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Vincent Lambert, CPA, MBA '20
Vincent Lambert, a recent graduate from Grand Valley's Master of Business Administration program. Currently, he works as Controller of Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.
How did the Seidman MBA Program help you achieve your personal and professional goals?
- The program and professors at Seidman helped me develop an advanced understanding of organizing and operating a business. I’m a CPA and have mastered the accounting functions of business management, but the MBA program challenged me to develop skills in finance, management, human resources, IT, and marketing.
What was the most rewarding part of the Seidman MBA Program?
- It may take someone years to work their way up through the ranks of a company before they are at the table to make strategic decisions, but the MBA program throws you right in the mix and challenges you to think like an executive of a company. I think making tough decisions in business can be very rewarding, and the MBA program gives you that opportunity, in a sense.
How were you challenged during the MBA Program?
- I was an entrepreneur and to tend the view the business world through the lens of a small business owner, but some of the MBA program focused on developing business leaders to work within Fortune 500 companies. Like many entrepreneurs, I tend to shun the traditions and ways of Corporate America and want to pursue my own path, but being taught lessons from Corporate America was certainly valuable even if I was reluctant to learn at first. After all, there’s a reason that companies like GE and Microsoft have become so successful.
What opportunities did the Seidman MBA present you?
- I dropped out of the MBA program to open Creston Brewery and was able to achieve so much and meet so many wonderful people over the 4 years of running the business, but the pandemic turned our business finances upside down. We closed our doors and are currently working on a deal for new owners to reopen the business. I re-enrolled into the Seidman MBA program and was able to finish my master’s degree and land a great job as Controller of Ferris Coffee & Nut Co., a GR family-owned business that opened its doors in 1924. I feel fortunate to have the flexibility to pivot with my career during a pandemic that has affected so many people in very different ways.
Anything else that you would like to share with prospective MBA Students?
- I would encourage anyone striving to work in business in West Michigan to challenge the status quo and try to make Grand Rapids a better city for all people to live in. If you’re a white male and you’re in a manager meeting and realize that you’re only sitting with other white males……ask yourself why that is. Think about ways that you can be an agent for change and make our city a more culturally diverse place to live, work, and play in. If you have the opportunity to choose a supplier for your company, seek out a minority-owned company whenever possible. Be kind, work hard, play harder!