Student Profile: Rebecca Oring

Charlotte Working Professionals MBA
Summer 2016

WFU School of Business - Charlotte Campus. 1/10/15When people think of MBAs, they often think of Fortune 500 companies, mergers and acquisitions, and the fluctuations of Wall Street. The same degree, however, can also be an asset to non-profits. Just ask Working Professionals MBA student Rebecca Oring, who serves as the Charlotte grants and foundations manager for Habitat for Humanity.

While Oring was pleasantly surprised to learn she was not the only student with a non-profit background, she knew going in that the MBA program would have direct applications for her work in the non-profit sector.

“Through my work with Habitat Charlotte, I came to realize that non-profits are just like other businesses. I knew that I wanted to continue to advance in the non-profit industry, and thought that comprehensive business concepts would help me differentiate myself.”

During Wake Forest’s Leadership Project, Oring was part of a small group of students invited to meet with Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. It was the kind of transformative event that left an indelible impact on her relationship with her organization’s leadership. “I met Mr. Reckford once before when he visited the Charlotte office, but in that setting I was one person in a group of 100, so there was no opportunity for interaction. When Imet him on Wake Forest’s campus, I was one of just 10-15 students, which allowed me to chat with him and engage on a more personal level.”

Participating in the School of Business Global Immersion program was another defining moment for Oring. She was on the student team that spent a week in Nicaragua teaching basic business seminars to small business owners throughout the country. “This incredibly exciting opportunity allowed me to take what I was learning in class and use it to empower others to improve their business situation,” she said. “It was rewarding to see how engaged our partnering business were, and to hear them talk about how they would be able to use the skills we were teaching them.”

These experiences have solidified Oring’s ambition to reach a leadership position within a non-profit. “My career goals have not changed,” she said. “What has changed is my confidence. I can look at financial statements and interpret them appropriately, I understand marketing strategies, and I am more confident in my management skills. My goal is now more attainable.”