MBA Grad Promoted to Senior Staff Accountant for Crown Castle Alumni Profile
Meet Michael Banks
- Job Title & Employer
- Senior Staff Accountant, Crown Castle
- MBA concentration: Management Information Systems
- August 2014
- Pittsburgh, Pa. (Lawrenceville neighborhood)
- High School
- Central Catholic High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa. (Lawrenceville neighborhood)
- Hobbies & Interests
- Music (singing), reading, writing, traveling and business mentorships
"Mike has been an exceptional employee since the day he started at Crown Castle. He has trained new staff as well as temporary contractors and interns. His positive attitude is contagious on the team and he is a delight to work with. He does a tremendous job building and maintaining relationships with his peers and cross-function business partners. He also runs a very tight ship in regards to a process that throws its fair share of curve balls. In talking with Mike, I believe the MBA program helped him apply overall accounting theory to an actual business setting. In addition, I think the program that Mike completed at Point Park helped drive home the importance of working effectively and efficiently to meet deadlines."
"The faculty involved with the MBA program are amazing! The amount of experience and knowledge that each member brings is something that is not found in most academic settings. They all were able to teach the theory of each subject, but also use their experiences from real-life scenarios to show us how the theory can be applied in day-to-day business situations. Each professor was kind, patient and, most of all, understanding."
In what ways did your MBA degree help with your promotion to senior staff accountant?
After working as an auditor in public accounting, I believe that my MBA degree was definitely a game changer on my resume when pursuing new opportunities. Often accountants are labeled as bean counters, but I think having an MBA degree says that I understand and bring to the table more than just accounting knowledge, which in turn makes me more valuable in corporate America.
Concentrating my MBA degree in management information systems was also important. It was my minor in undergrad, so I wanted to build on that because accounting is not just about the numbers anymore. It is also about understanding the systems that generate and house those numbers.
In regards to my current role, I feel the experiences and leadership skills gained from the MBA program helped in my promotion. Most of my classes focused heavily on team-based projects and assignments. Therefore, it was important to know when to lead and how to lead. The information and real-life applications taught in the classroom were very valuable. Additionally, the leadership skills I developed from working with so many different people was priceless and is something I utilize every day both at work and in my personal life.
Why did you choose Point Park University for graduate school?
I like to say that the stars aligned and led me to Point Park. Since I earned a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University, I was used to and already had a love for being downtown! That was also around the time that the rules for the CPA exam changed and you needed 150 credit hours to receive your certification. I had the necessary accounting credits, but not enough overall credit hours, so I knew I needed to do something else.
I also had about a year before I started working full time with Deloitte so I needed to find something that I could complete in that time frame. I could have picked up a couple courses at CCAC, but it made more sense to me to try to get another degree if possible. That way, I would have something else to make myself more valuable in the business world. After looking into a number of programs, Point Park was the only university that offered exactly what I was looking for!
How have Point Park’s faculty members impacted you?
The faculty involved with the MBA program are amazing! The amount of experience and knowledge that each member brings is something that is not found in most academic settings. They all were able to teach the theory of each subject, but also use their experiences from real-life scenarios to show us how the theory can be applied in day-to-day business situations. Each professor was kind, patient and, most of all, understanding. Dr. Archish Maharaja or "Dr. Arch" was probably my favorite professor and it was not because he taught accounting!
What career advice do you have for our MBA students?
Always be a sponge. Take in as much information and knowledge as you can. Never be afraid to ask questions and never let fear keep you from pursuing your dreams! Ultimately, success principles are the same regardless of what you pursue in life, but it takes more than just knowing theory to be successful. Success is a mindset and requires an action plan. Applied knowledge is power and action overcomes fear every time.
Always be accountable, coachable and remember that temporary failures are nothing more than stepping stones to permanent success. I am a strong advocate of mentorship. Even to this day, I have a mentor and now have the opportunity to mentor people in regards to business and success. You will never be perfect, but you can always be better. Use your experiences and MBA degree to reach past the stars!