Strengthening Community

Vanessa Cooksey, MBA

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Vanessa Cooksey moved from Atlanta to St. Louis in 2008. She works at Wells Fargo as the Senior Vice President and Head of Community Affairs. She decided she needed to go back to school to help her with the increasing demands of her job.

“Being a wife, a mother, and working a full time job, my time is extremely valuable,” said Vanessa. “I choose Webster because it has a 1 Year MBA Program. Not only did I want to get it, but I needed to get it. The 1 Year MBA gave me the tools to do what I need to know to do my job at the next level.”

“My mother and husband helped me a lot in the process. I was in class every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 10pm, 52 weeks straight. Webster provided me with an affordable degree with knowledge that I needed. I have a love for learning and a strong interest in international business. I see the importance of having a global world perspective and the importance of leadership in life. The 1 Year MBA has all of that.”

Vanessa says the value of Webster’s 1 Year MBA program is in its small class size, the Cohort program, the excellent professors and, most of all, that she could use what she learned immediately. “I go to class on Tuesday, come to work on Wednesday, and apply what I learned. Every single week. My return on investment was instant,” said Vanessa. “I was in a leadership meeting and one of my colleagues went over some detailed information, and I said to myself I just did that formula last night.”

“All of my professors brought real life knowledge to the classroom, and a commitment that we got their best knowledge from the experience. There was a one-to-one between what we learned in the classroom and real life situations.”

“Webster is a nimble culture. In higher education that is very important. I wanted to gain the language, vocabulary and content that I would learn in the classroom, but also have the practical, hands-on, learning-in-the-moment experience from real life situations. Being able to do both makes my degree more valuable than any other.”

Webster provided a global presence that was really important to Vanessa. During the 1 year degree she traveled to China, Ireland and Cuba. The 1 year program has a global requirement that can be done online, on Saturdays or travel abroad. Vanessa choose to travel. She studied Cybersecurity class in Ireland and Entrepreneurism in Cuba. “The travel component allowed me to meet students from other campuses and around the world,” Vanessa said. “I could have in-depth conversations with people from Italy, Africa, other parts of the US, practically anywhere. Being able to relate to one another is more important than it has ever been. Webster truly offers a global perspective.”

“I am part of the community relations team at Wells Fargo,” said Vanessa. “We give money to nonprofits to make communities stronger. Our job is to invest in communities. Wells Fargo is one of the few companies that I’ve worked for that gives 16 hours of volunteer service every year to every employee. They want us to volunteer our time to causes that we care about. Wells Fargo is the 3rd largest giver in the United States. Last year we gave $480M to 14,000 nonprofits. I have a team of 19 people that cover 17 states. We help our business leaders invest their time and money in the community. Corporate giving and philanthropy is part of our culture. And I need to make sure that investment is a sound one. That is what I do.”

“Being able to relate to one another is more important than it has ever been. Webster truly offers a global perspective.”
–Vanessa Cooksey, MBA