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Aug. 26, 2013
By BRAD MUDD, Express Scripts

A select group of employees who recently received their master’s degrees from the University of Missouri-St. Louis found that they learned as much about the business of Express Scripts as they did about themselves. The 25 graduates of the master of business administration program were honored last week at a graduation celebration at the St. Louis Club in Clayton, Mo.

Employees are nominated for the Express Scripts professional MBA program by vice presidents and approved by Senior Staff members. The unique program, structured similar to UMSL’s standard professional MBA, is a 23-month, 48-credit course of focused study requiring two days of intensive classroom time each month, augmented by online coursework and group projects.

“The MBA program has been a profoundly rewarding experience for me,” said Jann Rigell, vice president, Account Management. “The diversity of the cohort allowed me to learn a lot more about Express Scripts through the experiences of my colleagues. I also learned a tremendous amount about my own strengths and what I can accomplish. I’m thrilled that I had this opportunity.”

The program was a natural extension of the company’s partnership with UMSL once Headquarters was built on the university campus in 2007. This was the second time the program included employees outside St. Louis.

“The curriculum uses Express Scripts as the real-world example for many of the classes,” said Loretta Zemel, project manager, Leadership Development & Learning. “The graduates have told us they came away from the program with a much better understanding of the entire business and how their job affects the big picture.”

This was the first time many of the students had been in a classroom for several years, which was a learning experience unto itself.

“Balancing work, life and school was not always easy, but I am thankful for the opportunity,” said Doug Childerson, senior network contracting manager. “My children were able to see hard work pays off and short-term sacrifices are only minor inconveniences. I look forward to tackling future challenges with my expanded knowledge base.”

For Express Scripts, the benefit is further developing leaders inside the business.

“This program serves as an investment in our key talent within the organization by helping them learn the theory of business concepts and the practicality of how we apply those concepts at Express Scripts,” said Melanie Curtis, vice president, Talent Management & Organizational Development. “We’re proud of the graduates. We know they’ve worked hard and will share their expertise in the business.”

Aside from learning about the business, some participants found inspiration from the program.

“Through this experience I’ve realized that with the support of my family and friends, I can achieve more than I ever imagined and push harder than I ever thought I could push,” said Scott Fitzgibbon, senior director, Account Management. “Along the way, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the business world, about myself and about the sacrifices made for me to achieve this goal.”

2013 Professional MBA Graduates

Amanda Agne
Narendra Bhattiprolu
David Blank
Jill Bot
Shaun Tay Canady
Adam Chierek
Doug Childerson
Katie Dooley
Scott Fitzgibbon
Kristin Graf
Matt Harmon
Michael Johnston
Stephanie Klein
Tyler Kulasza
Katie McFarland
Jann Rigell
Stephanie Russell
Ann Schulte
Yakov Svirnovskiy
Stephen Turner
Amy Vollmer
Krista Ward
Kristie Weinert
Pamela Westbrooks-Hodge
Nikki White