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Meet Allison Anthony, Associate Director for Poole College’s Master of Management Program

By Samantha Beavers

There are a lot of things Allison Anthony loves about being associate director of the Master of Management program at Poole College of Management – meeting new people, leveraging the power of networking and being part of a college with an innovative spirit, to name a few. But at the end of the day, what she loves most is being part of students’ journeys.

“I have such a passion for helping students figure out what they want to do and then using all the knowledge and resources I have to help them get there,” Anthony says.

In her role, Anthony manages the recruitment and admissions process and provides career advice to current and prospective students in both the Master of Management, Marketing Analytics concentration (MMA) and the Master of Management, Risk and Analytics concentration (MRA).

“Two of my top five Strengthsfinder strengths are developer and maximizer – which basically means that I’m always focused on the strengths of others and looking for ways to cultivate their potential. And that really comes through when I’m working with students,” Anthony explains. “As I have conversations with prospective students about the program, I’m not only giving them information. I’m also asking them questions to understand what their career goals are, figuring out what they’re looking for in a program and making sure that it’s the right fit for them.”

A lot of that, Anthony says, is because she loves to listen – something that came out of her background in counseling. And that background, she explains, is what led her to higher education in the first place. 

While completing her master’s degree in community counseling at Western Carolina University, she participated in a practicum experience in the career services office followed by an internship in the student support services office. 

“That’s when I realized that I wanted to be in higher ed,” she explains. “Through those experiences I saw that I could really make a difference here. I could see the potential in others, learn what they’re interested in and help them develop their skills.”

And for more than 20 years, she’s been doing just that. 

Anthony served as the Academic Coordinator at Campbell University before joining Meredith College’s MBA program as the admissions director for 10 years. Most recently, she served as the associate director of admissions and student recruitment for Kenan-Flagler Business School’s MBA program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And in 2019, she made her way to Poole College. 

“What first brought me to Poole College was the Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) program. It was a unique program and I knew it would be such an interesting experience. And because I’m such a people person, I really liked the fact that it was a smaller, more personalized program,” Anthony says.

“But what’s kept me at Poole College is the sense of community – not just with faculty and staff, but also with students and alumni. They’re the most loyal I’ve ever seen. And there’s also this amazing spirit and attitude that anything is possible. So when the college decided to close the GLAM program, I knew I didn’t want to leave. I just felt that I had a place here and that there was more for me to do and explore in the college,” she continues.

So when Poole College reached out to Anthony about the new Master of Management program, she was thrilled.

What excites Anthony most about the Master of Management program is its unique, specialized focus on the most pressing needs in the marketplace. And the flexible format, she says, is an added bonus.

“The MMA and MRA concentrations are extremely niche offerings that give working professionals the opportunity to dive in, focus on what they’re interested in and develop skills that are in high demand. The way that we offer them is also unique. Being online and asynchronous, they’re extremely accessible and there aren’t many programs like it,” she explains. “However, we tell students from the get-go that they can’t just come in and slip under the radar. While it’s a flexible online program, it’s also very interactive. So we’re going to get to know them.”

Anthony also believes that the Business Analytics Initiative (BAI) and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative – plus Poole College’s partnerships with business and industry – enrich the student experience by bringing a wealth of resources and opportunities to network to the program.

“It’s really exciting to work with students and let them know about all these amazing resources the college has to help them succeed. So it’s not just getting them signed up for the program – it’s introducing them to a faculty member who has research in an area they’re passionate about and encouraging them to get involved in a BAI roundtable that I think they’d benefit from,” she explains.

Being part of that process and helping students work toward their career goals, Anthony says, is what makes graduations so emotional for her.

“Every time – it just gets me. Seeing them there at graduation, it’s like, ‘it happened!’ I’m getting emotional talking about it right now,” she laughs. “It’s just incredible to know that I helped get them there, and it gives me that confidence that I’m exactly where I need to be.”

This post was originally published in Master of Management Risk & Analytics.