Getting to Know the Class of 2018: Liz Ford

Liz Ford ’18 is the founder of the Green Mountain APA Pool League, a franchise of the world’s largest amateur league system.

Why did you choose to attend The Sustainable Innovation MBA program?

In 2011, I starting building a business in Vermont (an amateur pool league that now has close to 400 members) which I am still running. I really enjoyed building a business from the ground up and I’d like to start more businesses in Vermont in the future, but felt that I was missing some of the financial and organizational tools that could really help me prosper in a sustainable way. When I heard about The Sustainable Innovation MBA program, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to learn to approach future projects in the right and ethical way, both environmentally and socially.

What has been your favorite part/element of the program thus far?

I’ve always loved math, but I’m surprised how much I’ve taken to the finance classes – I’m really enjoying thinking about statistics and probabilities. Completely on the other side of the spectrum, I enjoy anytime I can infuse one of the many presentations that we have to give in The Sustainable Innovation MBA with a little silliness and humor.

What are three things someone considering the program should be aware of?

1) First off, there is the intense time commitment that a one-year master’s program entails – some weeks require 40 hours of work and class, but some require close to 80.

2) Given this intensity, be prepared that you will be sharing the full spectrum of your personality, both the good and the bad, with your teammates.

3) In accordance with this, you will have to learn to love giving and receiving feedback!

How has The Sustainable Innovation MBA helped you?

In addition to all the business tools that we’re learning in class, the social and professional network that we are building for ourselves is substantial. We are creating what will probably be life-long friendships with the other students in our cohort and the depth and breadth of the mentors and connections that the program provides are impressive. We are encouraged to reach out to as many business leaders as we can to conduct informational interviews and it’s really astounding how open people are to talking to students.

Anything else?

This has really been an amazing experience so far. It’s very intense and at times very difficult, but I can already tell that I’ll miss it when it’s over!