W. P. Carey Alumni Share Takeaways From W. P. Carey That Have Served Them Well in Their Careers

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: What is a transferable skill, ability, or learning from your time at W. P. Carey that has been most helpful in your career?

Here is what they shared:

  • Ability To Get Through To Others Based on Shared Goals
  • Storytelling With Data 
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge
  • Cross Functional Team-building and Leveraging Collaborative Technologies
  • Versatility To Adapt Quickly
  • Networking
  • Working With Teams
  • Being a Lifelong Learner

Ability To Get Through To Others Based on Shared Goal

W. P. Carey’s team assignments instilled in me the need to learn to influence others where I had no authority. When you leave ASU and W. P. Carey, your roles will demand this skill set of you within months, if not immediately.

The ability to clearly articulate a shared goal, manage that goal, and influence others (who do not report to you) is a core competency of most positions you will have, until that day when/if you make it to the C suite. Honing and refining this skill early in your career will help you, your teams, your clients, and your career immensely.

Ethan Owen, BS Computer Information System ‘10 & MBA ‘15, American Express

Storytelling With Data

Bringing data and facts to support your argument or message is obvious. But the ability to sew facts together into a cohesive message and storyline is a key skill to hone – it brings context. Not only will your audience leave convinced of your point, but they will be clear what it was and why it’s important for them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I practiced this often at W. P. Carey—in the classroom, class projects, as a student orientation leader and in many other instances.

Matt Cicinelli, BS Finance and Economics ‘08, HelloFresh

Interdisciplinary Knowledge 

An organization is complex, with different departments, skill sets, and individuals. My MBA education enabled me to work cross-functionally within a large organization like Zappos.com and an emerging growth company like brite.co. Learning the high-level strategy and operational basics of marketing, finance, technology, and supply chain allows me to understand the impact of each function on any project. The work required within W. P. Carey was great experience to prepare for similar real-world functional projects.

Dustin Sitar, MBA Finance ‘19, BriteCo Inc

Cross Functional Team-building and Leveraging Collaborative Technologies

The W. P. Carey MBA program required us to self-organize into cross-functional teams and to leverage the latest technology to collaborate in real-time. Learning to recruit XF teams, to communicate, and build consensus across diverse viewpoints are skills that bring value in business and more generally in life. Staying abreast of and utilizing the latest in communication and collaborative technologies has become essential in today’s new hybrid work environments. Teams must be able to collaborate in real-time with geographically dispersed colleagues and clients. W. P. Carey prepared us well for these work environment realities.

Todd Thomas, MBA & MS Data Science ‘99, stealth startup, an SBD Radical Innovation Company

Versatility To Adapt Quickly

Versatility has been the most helpful skill I developed while shifting from undergrad to the professional world. Possessing a diverse skill set in today’s competitive job market allows for three important things: heightened productivity, growth, and creativity.

Throughout my time at Arizona State, I invested in sharpening my level of knowledge in various areas of marketing. Being able to spot and adjust to your team’s needs, potential challenges, or weaknesses is vital in order to carry a project to completion. My commitment and passion for learning new skills has afforded me to work autonomously on high-impact projects, as well as opportunities to grow and elevate myself into different roles within my current company. 

Paige Parker, BA Sports Business ‘19, EA SPORTS


In my current and most of my previous roles, networking was a non-spoken requirement for success. I currently work with individuals from across the organization and externally to get my job done, so building rapport and relationships with these subject matter experts pave the way for successful collaborations moving forward.

Networking can be as simple as adding someone on LinkedIn to build familiarity or as complex as scheduling a one-hour informational interview to gain insight into a person’s day-to-day job function. It can feel uncomfortable at first, but as you practice and learn how to engage individuals from different industries, cultures, and backgrounds, you’ll grow more confident in your connection attempts.

Siobhan Lyons, BS Business Administration and Management ‘16, onsemi

Working With Teams

Throughout my time at W. P. Carey, I was a part of multiple groups in various classes. Working in groups allowed me to learn both how to lead and be a part of a team. It also allowed me to learn about my personal strengths in groups, and how I am able to bring my best to the table. This has been such a beneficial skill to have in my career, as I am constantly working with others to bring my company’s mission and vision to life.

Chloe Cleveland, BS Marketing ‘20, State Forty Eight

Being a Lifelong Learner

As students, we are generally curious and eager to learn new concepts. Don’t lose that curiosity to learn after you have graduated from college. As you grow or become an expert in your career, maintain this desire to continue learning, step out of your comfort zone, and challenge the status quo. This ability will help you grow professionally in building stronger relationships as well as pave the way for new innovations and advancements in your career.

Gayatri Diwan, MBA ’14, Expedia Group

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center