Stacy Hofinger, MBA’12, didn’t “need” an MBA in the way that many people think they need one.
Having spent several years as an industrial real estate broker, Hofinger was content with her company, her role and her income. In fact, as a successful industrial real estate broker, Hofinger was one of the few women in a male-dominated industry. But as a goal-oriented person, she knew there was more she wanted to accomplish.
“In real estate, you start every year at zero, and there’s no standard career path progression. It’s motivated by the number and size of deals you execute and financial results. Pure motivation is to exceed the numbers you achieved last year. I was looking for a change,” says Hofinger.
“The greatest driver for me to go back to school was to be a differentiator. You don’t need an MBA to get to the next level in real estate, but it helps. I wanted to increase my business acumen as well as my credibility. Often, I was the only female and one of the youngest people in the room. Having an MBA would help bolster my credibility.”
Hofinger grew up in Bloomington, Ind. and is no stranger to Indiana University and the Kelley School of Business. She had always believed she would earn a graduate degree someday, and the Kelley Evening MBA Program on the IUPUI campus allowed her to continue working full time as a broker at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global commercial real estate services firm, while taking courses in the evening at a reputable, top-ranked school. Her goal was to enhance the areas of business that were not her strengths—such as finance and economics—while growing her network.
“Through the process of gaining my Kelley MBA, I gained confidence,” says Hofinger. “You learn to be proficient in the primary areas of business, which gives you the ability to speak up and be confident in what you say. Early in my career, I might’ve known the answer, but I may have been less assertive about speaking up. The Evening MBA moves you out of your comfort zone and gives you experience discussing new subjects in front of people from a variety of backgrounds.”