Emily Harbuck is a native Arkansan who appreciates the creative side of business.

“Having a career that allows me to be creative and explore new ideas is where I want to be.”

While working at General Mills, Emily Harbuck is pursuing an EMBA degree.
While working at General Mills, Emily Harbuck is pursuing an EMBA degree.

She grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas. From there she moved to Fayetteville for her undergraduate degree and decided to make it her home. “From the world’s largest retailer, extensive hiking trails, and one of the largest American art museums, northwest Arkansas is an amazing place to be!”

Emily knew she wanted to find a corporate job that would allow her to develop innovative approaches and apply them to business strategies. Her first step toward meeting this was goal to complete a Marketing degree at the University of Arkansas, with minors in Management and Art.

Emily participated in Leadership Walton while she was working toward her degree and credits this program for molding her into the professional she is today. This program, designed to provide developmental opportunities to business majors, was her introduction to all the Walton College had to offer. Now that she is well established in her career, when it came time to pursue additional education she knew where to look.

Emily_Harbuck_ExecMBA_profileEmily currently works as a Marketing Communication Senior Planner for General Mills. She works closely with Sam’s Club merchandising and marketing teams to plan in and out of club promotional events, such as Box Tops for Education and Outnumber Hunger.

“These promotional events are helping local schools and food banks, enhancing the member experience, and ultimately drive sales for Sam’s Club and General Mills. I have a really cool job that is a combination of tactical execution and creative, out of the box thinking!”

Even though she loves her job, Emily was ready to further her education. At this stage in her career the perfect fit came in the form of the Walton Executive MBA (EMBA) program.

The EMBA program is a two-year curriculum where working professionals attend classes in-person one Saturday a month. This face-to-face classroom setting is combined with online coursework to allow the flexibility required by students’ work responsibilities.

“My dream job was always to be a promotional events planner in major retailers, and I landed that gig much earlier in my career than expected! Now that I am on the supplier side of marketing, my job goals have changed slightly. I am very interested in branding and planning national power events (instead of planning for one retailer, all retailers).”

Not surprisingly, her favorite class so far is Marketing Strategy. “I enjoy the in class discussion and reading relevant marketing books versus a formal textbook. The class is interesting and enjoyable!”

The EMBA program’s reputation in the market and helpful staff factored into her decision to pursue the program. Emily also values the quality of students and professors and has taken advantage of the networking opportunities provided by the EMBA program.

“I’m only one month into the EMBA program, but I have gained a substantial network with my classmates and professors.”