Allison Wik, MBA
Strategic Marketing Engagement Leader at GE Power and Water
“My dream is to join GE’s Crotonville Management Development Institute as a learning leader,” shares Allison ‘Allie’ Wik. “Essentially, Crotonville is GE’s learning organization. All of our leadership traits and qualities are born there.”
The legacy Allie wants to leave is to inspire GE employees to be the best teammates they can be so strategic outcomes can be accomplished. She says, “It’s about empowering leaders to possess skills and heart.”
Allison Wik grew up in a GE family. Her dad worked at GE for more than 30 years. “He is my Number One role model and source of inspiration,” she says with a smile. “The amount of pride I felt when I got the job at GE was overwhelming to me because it was such an accomplishment to join the company I watched my father excel at.”
Earning her Master of Arts degree in Climate Change and Policy in 2009 from Columbia University in the City of New York, Allie currently serves as Strategic Marketing Engagement Leader for General Electric’s (GE) Renewables Business. “I’ve worked at GE since January 2010 because I fundamentally believe in what we do here with renewable energy,” she explains.
A few years after earning her Masters in Climate Change, Allie got an intellectual itch and decided to pursue her MBA. “I had an excellent grasp and working knowledge of creating multi-year business strategies for renewable energy business,” expounds Allie. “Contrastingly, I knew nothing to very little about finances, the economy, mutual funds or payroll.”
It was important to Allie she find an MBA program which allowed her to keep working. “But I also didn’t want to wait four years to earn my degree,” she remarks. “I wanted to study alongside seasoned professionals and to learn and be able to implement ideas immediately. The University at Albany’s executive Weekend MBA Program has all that!”
In the Fall of her second year in the program, Allie married Steve, a Computer and Electrical Engineer at GE. She shares, “We met in college senior year in 2007. Steve is an incredible advocate for me. He balances me out and helps me maintain perspective. Everything with the MBA program happened FAST for someone who plans a million levels deep. The reason I dove in and kept swimming is because Steve reminded me this is the first time I was furthering my education while also working a demanding career. He said, ‘Getting an A all the time isn’t the be-all, end-all. This is about you growing, learning and becoming more competent.’”
A self-proclaimed Type A personality, Allie earned her MBA with a 3.9 GPA in May 2014. When the main graduation ceremony ended, she looked at her father and proclaimed, “Yeah, Dad – I don’t think I got any awards this time around.” During the MBA ceremony which followed, Allie received the UAlbany School of Business Academic Achievement Award for embodying the heroic performance and traits that Weekend MBA Program Director Don Purdy looks for when recruiting potential students. Allie’s Dad turned to her and just chuckled.
Having her MBA helps Allie Wik do her job better. “I started having an elevated impact at work following my first class,” expounds Allie. “I now have finance and economics under my belt, both professionally and personally. I recently built an entire financial model through 2020 for our business, something I would not have been able to do before my time in the UAlbany executive Weekend MBA Program.”
The cohort structure surrounds students with other professionals, each with his or her real life experience and expertise. “The cohort structure gave me great perspective of how others manage teams,” Allie tells. “For every subject we studied, there were different professional perspectives. Everyone was eager to collaborate, build relationships and share their knowledge. I credit 50% of my education to what I learned from my fellow cohort members.”
Earning her MBA has opened up new opportunities for Allie, empowering and equipping her to expand her career at GE and influence future leaders. “You have to find the MBA program that’s right for you,” advises Allie. “It’s not just about the list of courses you want to take. It’s about your experiences along the way. It’s about the people you share time with.”
A local girl, Allie grew up in Niskayuna, NY with a younger sister and younger brother. After applying for jobs all along the East Coast, she landed in the ‘518’ and firmly believes everything happens for a reason.
“Be proud of the path you’ve pursued,” she encourages. “Your unique experiences allow you to offer diversity. It’s not about ‘right or wrong’ but rather, it’s about developing skills that are very transferable and help you be who you were designed to be.”
Her parting words of wisdom, “Be at peace with your life and be proud of who you are.”