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Rutgers School of Business – Camden

Jamillah Mantilla

You already have several degrees to your name and a robust resume. Why did you want to earn the PMBA?
The PMBA program found me. Back in 2002, my life shifted. I was working at Chubb, and I had a calling, so I shifted into ministry. Previously in my life, I was on track to go to law school and to get an MBA. The calling took me on a different journey. When I received a postcard from Rutgers School of Business, it was like a divine postcard. I looked into the program, had an interview, and enrolled.

Tell us about your professional life.
One part of my life is as president and founder of Global Business Imagineer™ Enterprises. We work with for-profit and non-profit organizations to provide them with the tools to launch and sustain businesses globally. We also have a holding company – Your Business in a Red Box – where we work with non-profit, profit and ministry organizations to enhance the potential of the organizations. The second part of my career is that I am a full-time minister and work for EPIC Church International, an international mega-church.

What was it like to go back to school?
My husband was all in. With his support, we were in it together. With all the competing priorities, I had to allocate time. It wasn’t overwhelming. It is really how you manage time.

Did you have to make any sacrifices to get your PMBA?
It’s a sacrifice of time, but you can do anything for a short time, for under two years.

What surprised you about the experience?
I walked away with my purpose. Through the courses and instruction – and it was volumes of information – I came out with a panoramic view of life. I found that I can fuse my nonprofit heart with my business heart. On the humanitarian side, I am on a committee at the United Nations to stop trafficking. Finding that purpose was fulfilled through the curriculum and the people I met.

What were the professors like?
The professors push you, and you see the genuineness in their teaching. Each instructor was inspiring, and they were all united in their goal to create strategic global thinkers.

What’s an example of applying what you learned to the work you do?
When I’m working on an international leadership conference, I work with leaders and people from other countries. In Operations, Management and Marketing courses, I found a new reality about how we can affect change in emerging countries. That humanitarian side of me wants to change the world.

It sounds like you are doing your part in changing the world. Why go for a business degree?
I had a hunger and thirst for the business degree and to gain certifications. My eyes were opened to new knowledge. The classes gave me a global viewpoint that I didn’t have before.

What was the international residency like?
We went to Brazil and Chile. The companies were lined up for us. To interface with CEOs of major brands and research the financials and see how the class formulated questions was all very interesting. I still have contacts from those businesses.

How would you describe your business school experience overall?
My experience was over the top. I had a great experience. I walked away Bloomberg-certified, with tools, purpose, new insight, and friends I’ll have for life. The classes were challenging. There was a demand for excellence. It was an amazing experience. It is a degree that is really earned.

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