Donna Dye Sholk, EMBA ’05

Donna Dye Sholk, EMBA ’05.

Donna Dye Sholk is financial manager at Olin Chlor Alkali and a 2005 graduate of our Executive MBA program, a 17-month, weekend program designed for high-potential leaders.


Why did you decide to get your MBA?

From the time I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to get a master’s because I knew it would enhance my career. I chose the UB EMBA program because of the schedule — the Friday/Saturday combination and being able to complete the program in 20 months was a great fit for my life.

What was the most valuable course, advice, experience or professor in the School of Management?

Learning about DISC profiles made a big change in how I interact with people, especially the leadership team where I work. The awareness that people think, focus and act in different ways to the same data is game changing. Now I have more insight on how to engage with people and understand how they approach problems.    

What advice do you have for someone considering an EMBA degree?

Set aside a consistent place and time to study. For me it was 5 to 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight in my third floor extra bedroom, where no one would interrupt me so I could concentrate.

For the evening my original plan was 9 p.m. to midnight, but my kids just did not settle down enough for me to start studying uninterrupted until 10. So instead of getting frustrated every night, I waited to get started until the last kid was sound asleep.

How has your career grown since you enrolled at UB?

When I began the program I was controller of Oneida Foodservice — Buffalo China. In the middle of the program the company closed, and I worked at two other positions before finding my current job as financial manager of Olin.

The world had changed while I was at Buffalo China and a four-year degree wasn’t enough to be a controller or financial manager. If I hadn’t earned my EMBA at UB, I wouldn’t have been able to apply for my current position.