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Chuck Hankle_685

Meet Chuck Hankle

Job title: Technical Account Manager
Employer: Symantec
Degrees earned: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and M.B.A. with a concentration in International Business, Point Park University
Graduation years: 1995 and 2011
Hometown: Pittsburgh
Now living in: Moon Township, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Music and running

Why did you decide to pursue an M.B.A. degree?

I was a database administrator when I started the program. I was in a very technical career and, to be more well-rounded and grow, I needed to expand outside of the strictly technical focus. I thought an M.B.A. would be a great complement to my technical abilities and give me the business expertise I needed to move forward in my career.

Why did you choose Point Park?

Point Park's international M.B.A. program is well-established. I knew the value and quality of the University from my undergraduate study and I felt that the quality of education I would get here would be equally valuable as I moved forward.

Did Point Park's location in Downtown Pittsburgh play a role in your decision to attend?

Yes, for two reasons. I worked for Highmark at the time and the campus was close to my office. Also, I liked the flexibility -- I could take classes on weekends, nights, even during the day.

How have your M.B.A. classes helped you to be a more effective technical account manager?

My degree is the reason I got the job. I was a database administrator at Highmark during the M.B.A. program. After I graduated, I moved to Symantec.

The courses gave me knowledge in sales, marketing and finance that I use in my job on a daily basis. Symantec is the largest security software company in the world; we make 150 products, including Norton Antivirus. I need to be able to talk to technical people -- CIOs and security officers -- and help them to realize, from a business perspective, the value of these products.

With the M.B.A., I can better help customers solve their big problems. I understand capital vs. operational budgets and amortization, which impact how companies make buying decisions.

How did your international focus benefit you in your position?

Symantec is global. My territory covers three states and most of these companies have an international presence. For example, I have an account in Ohio. We were talking about a security program. In the middle of the meeting, they stopped because, in Japan, it was time for their morning exercise.

So the international aspect of the M.B.A. really prepared me for working with business customers and associates around the globe. We had classes specifically around business culture and looked at case studies, such as one in which McDonald's opened a restaurant in India. We analyzed what they did right and wrong.

One of the things I loved about Point Park is that it's very diverse. I learned as much from my classmates as I did from my instructors. At least 30 percent of my classmates in every class were from other countries.

What is one of your favorite Point Park graduate school memories?

Playing guitar for everyone at the M.B.A. Ball. I wrote a song called "The Globalization Blues" … I became infamous on campus for this.

Also, it's where I met my wife!

What advice do you have for M.B.A. students?

Realize that you are in an international business environment. Some people take a cultural imperialist approach toward doing business and that limits how successful they can be. If I think, as an American, that it's silly that Europeans need to build a personal relationship before working with me, then I won't get their business.

Also, take advantage of the experience that the M.B.A. program offers. Develop relationships with other students and keep in touch after graduation.


More About: graduate programs, alumni, M.B.A., success story