Tai Crater decided to knock on the Sam M. Walton College of Business door again after she earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance 12 years ago. This time, she wanted to earn her Executive MBA degree. Realizing that the program was convenient to her work demands and current lifestyle, with both online and once-a-month attendance she became a student again.

Tai Crater “I did some research and very quickly determined that I wanted to get my Executive MBA from my undergraduate institution. The Walton EMBA program is a highly regarded program with excellent credentials. In addition, based on my undergraduate experience, I knew the program would be challenging, the faculty would be exceptional, and that I would have all the resources I needed to be successful… the rest was up to me!”

Tai has lived in Arkansas her entire life. While growing up, she resided in Little Rock and El Dorado, but she now calls Northwest Arkansas her home. She is grateful to her parents for encouraging her, as well as her two sisters, to dream big and teaching her that she could be anything she wanted to be as long as she was willing to work hard for it.

“In my work, I want to accomplish a million things. Mostly, I want to be a good manager and help others achieve their career goals. However, I also want to become a chief officer of a Fortune 500 company. I truly believe I can do it so I’ve set my sights on it for now!”

Tai started working for Tyson in December 2002 as a financial analyst, and she was promoted to the position of cash manager in July 2005. Since October 2009, she has been working as the director of risk finance and insurance. She manages all of the financial aspects associated with the company’s property and casualty insurance. Her team, which serves as the liaison between all departments, is responsible for effectively managing the company’s total cost of risk.

Tai CraterAlthough Tai admits that her social life has seen a decrease in activity since she started EMBA program, she is fully aware of the tradeoff.

“This is a two year program that will push you to work harder than you have in long time. I tell myself a few things: (1) it’s only temporary (2) if someone else can complete this program while working in a demanding position, then so can I and (3) it’s worth it!”

Despite the hard work, there are several perks to being a student at the EMBA program. By participating in courses delivered by distinguished faculty she has already improved her listening skills, increased her motivation to learning and face new challenges.

“The EMBA program almost immediately improved my confidence level across all aspects of business. I have been able to take what I’ve learned and apply it to my work and, at times, my personal life, very quickly. My understanding of the different aspects of business has significantly improved since the day I started the program. In addition, the program includes students with such diverse experiences. The opportunity to go through the program with this intelligent group of people with varied backgrounds has been very beneficial.”