Degree: BS in Business Administration; Executive MBA
Class Year: 2008; 2017
Position and Employer: National Sales Director,
Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Alex Thompson has two jobs in the food industry. He works for his family’s quickly expanding company, Lancaster Fine Foods (LFF), which is in the middle of a huge expansion — it just finished construction of a $5 million factory, and the company’s growth rate is 35 percent. Through a partnership his family’s company has with Patti LaBelle’s food startup, Patti’s Good Life, he also landed a job marketing her products.
Nonetheless, he started earning his Executive MBA degree from Drexel LeBow. He explained his decision to start working toward this degree at a very busy time in his life as, basically, a necessity.
“LFF is growing so quickly that my father realized we needed more expertise,” Thompson said. “I had inherited a lot of responsibilities relating to finance. I felt I was in just a little over my head, with cash flow models and such. And after landing the Patti’s Good Life position as well, I found myself in meetings with really big executives like the CEO of Walmart and the CEO of Sam’s Club. I needed to improve my business acumen, quickly.”
Thompson commutes from Lancaster to Philadelphia for his classes just one Friday and two Saturdays a month. LeBow’s EMBA program features hybrid delivery, so some of the coursework is online.
“I use the stuff I learn in the EMBA program literally the next day. Managerial accounting was a godsend. It seemed like I was gaining the expertise my family company needed just in time. The finance coursework is especially helpful in my role at LFF, while the marketing knowledge is better applied to my position with Patti’s company.”
Thompson also said the diversity of professional backgrounds of the students in his EMBA cohort make classes really interesting. “I’ll be able to depend on my classmates for perspectives and advice for years to come,” he says.