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Industrial Engineer learns language of business

Corey Friedman

Corey Friedman
MBA ’13
Dow AgroSciences

Corey Friedman says when looking at cost and value in various MBA programs, he couldn’t find a better combination of the two than at Purdue.

Before pursuing an MBA, Corey sold hardware and software to major Fortune 500 companies. “I had this great technical background from Purdue (bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering) and this frontline sales experience, and really nothing tying those two together,” he says. “I wanted to learn the language of business.”

Krannert’s focus on experiential learning and a balanced curriculum led Corey to speak the language fluently. Through our Experiential Learning, known as EL, Corey had the opportunity to complete a consulting project for Dow AgroSciences, which led to a job offer.

“The project gave me an opportunity to network. It opened the door,” he says. “I still had to go through a formal interview process, but they knew some of the things I was saying were accurate, because they saw me do the work.”

Corey, a native of Buffalo Grove, Illinois will be a Strategy and Productivity Acceleration Leader for Dow. “I will be a Six Sigma Black Belt, working on executing new strategy initiatives. In a way, it’s like doing internal consulting.” After 12-18 months, Corey expects to move into global supply chain management.

In addition to the ELI consulting project, he also gained experience through a financial systems internship with Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company. He worked at the United States headquarters, just outside of Chicago. “We were the mechanics that kept the finance department running.” He worked to improve strategic sourcing and eliminate or consolidate steps in the procurement process.

“I managed the RFP (request for proposals) process. I solicited bids and coordinated the presentation and selections.” The internship gave him well-rounded experience in operations, finance, accounting, marketing and strategy.

Corey appreciates the opportunity he had to work on diverse teams while at Krannert. “Dow AgroSciences is a very diverse company. I will be at the world headquarters in Indianapolis and my projects could be anywhere across the globe.”

Learning a balance of technical and soft skills at Krannert, Corey is confident in his ability to be successful. He particularly appreciated his Introduction to Finance class with John McConnell, Emanuel T. Weiler Distinguished Professor of Management, and his International Finance course with Mara Faccio, Professor of Finance and Hanna Chair in Entrepreneurship. “Those were probably the two hardest classes I took while I was here, but I learned the most and have the most to apply from those two classes.”

Corey says the intensity of the MBA program has helped him form lasting friendships with classmates that are quickly becoming valuable business connections. “They taught me to compete and execute at an elite level.”