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Your Story – Michael Anderson, MBA’08

Anderson is V.P. of Human Resources
at UPMC East

How did you end up choosing RMU’s MBA program?
I was born and raised in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. I left to attend undergrad at John Carroll University in Cleveland and stayed for around six years after I graduated. However, I always knew that my heart and family were in Pittsburgh. As they say…all good Pittsburghers come back at some point in their life, and I did so seven years ago. I had already begun my MBA when I moved back. I was looking to transfer into a program that was conveniently located, offered master’s level MBA electives in human resources and international business, and had a diverse population of students with varying professional and personal backgrounds. After visiting all of the major universities in Pittsburgh, RMU seemed to be the best fit for me.

What was your RMU experience like?
I enjoyed my time at Robert Morris. I attended some classes at the main campus and others at off-campus locations. The professors had real-world experience, were engaged, and were truly subject-matter experts. The workload was challenging but not overwhelming, and I feel that I received a well-rounded education.

What did you like best about RMU’s MBA program?
I found that it offered a great mix of management concepts and practical application. And the group work was an excellent way to build professional contacts and learn from individuals that work in varying fields and concentrations.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Anyone that works in human resources will tell you that their main challenge is trying to maintain their scheduled meetings and projects while trying to balance the day’s priorities. Since you can’t predict employee relations issues, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and adjust accordingly.

How has your MBA helped you in your current role?
In addition to human resources, I am responsible for other operational functions, such as security, parking, and our coffee and gift shops. In this role, and as part of the executive team of the hospital, I need to understand the fundamentals of all classes covered in the MBA: management, finance, accounting, marketing, and information systems. I feel as though the MBA has made me a well-rounded professional who can contribute to cross-functional projects and decisions.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to keep busy. I have been fortunate enough to be part of opening a brand new hospital this past July, so my last couple years have been consumed by a lot of work leading up to the opening. We also recently moved to a new house, so I have plenty of projects to keep me occupied. I spend a lot of time with my fiancé, travel, play golf when I can, and also play softball in the Pittsburgh Sports League. Generally, I don’t sit still much!

Who do you think can benefit the most from RMU’s MBA program?
I am a firm believer that students get the most out of an advanced degree once they have some experience in the workforce and gain some new perspective on the materials and concepts. So, I think that individuals that have a few years of experience under their belt may benefit the most from the RMU MBA program. Further, since I learned a significant amount from my classmates in my time at Robert Morris, those who have the ability to easily interact and partner with their colleagues can benefit most from the experience.

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