How Networking Helped Flores MBA Alum Kory Dahlen Land a Job with the SEC

Most MBA alums will agree that one of the best things they gained from their graduate school experience was a broadened professional network. According to LinkedIn, 80 percent of professionals consider networking important to career success and more than 60 percent of professionals find that their professional network gives them more opportunities.

Flores MBA Alum Kory Dahlen can be included in that 80 percent of professionals who consider networking vital to career progression. While in the Flores MBA Program, Dahlen took full advantage of many professional networking opportunities, and he continued his networking efforts throughout his first job after graduation. As a result, Dahlen was offered a very desirable position within the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Now, just a couple months out from 2019’s big SEC Football Championship game, we spoke with Dahlen as he elaborated more on his current position with the SEC and told us how his MBA continues to help him every day in his professional career.

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Photo Credit: Kory Dahlen

1. What have you’ve been up to professionally since graduating from the Flores MBA Program?

After graduating from the Flores MBA Program, I moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to work in the Florida State Athletics Department in the business office for a little over a year and a half. While working at FSU, the SEC contacted me and requested I interview for an open position with the conference office. Since that interview, my family and I have lived in Birmingham for almost five years.

2. How important has networking been in your career progression?

Networking has been vital in my career progression. Without networking, I would not have the job I have today. The same goes for many of my co-workers at the SEC. If they didn’t network they would not be in this office today. In any industry, individuals have to make real connections and genuine relationships through networking to assist in getting their jobs done, but also to improve their chances of landing a job during the job hunt process.

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Photo Credit: SEC

3. Describe the role that you have now with the SEC.

My job title at the SEC is the Assistant Director of Competition, where I assist with numerous SEC Championships and internal programs throughout the year. Currently, that entails planning and working at the SEC Soccer Tournament , Football Championship, Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournaments, Gymnastics Championship Meet, Men’s Golf Championship and the Baseball Tournament at the end of the year. Throughout the year, our competition department and myself work with the host venue and team representatives in preparing for all logistical and operational needs for these championships. Several of my tasks include creating team operational manuals, scheduling practice times, arranging military flyovers, purchasing game balls, planning and executing trophy presentations, and my personal favorite, ordering the confetti for the championship game. When I’m not planning for championships, I oversee the conference’s trophy and award program, office graphics and renovations, and perform other duties as assigned.

4. What was the experience like of having LSU in the SEC Championship for the first time since you’ve worked there?

First and foremost, no matter what team participates in the SEC Football Championship game, it is a special experience for me and my coworkers. The SEC Football Championship game is the biggest game of the season for the two participating teams and we want to make sure we provide a first-class experience for the student-athletes, fans, and administrators from both teams. Our goal is to create life-long memories for everyone participating in the championship, no matter what team is participating in the game. With this being LSU’s first time participating in the game since our move to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we wanted to leave a great impression on the student-athletes and players by providing them with a seamless weekend in Atlanta.

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Photo Credit: @SEC on Instagram

5. Are there certain skills that you learned in the Flores MBA Program that you now use on a regular basis at work?

Teamwork, time and priority management, and being resourceful are three key skills the Flores MBA Program taught me that I use every day. The amount of group assignments and projects given to students throughout the program simulate real world work situations and teach individuals how to work together to complete a task. While working on group projects, studying for exams, and working jobs, MBA students learn to prioritize their time effectively to complete assignments and prepare for every test, which is very similar to the real world work environment.

6. Any advice for someone who is on the fence about getting an MBA?

There is no other advanced degree that teaches students a wide breadth of general business information but also allows students to focus on a concentrated career path. Obtaining an MBA allows individuals many opportunities for advancement in their career. Individuals can advance at their current job, change career fields, or become an entrepreneur. With an MBA on a resume, people get second looks during the job hunt, they are given more credit when they sit at the decision-making table, and they are taken more seriously in their professional roles.

For more information of LSU’s Flores MBA Program, visit mba.lsu.edu or call 225-578-8867.

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