cake itself. You still have to work hard, network, continue to learn, differentiate yourself and so on.”

Covington’s efforts have accumulated to her establishing a social networking membership group which she considers a companion to her upcoming book, “Don’t Waste Your MBA–A Guide for MBA Graduates

Pursuing their Career Goals.” The group consists of peer-to-peer networking events providing members opportunities to share and discuss career goals and business topics, to learn about job-searching opportunities, entrepreneurship and marketing strategies. She indicated that there is a book club affiliated with the group, as well as a travel club where informal “Beach and Business” meet-up trips will take place with the purpose to continue conversations in a different type of atmosphere.

Her inaugural “Don’t Waste Your MBA” networking event carrying the theme, “Positioning Yourself,” was a success in Covington’s eyes. Her goal for the affair was to introduce herself and the “Don’t Waste Your MBA” brand to the public.

“Keeping in line with the purpose of the Don’t Waste Your Brand networking group, it also provided a networking environment for professionals from around the Pittsburgh area and hopefully reignited and continues to ignite a fire for achieving individual career goals from the conversation held by the panel discussion,” Covington said.

Panelists included Jason Jones, vice president of the community development division of Woodforest National Bank; Karen Farmer White; chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Education; and Eric Davis, a strategic business attorney.

Having a passion for helping people, utilizing his array of career experiences in the field of financing and management of people and systems has enabled Jones to connect current and potential borrowers with education opportunities.

While in retirement, White was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to serve as chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Education. White, the former vice president of education at WQED-TV, possesses an array of educational experience and has served on numerous community boards.

Experienced in structuring transactions, including joint ventures, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts and corporations, is what makes Davis a valuable resource to companies in need of a “strategic lawyer.”

A consensus of the panelists was that in today’s professional environment, no matter what field, tools to create a road to success and the way to position oneself is by having a passion for what you do, having a strong network and having an active mentorship base.

Network, make connections and get yourself known is advice White provided to the audience. She said participating on local boards often led to her jobs. She also identified being able to recognize and acknowledge strengths and weaknesses as being key. “You can’t be and do it all. Identify where you are strong and excel in that area but also understand where you are weak and need help.”

Roughly 50 people attended the event that was held at SPACES in Bakery Square, Aug. 8.

A Shady Side Academy graduate, Covington obtained a finance degree from Kent State University and received her MBA from Point Park University. Her professional experience is in industries ranging from finance and banking to real estate, to most recently attending a coding bootcamp and learning the basics of coding and programming.

“Don’t Waste Your MBA” is expected to be released next summer. Covington says the book shares her experiences and discusses different tips, advice, challenges, stories from others and encouragement. “It focuses on what individuals need or want to do to achieve the career goals they originally had and have created along the way.”

(For more information, go to http://www.dontwasteyourmba.com.)

 

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