Meet Taylor Nelson + learn how he climbed the career ladder in Birmingham

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Making career moves and building relationships while you do it. Photo via Alabama EMBA

Hartselle, Alabama native Taylor Nelson wanted to move up in his career—so he made it happen. We learned how he did it, and now we get to share that insight and advice with you. Follow Taylor’s lead and take your career into your own hands with the Alabama EMBA Program.

Meet Taylor Nelson

Level up your career. Photo via Alabama EMBA

After getting his bachelor’s degree in business and venturing out into the business world, Taylor Nelson felt like he was at a bit of a tipping point in his career.

“I was kind of to the point in my career where I was trying to get to that next step, that next level…

I was right on the ledge of moving into a leadership position. I felt like the skills and the recognition of my MBA would bump me into that management realm.”

Taylor Nelson, 2019 EMBA Grad

Taylor graduated from the Alabama EMBA program in May 2019, and he now works as a Senior Planner/Scheduler for Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the nation’s largest privately-held construction firms.

We caught up with him to get some first-person insight on what the program is truly like, plus his best advice for anyone seeking to level up in their careers.

A New Degree, Plus a Whole New Network

Who says career advancement can’t be fun? Taylor and his classmates studies abroad during their time in the program. Photo via Alabama EMBA

After looking at several different EMBA programs across the Southeast, Taylor said he knew he had found the right fit with Alabama after speaking to some staff, professors and alumni.

One of the main facets of the program that attracted him was the cohort community aspect.

“You go in with classmates and you form bonds with them as you go through the program…

The classmates I was coming in with, I really liked some of their profiles. For me, it was a big networking opportunity. Getting to know and work with them was defintiely a big plus.”

Taylor Nelson, Senior Planner/Scheduler, Brasfield & Gorrie

This relationship-building part of the Alabama EMBA program is something every alumni I’ve spoken with about their experience has mentioned. 2018 EMBA grad Derrica Poole talked about the lifelong personal and professional relationships she made while in the program.

Having a network of support is invaluable for students in any situation. However, for working professionals balancing full-time jobs as well as their education, that support is even more important.

“You spend so much time with the people who are in the program with you. We had phone calls as a team sometimes twice a week… They really become like your family for 18 months.

There were several professional things that I was going through, and when you have that cohort and you have that caliber of people that you’re working with, you can bounce things off of them.”

Taylor Nelson, Senior Planner/Scheduler, Brasfield & Gorrie

So Many Choices, So Little Time

Spring 2019 Huntsville EMBA class. Photo via Alabama EMBA

One thing I’m always curious about when I talk to anyone in a graduate program is why they chose the one they did. Of course, having a degree from a big-name institution like The University of Alabama is a great start.

I asked Taylor why he opted for Alabama’s EMBA program over a traditional MBA. He said he gets that question a lot from younger people weighing their education options.

In a traditional MBA program, you might take a higher-level accounting course. The Executive MBA program approaches your accounting course like you’re the CFO of a company.”

Taylor Nelson, Senior Planner/Scheduler, Brasfield & Gorrie

I was really interested in this distinction. Taylor gave a great example of what this type of education looks like in practice.

In a traditional accounting class, you might learn how to do debits and credits. In an EMBA accounting class, you look at a real financial statement of a company and have to answer, “What would your next steps be if you were running it?”

The same can be said for pretty much every class—it’s a much more strategic approach to business.

It’s all about being able to make decisions based on the information you’re given.”

Taylor Nelson, Senior Planner/Scheduler, Brasfield & Gorrie

Stuck on the Next Step?

Taylor went from an EMBA to a senior position at the largest general contractor in the Southeast. Photo via Brasfield & Gorrie

Our whole world has changed this year, and more people than ever are in various transitions and looking for their next steps in life. If you’re ready to invest in yourself and your future, furthering your education can be a great way to do that.

“There are all these people who are so good at what they do, you just have an array of resources at your disposal.

We’d all bounce things off of one another and come up with solutions we could take back to our jobs.”

Taylor Nelson, Senior Planner/Scheduler, Brasfield & Gorrie

The deadline to apply for the next Tuscaloosa EMBA program is October 19, 2020. They have three upcoming information sessions that will give you a complete overview of the program, courses, admissions requirements and cost:

The sessions are free of cost or commitment and are conducted virtually via Zoom. Just be sure to register in advance! You’ll also have a chance to hear firsthand about the program from EMBA alumni.

Want more info on UA’s EMBA program? Check them out on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to learn more!

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.