By day, Elizabeth (Eilish) Cumbo invents new flavors of cheesecake as a food technologist at Rich Products Corp. At night, she’s a student in the School of Management’s Professional MBA program, a 33-month, part-time evening program specifically designed with working professionals in mind.
I studied chemistry and nutrition at Syracuse University and, after graduation, got a job at Perry’s Ice Cream and moved to Buffalo. I started in their quality assurance department and soon branched out into research and development and operations/continuous improvement.
In the PMBA program, I met a classmate who worked at Rich Products who encouraged me to apply for an open position there earlier this year. I’m happy to say I got the job and am now a food technologist in the desserts department, where I invent new flavors of cheesecakes and am the main developer for Carvel ice cream cakes.
I really liked the opportunity to go to school while working full time and not having to change around my work schedule. I looked into some online programs, but I wanted the in-classroom experience. Not to mention, the price of a state university was much more manageable than some of the private colleges I looked into.
I loved my corporate finance class because I learned why I need to report things a certain way. While I will most likely never work on my company’s balance sheet, I now know that how I report expenses does make a difference down the road and isn’t just some arbitrary assignment.
I’ve also really appreciated the chance to meet other young professionals who are as motivated as I am. My classmates not only bring their work experience to the classroom, but outside the classroom I have made friends, business partners and even co-workers.
If you are thinking about applying for the PMBA program, start doing it yesterday. It’s something that can stay on the back burner, but you will always find excuses if you wait. The sooner you get it done, the fewer excuses you will have and the more earning potential you will gain from it.
I plan to continue on at Rich Products, wherever that may take me. The food industry is a great one to get into (everyone has to eat) and Rich Products is a leading company in Western New York, with excellent opportunities for growth in my field.