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Darla Moore School of Business

Client services manager completing MBA to boost her resume, create promotion opportunities

Moore School Professional MBA student Sandra McNeal looks forward to seeing how her degree will assist her in advancing in her career at Nuveen, one of the world’s largest asset managers, after graduation in December 2021.

McNeal is currently a senior client services manager at Nuveen and is responsible for the U.S. institutional Client Service Team. Her team consists of nine client service associates who are located in multiple cities throughout the country.

“We are responsible for servicing over 420 client accounts throughout the client lifecycle beginning with account onboarding to account termination,” McNeal said. “My team satisfies all contracted deliverables such as monthly and quarterly account reporting, annual audit completion, 15C Board reporting for accounts that follow the 40 Act regulations, attend client review meetings and partner with our relationship management team to ensure the client has a positive experience with Nuveen.”

As she enjoys her current role at Nuveen, McNeal said she knew that she wanted to obtain an MBA so that she could further progress at the company and add it to her achievements.

“Each year as I watched colleagues advance up the corporate ladder, it became clear that I needed to get an MBA in order to compete,” she said. “Personally, I want an MBA to add to my list of accomplishments. I have extensive industry knowledge and experience that will now be complimented by an MBA from [the Moore School].”

McNeal decided to enroll in the Moore School Professional MBA program because of its ranking and the fact that she can continue working while also going to school. She said it’s not easy juggling class, work and family life all at the same time, but she makes it work with the help of her support system.

“I have a great husband, and we support each other fully,” McNeal said. “There are days that he is a single parent to our 6-year-old son to allow me the time I need to attend class, study and take exams, and then there are days that I am the single parent to allow him time to attend class and study for Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst this winter. I could not do it without him.”

Even with the challenges, McNeal said that she made the right decision to pursue her MBA at the Moore School. Since she started the program in 2019, McNeal said that she feels that she has already learned so much.

“I have learned several skills from the Professional MBA program, but the most valuable that I have been able to capitalize on immediately has been time management, successfully balancing multiple tasks and effectively managing a team,” she said.

Learning these essential skills while also working has proved to be a great way for McNeal to directly apply what she learns in class to her position as senior client services manager. In doing this, McNeal is able to witness firsthand which strategies are successful and which are not.

“My favorite class is Competing with People,” she said. “From day one, I have been able to apply skills learned from this class to everyday management of my Nuveen team and interactions with my business partners.”

As her time in the Professional MBA program continues, McNeal said that she is grateful for all of the lessons she’s learning and opportunities she’s been given since beginning the program.

“The Professional MBA program has helped excel my career in a very short time,” she said. “About one month after receiving acceptance into the PMBA program, I received notification that I was selected to participate in my company’s leadership program. The bonus for being a part of the program is that I received a corporate sponsor to help mentor and guide me through my career. I hit the jackpot of all sponsors. My sponsor is the executive vice president and head of International Advisory Services for our firm and a direct report to the CEO.”

McNeal also said that she is excited to see what the next year has in store for her career.

“I believe none of this would have happened if I did not make a decision to modernize my education, then apply and be accepted to the University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business PMBA program,” she said. “I am looking forward to continued career growth after I complete the program.”

-Claire McGrath

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