Jourdan Sutton

Master of Arts in Educational Studies, Policy and Leadership, and Master of Business Administration, '15

Jourdan  Sutton, School of Education

Field of Study: Dual degree: MA in Educational Studies and MBA
Year in Program: graduated 2015
Geographic Region: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Undergraduate: DePauw University

Prior to UM: After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology, I did what any social scientist would do and moved to New York City to work on Wall Street. After several years of working at Citi, I realized I was more excited about mentoring younger staff and about my extensive nonprofit volunteer work outside of the office than about how many points the market was up that day. I decided that I needed a career with bigger purpose, one that allowed me to help young people. I quit my Wall Street job and moved to Washington, D.C., where I worked as a Strategy Consultant for the federal government. At Deloitte, I advised a variety of federal agencies on issues ranging from community economic development to financial regulatory and healthcare reform. I loved solving real problems at a time when the government desperately needed guidance. After working to develop a grant and loan pilot program for the U.S. Department of Education, I knew that a career in the education was the only way I would ever be satisfied with work.

Why your program? The University of Michigan has a storied reputation of developing senior leaders across all sectors. When I was choosing graduate programs, I knew I wanted to be at a place where my interest in social impact would not only be respected, but celebrated. Both the School of Education and Ross School of Business are world-renowned for their ability to prepare students to go out and make a tangible social impact on the world in which we live. I came to Ann Arbor with high expectations, and after only 10 minutes, I knew this was the only place for me.

The best part of SOE: I took my first education class and immediately noticed major differences between the business and education schools. The 400-person cohort and practically focused courses at Ross contrasted greatly with the small, personal cohorts and theoretically focused courses in education. I had to “learn a new language” in my education courses, which was challenging, but also very intellectually stimulating. Armed with both of these perspectives, I’ve challenged the opinions of peers in both schools. I value the perspective-altering conversations I’ve been able to have with classmates, co-workers, and friends because of my education from SOE. If you are looking to truly learn about education reform and are open to having your opinions on education challenged and expanded, SOE is right place for you.

Life after UM: Since graduating from the dual MBA/MA program, I’ve been busy as a Management Consultant in the Education practice at Parthenon-EY. At Parthenon, I serve as strategic advisor to education organizations across both the public and private sector. I’ve been able to leverage my prior experience to help K-12 school systems, higher education institutions, education non-profits, and foundations develop actionable strategies for achieving their potential.

Jourdan invites prospective students to contact him regarding their post-graduate career options, diversity in education, education consulting, or questions about K-12 education strategy.

Sutton’s program of study:
Educational Studies and MBA (Dual Degree)