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Ande Hewitt, Healthcare Sales and Application Specialist Lead at MillerKnoll

Ande Hewitt

Get to know Ande

Program: Online MBA with a certificate in marketing 
Start date: August 2021
Graduation date:
December 2024
Current location: Greensboro, NC

Life before Jenkins

Work experience: 25 years
Industries: Healthcare (23 years), retail and restaurant interior design (2 years)
Roles: Healthcare design and application specialist 
Field: Interior design 
Undergraduate education: NC State University, B.S. in Accounting; University of North Carolina at Greensboro, B.A. in Interior Design

Career goals

Heading into the Jenkins MBA program, Hewitt had one main career goal in mind: to become a more effective leader. “I saw the MBA as a way to build my business acumen and develop effective leadership skills,” she says.

Why Jenkins? 

As an alumna of Poole College of Management, Hewitt was already interested in returning to NC State for her graduate studies – and the flexibility of the Jenkins Online MBA program made the decision even easier. “The online program offered the flexibility that I needed while working full-time,” she says. “The program offers students ample time to complete the program while balancing demanding career responsibilities.” 

I saw the MBA as a way to build my business acumen and develop effective leadership skills.

Daily life

In her current role at MillerKnoll, Hewitt leads a team of eight design and application specialists for the healthcare vertical market. “I am responsible for the team’s integration into key opportunities across the organization and with our sales and distribution teams. Specifically, I leverage research and technology to reinforce our design acumen and generate thoughtful design responses for project requirements – while also providing opportunities for each member to grow and develop in ways that balance their contributions to the organization and their personal development goals,” she says. “My days are full, but no two days are the same – which I love.” 

Hewitt fits in her schoolwork on the weekends and in the early morning and early evening hours – and does her best to not let it interfere with family time. “My husband and I are proud parents to two kids – a ‘21 graduate of NC State and ‘22 graduate of Wake Forest University. Our son works and lives in Raleigh and our daughter is in law school in Atlanta. We also have three black labs that require a lot of attention, walks and food,” she says. “We enjoy any opportunity to spend time with our kids, entertain at home or meet up with friends at our favorite breweries and restaurants. We live in an area that is convenient to downtown, and when the weather is nice, we can be found walking the dogs or enjoying refreshments at local gathering spots.”

Hewitt with her husband David (NCSU ’21) and children John (NCSU ’92, Duke ’99 MD) and Kate (WFU ’22).
Hewitt’s black labs Lana, Barry and Sterling.

Hewitt also makes the most of opportunities to travel – and loves exploring new cities, states and countries. “Last summer, I traveled to three countries. One of those stops was South Africa with the Jenkins MBA study abroad program.”

What makes it great

For Hewitt, the study abroad trip has been the biggest highlight of her time in the program. “This was the MBA program’s first trip to Cape Town and it was a huge success. As an online student, I thought that the in-person engagement with faculty and classmates was fantastic. And the exploration we did as a class was incredible – especially because it was new to all of us. What we saw and did over the course of our time there, including the Kwalanga Township tour and the Villiera Wines game reserve tour, was amazing. Many of us also extended the trip to explore the country further,” she says. 

Beyond high-impact experiences like Poole College of Management’s global programs, Hewitt notes that there are several other opportunities for online students to engage with the faculty and students in the MBA program. “Despite the online format, there are opportunities for a lot of interaction. The professors are generous with their time outside of office hours to meet and answer questions – and I have enjoyed getting to know many of them through those one-on-one meetings. I have also enjoyed meeting students across the state – and beyond – through team projects. It’s always fun to see familiar names on the class roster to team up with in different classes,” she says.

Hewitt at the Cape of Good Hope with other graduate students on the South Africa study abroad trip.

Career impact 

Since starting the MBA program, Hewitt has received two internal promotions. “I was promoted to a senior design and application role and then to the lead role,” she says. “From working with the Career Management Center on my resume to evaluating how to create value within my organization, there have been several opportunities – as well as practical takeaways from each class – that have aided my personal and professional growth.”

Final thoughts

Reflecting on her own career growth, Hewitt recommends the Jenkins MBA program to anyone looking to make significant changes in the trajectory of their career. “I had several friends and coworkers ask me why I wanted to pursue an MBA at this point in my career – or even tell me that I didn’t need an MBA to make career advances,” she says. “But if I hadn’t started this program, I wouldn’t have known how to activate the knowledge I had – and I wouldn’t have benefited from the knowledge I have now. Additionally, pursuing an MBA has shown leadership that I am serious about my future with my current organization and that I’m willing to take on more responsibility.”

And to those hesitant to start the program because of their age, she has a word of advice: “Don’t let your age or experience be a limitation, as it can be an asset. I was worried about returning to school after more than two decades in the workforce, but the work experience and maturity has served me well. While in some ways I wish I had pursued an MBA 10 years ago, I also recognize that I would not have been able to give my studies the commitment that I am able to now – nor would I have achieved the same level of success.” 

Get in touch

Connect with Ande on LinkedIn.

To learn more about the Jenkins MBA program at NC State’s Poole College of Management, click here.

This post was originally published in Jenkins MBA News.