TMMBA Alumni Profile: Kathy Alexion (Class of 2011)

Kathy Alexion (TMMBA 2011)

Kathy Alexion (TMMBA 2011) packs a powerful one-two punch of technical depth and leadership breadth.

Over the course of her 20+ years as a senior leader in IT, Kathy has built an impressive resume with key roles at top global companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and JP Morgan Chase. Now Kathy acts as Associate Chief Information Officer at Fred Hutch and oversees all facets of information technology including service desk, systems engineering, network engineering, enterprise applications/software development, project management office and data storage.

What does Kathy credit as a major catalyst for her career success? She enrolled in the Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) Program in 2010 and quickly saw an increase in her confidence, an ability to fill the gaps in business knowledge and enhanced capabilities as a people manager. As a graduate of TMMBA, she’s now able to leverage a perfect combination of IT prowess and valuable skills gained in the Program to fulfill her career goals and help forward Fred Hutch’s goal of curing cancer by 2025.

Read about Kathy’s path to success and her experience in the TMMBA Program:

On TMMBA

Kathy “in action” in the classroom in 2010.

Why did you choose the TMMBA Program over other MBA programs?
I liked that the TMMBA Program was focused on technology and technology management, which is my career focus and background. I also liked the condensed nature of the program. University of Washington has exceptional MBA programs, which was another draw for me.

What were your goals when you entered the TMMBA Program?
To learn and grow in my career and in my understanding of all areas of business including finance, management, leadership, decision-making, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, decision-making, and overall, running a business.

On Career Impact

How has the TMMBA Program impacted your career since graduation?
I’ve held many exciting roles in IT over a 20+ year time frame. Before the program, I was very execution focused and was early in my career as a people manager. I had a lot of unanswered business questions and was curious about anything and everything business; however I felt that I didn’t know many facets of business and why certain decisions were made. During the program, my perspective blossomed and my questions were answered, gaps filled and I was able to understand the “how, what and why” so much better. After the program, night and day difference – I had knowledge of theories, principles, laws, science, leadership and other significant best practices (and confidence!) that I had learned under my belt which made me a better business leader, collaborator, partner, and people manager.

The impact of my career trajectory after the TMMBA Program has been significant and has opened many amazing doors for me because of it. My current role is the poster-role for a TMMBA graduate. I’m managing all facets of an IT organization currently, and applying skills from the program daily.

Kathy and her study group at the 2011 Grad Banquet.

Can you expand on your way of thinking before the program and how you now use key skills acquired in the TMMBA Program?
Before the program, I think I was very operational and tactically focused in many ways. After the TMMBA Program, my focus was way more strategic, holistic and well-rounded. So many questions were answered and gaps filled in, by going through the TMMBA Program, it truly was mind-blowing. I learned SO much. The skills I learned were applied immediately, from leadership to budget management to marketing to managing a business over all. The program opened my eyes to many facets of decision-making as well, something hard to learn ‘on the job’. The TMMBA Program broadened my knowledge of so many areas, that a bi-product was a new, fresh perspective overall, new decision making tools and analytical skills.

What advice do you have for someone considering the TMMBA Program?
Do it! It is the best thing I’ve done in my career, hugely eye-opening and such a rich learning experience.